Sauber duo pleased with encouraging Friday in Bahrain


Credit: Sauber Motorsports AG

Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team duo Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson have spoken about their positivity going into Qualifying for Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix after showing promising pace yesterday.

Leclerc managed twelfth in the first Free Practice session, despite a spin on the exit of Turn 7, before setting the sixteenth fastest time in the evening’s session. The Monégasque driver outperformed team-mate Ericsson in both sessions; the Swede managed a best performance of seventeenth in the morning, and saw his second Free Practice session broken up by an early spin on a suspected patch of oil.

Speaking after the day’s action, Leclerc said that he was satisfied with the feeling of the car.

“In general, it was quite a positive day for us,” he said.

“The qualifying performance was good and the car felt good to drive. At the end of the second session I completed a red flag practice.”

The 20-year-old expressed his excitement going into Qualifying at a track he took pole position at last year in the FIA Formula 2 series, adding that the team were yet to fully analyse the data, at the time of speaking.

“We will be looking at what we learned during today’s sessions, and build on that for FP3 and qualifying.

“I look forward to being back in the car tomorrow.”

Ericsson said that he evening spin was far from “ideal”, however he echoed Leclerc’s thoughts on the balance of the C37, which looks like a notable improvement on the lacking C36.

“It was a busy session today,”  mused Ericsson.

“In the morning, I focused on mechanical set-up work. During FP2 I lost the rear of the car, which was not ideal, but as the session progressed the balance improved and the car felt good towards the end.”

The former Caterham driver concluded by saying that the team are making the right steps as they look to avoid bringing up the rear in the Constructors’ Championship for the second year in succession.

“It seems that we are moving in the right direction. We will be analysing the data tonight and will see what we can do for tomorrow’s qualifying.”