Felipe Nasr has denied taking a political side this week after making an official visit to Brazil’s acting president Michel Temer.
Brazil’s elected president, Dilma Rousseff, was recently suspended amid accusations of corruption and fiscal crimes and stands to be impeached. She claims her suspension is akin to an anti-democratic “coup”.
Indeed, interim president Michel Temer was loudly booed at the opening ceremony for the Olympics in Rio recently, and has opted to skip the forthcoming closing ceremony.
So it was amid those controversies this week that Sauber driver Nasr, one of two Brazilians on the F1 grid, visited Temer at his office.
But the 23-year-old driver denied he was taking a political side.
“I didn’t come to show support,” O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper quoted him as saying.
“I came as a representative of Brazil and show my willingness to help the country.
“I am a representative of my country, regardless of the party, regardless of like or dislike.”
Nasr said he was happy to discover that, like himself, Temer is of Lebanese descent, but he denied that he discussed the potential investment by the Brazilian government of investment in motor sport.
However, Nasr and his Swiss team Sauber are backed by the Banco do Brasil, which is majority owned by the Brazilian government.
He said: “Sponsorship is essential for any athlete, not only those in motor sport.”