After a weekend off-track that at times was like an episode from a soap opera, the Sauber F1 Team secured their first points since the 2013 season, with Felipe Nasr an excellent fifth on his Grand Prix debut and Marcus Ericsson eighth.
With the court case with Giedo van der Garde pushed firmly to the back of their minds, the team were able to see both cars finish the Australian Grand Prix, with Nasr surviving a first lap brush with Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari and Pastor Maldonado’s Lotus to finish on the same lap as the leaders in fifth position, something the Brazilian rookie was delighted about.
“I am very happy with fifth position in my first ever Formula One race,” insisted Nasr. “It is such a big relief for the team and myself that we are able to score points, and I am very pleased about this achievement.
“It was a tough race. Right after the start it was quite messy in turn 1, as another driver hit my wheel. I thought the car was damaged a bit, but after a few laps I noticed everything was fine.
“After that, the race went according to plan. There was pressure from behind during the whole race, which was not easy. That was an emotional race for me and everyone in the team.”
Team-mate Ericsson was also able to score his first points in Formula 1 in eighth, passing Carlos Sainz Jr of Scuderia Toro Rosso with a handful of laps to go for the position, and the Swede praised the team for all their hard work on improving the car throughout the winter.
“First of all, the team has done a great job over the winter,” reflected Ericsson. “It is amazing for everyone in the team here in Melbourne and also back home in the factory to get this result in the first race weekend of the 2015 season.
“We have seen good progress during pre-season testing, and with this achievement I am really happy for everyone.
“For me as a driver, I have scored my first points in Formula One, which is a big goal achieved. Now, we can build on this for the next race.”