Frédéric Vasseur was happy to see Marcus Ericsson secure his third top ten finish of 2018 on Sunday when the Swede claimed ninth position in the German Grand Prix, but on the flip side, he watched as Charles Leclerc fell away from a points finish of his own after a pit stop gamble for Intermediate tyres failed to pay off.
Ericsson stayed out of trouble and on slicks when the rain began to fall at the Hockenheimring, and added two points to his tally, with Vasseur, the team principal of the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team, praising his performance amid tricky conditions.
Leclerc on the other hand had started inside the top ten but gambled on a switch to the Intermediates, only for the rain to ease up and the track dry quickly, forcing him to return to the pits for a change back onto slicks, which left him a lapped fifteenth at the chequered flag. His afternoon also included a couple of spins, but even without them, the pit stops left him trailing at the back.
“There were two sides to the race today,” said Vasseur. “Marcus had a very positive day. He managed a demanding situation very well and had good control of the slick tyres on a wet track.
“He gave a strong performance and good pace from beginning to end, scoring two more points for the team.
“On the other hand, it was a tough race for Charles. He started in a good position and showed a strong performance. Unfortunately, we made a risky call when it started to rain. We brought him in and put him on intermediate tyres. That compromised his race.”
Vasseur feels Sauber continue to show improvement in 2018, and he hopes this can continue this coming weekend when Formula 1 arrives at the Hungaroring for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
“Looking at the race weekend as a whole, we made good progress and are confident that we will continue on this positive path during the upcoming Grand Prix weekend in Hungary,” said Vasseur.