Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team duo Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson have expressed their pleasure over a satisfying start to the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, as they look to score points for the third race running.
In both Free Practice 1 and 2, Scuderia Ferrari junior Leclerc lead the Sauber charge taking sixteenth and seventeenth place in the respective sessions, whilst Ericsson could only manage nineteenth and twentieth. A suspected wiring loom issue for the Haas F1 Team‘s Kevin Magnussen in the morning prevented the Swede from propping up the order on both occasions.
Leclerc reflected on a “productive day” and admitted that Sauber always knew that the Circuit de Monaco would prove to be a test for their package.
“It was a productive day for us,” said Leclerc, who – bar any unusual circumstances – will become the first Monégasque driver to compete in his home Grand Prix since Larousse‘s Olivier Beretta in 1994.
“It ran quite smoothly overall. We know that this track is going to be a challenge for us, and we have used today’s practice sessions to start setting up our car in the best possible way.
“We will now look at our data and start working on preparations for [Saturday’s] qualifying session. I look forward to being back in the car.”
Despite his lowly position, Ericsson said that he was satisfied with the mileage covered across the two sessions. The former Caterham driver clocked up 85 laps, saying that the team have “a good base to work from” for the rest of the weekend.
However, the 27-year-old said that he struggled on the new hyper-soft compound – making its race weekend debut – which may cause some headaches for Ericsson and Sauber in Qualifying.
“It has been quite a good day. It is important to get in a lot of laps on Thursday in Monaco, so that is a positive for us,” he said.
“We struggled a bit of the hyper-soft tyres, but apart from that it was a smooth day. We built up the speed and have a good base to work from for Saturday and Sunday. I look forward to the rest of the weekend.”