Formula 1

First Lap Incidents ‘Defined the outcome’ of Hungarian GP for Sauber – Vasseur

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Marcus Ericsson - Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team - Hungaroring
Credit: Sauber Motorsports AG

Frédéric Vasseur admitted the Hungarian Grand Prix was not a great race for his Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team after collisions on the opening lap for both drivers left one out and the other at the back of the field.

Charles Leclerc was unfortunate to collide with Sergio Pérez on the exit of the turn, which forced him to retire, while Marcus Ericsson was lucky to survive contact with Daniel Ricciardo entering the same turn, which saw him momentarily drive on two wheels, with the Swede dropping to the back of the field as a result.

Vasseur, the team principal of the Hinwil-based team, said that first lap was the defining moment of the race for Sauber, with Ericsson only able to finish fifteenth after the first lap melee.

“It was not a good day for us,” reflected Vasseur.  “Both of our drivers were involved in incidents in the opening lap which defined the outcome of their races.

“Charles was involved in a collision during the start and damaged the car. We had to instruct him to stop and retire from the race. Marcus was also involved in an incident on the first lap of the race, and lost all positions as a result. It was a tough job to fight his way back after that, and he finished the race in P15.”

Despite the disappointments of Hungary, Vasseur feels the first half of the season has been a positive one for Sauber, with eighteen points scored across the first twelve races, and there is confidence within the team to continue with the progress they are making after the summer break.

“All in all, the season has been positive so far,” said Vasseur.  “Both Marcus and Charles have brought points home, and we have made progress race after race as a team.

“We are confident that we will continue doing so after the summer break, and I look forward to the second half of the season.”

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