Sauber F1 Team‘s Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein both faced a challenging race at the Austrian Grand Prix with both cars finishing at the back of the pack.
Both drivers qualified on the last row of the grid but Wehrlein started from the pit lane due to a late engine change after Saturday. Ericsson qualified nineteenth on the grid, starting on the Ultrasoft tyres, and was forced to take avoiding action at Turn 1 due to the incident involving Daniil Kvyat, Fernando Alonso and Max Verstappen. Wehrlein started on the Supersoft tyres and avoided the carnage and caught up to his team-mate, eventually passing him at the beginning of Lap eight.
Pascal feared his car caught damage from the debris on track from the incident on lap 1 whilst his Swedish team-mate struggled with his tyres, losing a lot of pace in the race. Both drivers encountered blue flags early on in the race with Ericsson describing them as “challenging to deal with”.
Ericsson was the first to pit between the Sauber’s on lap 34 for the Supersoft tyres, with Wehrlein following him on the next lap for the Ultrasofts. Both drivers failed to make any position gains aside from the retiring cars of Kevin Magnussen and Carlos Sainz Jr. Wehrlein came across the line in fourteenth place, a lap down from the leaders. Ericsson followed behind in fifteenth place, finishing himself two laps down.
“It was a difficult race for me. At the beginning I had issues with getting the tyres to work properly, so I lost ground.” said Ericsson.
“Overall I was struggling to keep up the pace, although some parts of the race were alright. Later on, the blue flags made it challenging to keep the tyres in the right working window.
Despite starting from the pit lane, Pascal felt 14th was the best he could achieve today.
“I was slightly worried about the condition of the car, but fortunately it turned out to be alright. I pushed hard all the way from the beginning to the end of the race, but this result was the maximum for today.”
The team now focuses it attention for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone next week.
“We have to focus on the next race in Silverstone, which is only a week away. It is one of my favourite tracks, so I hope that we can have a stronger race weekend there.” commented Ericsson.