Marcus Ericsson felt comfortable and confident during the opening free practice session of the weekend at the Circuit Paul Ricard, but a crash late in the running left him unable to return to the track for the remainder of the day.
The Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team driver lost control entering turn eleven and hit the wall hard, with the car catching fire in the aftermath. Ericsson was able to, eventually, to get out of the car unaided, but the chassis was damaged sufficiently to end his day and prevent his participation in the second session.
It was particularly disappointing for the Swede as he was running with an updated package on his C37-Ferrari, but he will need to come back on Saturday and play catch up around a circuit making it’s first appearance on the Formula 1 calendar since the year of his birth.
“It is a disappointing outcome for me, as I did not participate in the second free practice session today,” said Ericsson, who was fourteenth fastest when the session-ending accident happened. “FP1 looked quite promising.
“We had some updated parts on the car, and it felt like we made another step forward there. As we were starting to feel more and more comfortable on track. The wind was affecting the balance but I was coping with it when I suddenly lost the rear of my car entering T11 and crashed into the barriers.
“We are currently analysing our data to understand what exactly happened. Unfortunately, the incident has compromised our weekend quite a bit. We lost precious time and the mechanics have a lot of work ahead to change the chassis.
“I look forward to having a more positive day tomorrow.”