Sauber F1 Team driver Marcus Ericsson is looking forward to teaming up with Pascal Wehrlein in 2017, who he feels will make the Swiss squad a force alongside himself this season.
The Swede really rates the German driver, who is still a part of the Mercedes youth programme, and believes working alongside Wehrlein will push him to up his own performance, which can only be a good thing for the team, as he told the official formula one website recently.
“I think it’s great news for me and Sauber.
“Pascal is a very fast and respected driver with a great CV. I think we can really push each other and the team forward, so I am looking forward to a great season.
“I honestly rate him highly. He’s won the DTM championship and been part of the Mercedes family for a long time, so they seem to believe a lot in him.
“Of course, my aim is to beat him – what else – and I expect it to be a tough fight. But that’s exactly what I need in order to perform at my best.”
Sauber struggled with financial problems in the early part of 2016, but were bought out by a Swiss finance company towards the end of last year, which secured their future in F1. Ericsson believes things are definitely now headed in the right direction for the Hinwil based squad, and they expect to complete a strong campaign in 2017.
“It definitely takes time, but I think it’s clear that if you look at the second half of last season we really made some big progress.
“And the aim is, of course, to continue that way in 2017. We’ve had some great people decide to join the team in the last couple of months and that also makes a difference.
“So all in all it feels like we’re moving in the right way. And with two young and hungry drivers in the cockpits we should be on a good run.”
Despite having signed up to use 2016 specification Scuderia Ferrari engines in 2017, Sauber are confident they can compensate for any power deficiencies through strong chassis development, and are unconcerned by the problems Scuderia Toro Rosso experienced when they took a chance on year old power units last season.