Marcus Ericsson qualified seventeenth for the Australian Grand Prix and heaped praise on his Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team engineers for improving the C37 overnight and ensuring neither himself nor team-mate Charles Leclerc qualified right at the back of the field.
The Swedish driver had earlier finished third in the wet/dry final practice session as one of only three drivers to get onto dry weather tyres at the end of the ninety minutes, but when everyone was able to drive on a dry track in Qualifying, the positions of Ericsson and Leclerc were more representative of what the team are currently capable of.
Ericsson was pleased to out-qualify Leclerc and both Sergey Sirotkin and Pierre Gasly when it mattered, and he now is looking forward to the first race of the season on Sunday.
“The work done overnight by the engineers on track and at the headquarters in Switzerland paid off,” said Ericsson. “All in all it was a good qualifying today.
“We have made good progress since yesterday when we were quite a long way off the competition. We should be proud of the work that we have put in since then because it made a big difference.
“We are still not where we want to be, but today we were really close to Q2. We do have a lot of work ahead of us, but we are in the fight which is nice to see. Overall, I am happy with the progress and I look forward to the first race of the season”