The Sauber F1 Team put the troubles of their 2014 season behind them by posting the second fastest time on the opening day of the pre-season test at Jerez in their new C34.
Despite a small spin that caused a brief red flag period early in the day, Marcus Ericsson set a best time less than two tenths of a second slower than the pacesetter Sebastian Vettel of Scuderia Ferrari.
Ericsson, who moved from the Caterham F1 Team to Sauber this season, was happy with his day’s work, and hopes that the team can continue this good form through pre-season testing and into the season.
“It was a very good day,” reflected Ericsson. “First of all it was great to be back in the car after the winter break. I think we have good reasons to be happy. We were able to complete a lot of laps, and we went through quite a few different small tweeks on the set-up and did all the installations needed.
“There were no major problems with the car, which was really the main thing. Overall it’s been a good day, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the week. I hope we can continue like this.”
Head of Track Engineering Giampaolo Dall’Ara was also pleased with how the day panned out for the team, and was naturally happy that everything worked reliably, which after the problems the team faced in 2014, was certainly positive.
“Today we started with a normal roll-out programme with some functionality checks, which we were able to cut to the minimum, because the car was working well from the beginning,” said Dall’Ara. “We had some longer breaks, just to do some thorough checks on the car. In the afternoon we went a bit deeper in by exploring the balance and checking some different tyre compounds.
“Towards the end we did some longer runs. We are happy that the car is working, and, compared to last year, we can see the improvements. Overall it was definitely a positive day.”
Brazilian Felipe Nasr gets his first day in the car on day two of the Jerez test on Monday.