For the Sauber F1 Team, it was a disappointing season-opener when the 2016 Formula 1 World Championship started in Melbourne on Sunday.
After qualifying in sixteenth on Saturday, Marcus Ericsson had to retire from the Grand Prix on lap 39 with a drivetrain issue on his Sauber C35. Earlier in the race, after a crash between Fernando Alonso and Esteban Gutierrez on lap 17, Ericsson received a drive through penalty following the re-start for his mechanics still working on his car after the fifteen-second signal was given.
“It was not a good day,” said Ericsson. “When the race was interrupted, I had an issue with one tyre warmer on the pit lane. It could not be removed as quickly as usual, so I got a drive through penalty for that.
“After the race resumed, I felt that something was wrong with the left rear tyre, so I went back to the garage. Sometimes these things can happen. We will look into it to be in a better shape for the next race weekend in Bahrain.”
For Ericsson’s team-mate, Felipe Nasr he finished the Grand Prix at the Albert Park circuit in fifteenth behind the McLaren-Honda of Jenson Button. The Brazilian believes the Swiss team struggled with their pace throughout the race compared to their competitors.
“Overall it was a difficult race for us,” said Nasr. “We struggled with our pace compared to our competitors. It was clear during the race that I could not keep up with the cars in front of me.
“It was good that we could gain important data from the C35, and we need to analyse every detail to find performance in the car. We have to improve the C35 in different areas. I think we have a lot of work ahead of us.”