Formula 1

Belgian Grand Prix ‘Quite a Positive Race’ for Sauber – Ericsson

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Ericsson has scored six points from 12 grands prix this season. Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Marcus Ericsson hailed Sunday’s Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps as “quite positive” for Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team, as he finished in tenth place, securing yet another points finish.

Throughout the weekend, Sauber showed strong pace, and both Ericsson and team-mate Charles Leclerc were disappointed at not making it through to the pole position shootout in qualifying.

Ericsson’s car had a technical problem in Q2, which limited him to a single run, and thirteenth on the grid, one place behind Leclerc.

While the Monegasque rookie was eliminated in the race’s biggest talking point, the first corner accident involving Fernando Alonso, and Nico Hülkenberg, Ericsson steered clear of the melee and drove a clean race to finish in tenth place.

The result was the Swede’s fourth points finish of the season, and was enough to keep the Swiss squad ahead of the ‘new’ Racing Point Force India Formula 1 Team in the constructors’ standings, albeit by just one point.

It was quite a positive race,” explained Ericsson. “I had a positive start, stayed out of trouble, and made some good decisions. 

Throughout the race, I had some interesting fights – with Brendon Hartley, [and] the car felt good. 

It is nice to finish the weekend with a point. The team did a great job, and we are encouraged as we go into the next race.”

Sauber has good reason to be optimistic heading into the Italian Grand Prix weekend.  The team is supplied with Ferrari power units, which are regarded to be the best package in F1, since the Scuderia introduced an upgraded spec in recent grands prix.

The long straights of Monza should favour the Ferrari units, and allow the cars it powers to a strong showing.  Moreover, Sauber’s title sponsor Alfa Romeo is based in Italy, a fact Ericsson emphasised.

We are heading to Monza now, which is Alfa Romeo’s home race,” he said. “It will be exciting to see all the passionate fans there, and I look forward to racing again.”

After 12 rounds of the 2018 championship, Ericsson is in seventeenth place in the drivers’ championship, having scored six points, while team-mate Leclerc has scored thirteen and is in fifteenth place. As a team, Sauber sits in eighth in the constructors’ on nineteen points.

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Jake Nichol is a motorsport journalist writing about the Formula 1 world championship for The Checkered Flag. He is currently freelancing for Autosport, where his work includes IndyCar, NASCAR and UK-wide national race meetings.
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