The Sauber F1 Team arrive in China for round three of the 2015 Formula 1 Championship with the desire to return to the form that took them to a double points finish in the opening race of the season in Australia, where Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson both finished inside the top eight.
Ericsson had a breakthrough weekend in Malaysia two weeks ago when he qualified inside the top ten for the first time, although he blotted his copybook in the race by spinning out whilst attempting to pass Nico Hulkenberg on the fourth lap. He hopes for another strong outing in China this weekend, with the Swede admitting he is feeling good believing the Sauber is competitive.
“The track in Shanghai is a circuit I know from last year, but it is not an easy one with a mixture of high-speed and low-speed corners,” said Ericsson. “Before some corners hard braking is required, so braking stability for the car is important.
“I believe the set-up of the car will be similar to the one we had in Malaysia, as the layout of the track has some related characteristics. The weather conditions will be different, as it is not as hot as in Sepang, which will also have an influence on the tyre management.
“I have a good feeling travelling to China, because we have a competitive car. We are looking forward to getting to Shanghai to continue improving as well as scoring points again. I am confident it is going to be a positive weekend for us.”
Team-mate Nasr had a disappointing weekend in Malaysia after starring in the season opener in Australia, and is hoping to return to his Albert Park form this weekend in China. Having made his free practice debut at the circuit in 2014 with Williams, Nasr is happy to already have some experience of the track.
“Last year during the Chinese Grand Prix I had my first FP1 session with Williams,” said Nasr. “I have never raced on this circuit, but it is good that I have already got to know it.
“The track has a combination of high-speed and low-speed corners, which is quite demanding for the tyres and challenging to find a good balance for the car. Besides that, the circuit has a straight, which is the longest on the whole race calendar. I believe this could be positive for us as we have a strong top speed.
“As the track has some low-speed corners, traction can be important as well. I am looking forward to a positive race weekend and to scoring points again.”