Sauber has leapt back into contention to retain Felipe Nasr for 2017, after it had looked like the Brazilian was losing patience.
The Swiss team has struggled financially in 2016, but rumours are now abounding that Sauber will shortly make official a buyout or rescue deal.
“It’s a big change,” Nasr, whose personal backer Banco do Brasil is Sauber’s most visible sponsor, told Brazil’s Globo when asked about the change in fortunes.
“Everything that is happening is very positive and an extra motivation for everyone in a moment that seemed to have no more light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.
Nasr said he is not sure who the new investors are, amid speculation they are linked with the backers of his teammate, Swede Marcus Ericsson.
“I don’t know who it is but we expect an official announcement,” he said.
The situation also affects Nasr’s future, as it had appeared clear he would take his Banco do Brasil backing elsewhere for 2017.
“My manager is talking to teams, seeing the options, so we’ll see,” the 23-year-old said. “But with this change in Sauber, staying here has become a possibility because I know everybody and I have my place.”
Nasr said that, under the circumstances, Sauber has done a good job in 2016.
“Strictly speaking, this car is almost the 2015 machine so to almost score points, as we have in the last three races, is only possible because everyone is working hard,” he said.
Having said that, Sauber is the only team that is sitting out the Silverstone test.
“We have a new aerodynamic package,” Nasr explained, “but it’s not ready yet so we won’t test.
“The plan is to use the package in Hungary or Germany,” he added.
“At Sauber everyone is excited again as we see that there is potential for us again, which was not the case until a few days ago,” said Nasr.