Both Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team drivers made it through to the top ten shootout for the first time in 2018 in Qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix, with Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson seventh and tenth respectively.
Leclerc will start a season and career-best seventh on Sunday after enjoying a strong weekend so far with the C37-Ferrari, and the Monegasque racer was full of praise for the hard work Sauber has put in this weekend to be competitive around the Sochi Autodrom.
“I am very happy with today,” said Leclerc, who will move to Scuderia Ferrari in 2019 in place of Kimi Räikkönen. “We have made a good step forward since yesterday, and I improved my driving quite a bit.
“It is great to see the hard work that we have put in this weekend pay off on track. P7 is my best starting position so far this season, so I look forward to the race tomorrow.”
For the first time in 2018, team-mate Ericsson was able to break into the top ten, mainly thanks to five drivers not going out in Q2, but despite this it was a pleasing result for the Swede who will vacate the race seat within Sauber in 2019 in favour of Antonio Giovinazzi.
It also gives Ericsson some confidence heading into the race that he can secure a fifth top ten finish and add to the six points he has currently earned this season.
“It is an excellent achievement for the team to have both cars finish qualifying in Q3,” said Ericsson. “We have been strong all weekend, and should have a good chance to score some points tomorrow, which is great.
“I am confident for the race, and look forward to fighting for a good result.”