Sunday, 29 March 2015

Reality bites for the Sauber F1 Team in Malaysia

(Sauber F1 Team)

The Sauber F1 Team came back to reality at the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday following their fantastic start to the season in Melbourne two weeks ago as Marcus Ericsson was forced to retire from the race after getting his C34 stuck in the gravel.

Following his fantastic Formula One race debut in Australia two weeks ago where he finished in fifth place, Felipe Nasr was left frustrated as the Brazilian finished the Malaysian Grand Prix in 12th place just behind the Lotus F1 Team’s Romain Grosjean.

As a result of the Malaysian Grand Prix, the Sauber F1 Team have lost ground in the Constructors championship and currently in 4th place on 14 points. Speaking following the race Marcus Ericsson stated:

It is a very frustrating end to a good weekend. I felt comfortable in the car straight away and had a good start during which I could make up one position. Nico (Hülkenberg) must have had a good start as he was ahead of me, but I felt I had more pace than he did. When I tried to pass him down to Turn 1, I went for the move to the outside. I know it is possible to overtake there, but unfortunately I lost the rear, went off and got stuck in the gravel trap. Anyway, we need to take the positives out of this weekend, and I have learned from what happened in the race. In China we will be even stronger.

In Australia two weeks ago Felipe Nasr finished the race in fifth place however in Malaysia on Sunday the Brazilian could only manage to finish in 12th place and speaking following the race he said:

It was overall a difficult weekend for me. I was struggling to find a good set-up for the car. We need to reflect and understand why we didn’t have enough pace. The race itself was not easy, as I had contact early on with Kimi (Räikkönen). I should have avoided this incident, but it can happen sometimes when we are racing. Now we have to look forward to the next race weekend in China.’

The Swiss based outfit remain in fourth place in the champion on 14 points, 16 behind the Williams Martini Racing Team. Speaking following the race Sauber Team Principal Monisha Keltenborn stated:

It’s a shame that today we were not able to score points, because, for sure, the opportunity was there. Unfortunately, both drivers were involved in incidents in the first few laps. For Marcus the race was over, and Felipe’s chances were significantly reduced. But he fought strongly afterwards, although unfortunately he was not rewarded with points. This result is obviously disappointing, but there are also positives we can take from this race weekend. Our package is competitive, which puts us in a position to fight for points. We have to make sure that we grab these chances.

Sauber’s Head of Track Engineering Giampoalo Dall’Ara stated:

On the technical side it was another flawless afternoon without any noteworthy issues, which is the positive we can take out of this race. Unfortunately we had both drivers involved in incidents within a few laps, and our planned strategy was destroyed. So we had to reinvent the race with only one car, because Marcus was out. We switched from three to four stops, which was not planned. Nothing was wrong with that, but after the early incident the race was lost. It’s obviously a big disappointment.

© Ben Johnston 2015

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