Marcus Ericsson is keen to suggest that his performances in 2017 relative to his team-mate Pascal Wehrlein were better than the final championship standings suggested.
Ericsson, who hasn’t scored any points in Formula 1 since 2015, was the only full-time driver in 2017 not to get on the score board. Wehrlein meanwhile, scored five points despite missing the opening two races of the year through a back injury.
Nonetheless, following the announcement that the Sauber F1 Team will embark on a new partnership with Alfa Romeo for 2018, they have decided to retain Ericsson, while Wehrlein will be replaced by reigning F2 champion Charles Leclerc.
The Swede believes that last season’s final standings don’t fully reflect his competiveness, saying that Sauber’s underperforming car disguised his form when compared to Wehrlein.
“I still feel like I’ve developed as a driver and become better and better,” Ericsson told racer.com. “I would say that Pascal… my first year with Kamui [Kobayashi in 2014] was really tough. Kamui had a lot of experience and was a really good driver.
“I think Pascal is a super-talented driver and it has been good for me to have him as a teammate because with all the hype around him being a Mercedes junior, it’s been perfect for me to have him as a benchmark.
“I think if you look in the statistics, if you look at the average between teammates, we’re the closest ones on the grid if you look at all the qualifying sessions. I think that says quite a lot and it’s been good for me to have that.”
During the eighteen qualifying sessions that both Ericsson and Wehrlein competed in, Wehrlein outqualified Ericsson eleven times with the pair separated on average by just 0.049seconds.
“The only problem is that we’ve been most of the time near the back and not fighting for points. That’s why I stand on zero points and he has five points, and it looks like it’s a big difference. But actually if you look more closely on numbers, it’s been really close between us.”