Marcus Ericsson: “The new car was fun to drive”

Marcus Ericsson completed 72 laps on day one in Spain - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Marcus Ericsson may have finished the opening day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya at the bottom of the time sheets, but the Swede felt there was a lot of potential with the Sauber F1 Team’s C36-Ferrari.

Ericsson completed seventy-two laps of the Spanish track on Monday as the C36 made its on-track debut, and despite a few teething problems and finishing just over five seconds down on pacesetter Lewis Hamilton, the Swede was not displeased with his day.

Ericsson ran aero tests during the morning session before moving onto set-up work in the afternoon, with his best time of 1:26.841 coming in the afternoon on the medium Pirelli tyre. He will hand over to Antonio Giovinazzi for day two of the test, with the Italian stepping into the seat in place of the injured Pascal Wehrlein.

“It is great to finally be back in the car again after a long winter,” admitted Ericsson. “The new car was fun to drive, and it is nice to feel that there is more potential.

“We had some minor issues, but on the other hand it was the first time we were running the car properly. Overall, it has been a productive day. I completed 70 laps overall, which is a good effort for test day one.

“Now we need to go from here to have a successful first week of testing. The two main areas, which I feel are the biggest differences compared to last year are that the car is faster in high-speed corners and the braking performance is better.”