Brazil’s Felipe Nasr was hoping to make a statement on his NTT IndyCar Series debut with Carlin Racing at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Set to partner with Carlin’s Max Chilton, the third-year team had the look of a program on the verge of a competitive breakthrough. Based on its pre-season testing pace, the duo of Chilton and Nasr was going to be a promising combination to follow at the event prior to its cancellation, and with IndyCar’s schedule in limbo due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak, it’s unclear if the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship title winner will get a second chance in the No. 31 Chevy.
According to a team representative, the uncertainty surrounding the remaining IndyCar calendar has meant Nasr’s debut is also in question whenever the season gets under way. RACER understands there is a definite desire to work with the former Formula 1 driver, but planning amid the coronavirus pandemic has made offering definitive answers on who will occupy the No. 31 entry all but impossible.
Once clarity is provided on IndyCar’s amended calendar, Nasr will also have his full-time role with the Action Express Racing/Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R team to consider as IMSA assembles a revised schedule of its own. Prior to the shutdown, IndyCar and IMSA only had two calendar clashes that restricted Nasr’s availability.