(Sauber F1 Team)
The Sauber F1 Team had an absolutely fantastic start to their 2015 Formula One season in Albert Park Melbourne on Sunday morning.
The Swiss based outfit but the legal issues that caused them problems prior to the Grand Prix weekend to one side with Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson letting the C34 do all the talking on the track as the pair racked up a double points finish for the team coming home in fifth and Marcus Ericsson finishing the race in eighth place.
The Swiss outfit have scored more points in one race than then did last season as in 2014 they failed to score and single point and following their performance in Australia the team find themselves in third place in the Constructors championship on 14 points just one point behind Scuderia Ferrari. Speaking following his Formula One race debut Felipe Nasr stated:
‘I am very happy with fifth position in my first ever Formula One race. It is such a big relief for the team and myself that we are able to score points, and I am very pleased about this achievement. It was a tough race. Right after the start it was quite messy in turn 1, as another driver hit my wheel. I thought the car was damaged a bit, but after a few laps I noticed everything was fine. After that, the race went according to plan. There was pressure from behind during the whole race, which was not easy. That was an emotional race for me and everyone in the team.’
The team showed in Australia that they have produced a competitive car and following their successful winter testing programme they should have a good season although we are just one race into a very long season. Speaking after scoring his first ever Formula One points Marcus Ericsson stated:
‘First of all, the team has done a great job over the winter. It is amazing for everyone in the team here in Melbourne and also back home in the factory to get this result in the first race weekend of the 2015 season. We have seen good progress during pre-season testing, and with this achievement I am really happy for everyone. For me as a driver, I have scored my first points in Formula One, which is a big goal achieved. Now, we can build on this for the next race.’
The team head to the next race in Malaysia hoping to continue their forward momentum as it is very clear that they made huge steps over the winter having two cars finish in the points is a fantastic achievement considering what happened with the team last season.
Speaking about the race, Sauber F1 Team’s Head of Track Engineering Giampaolo Dall’Ara stated:
‘It was definitely a great Sunday with a great result. We had a pretty troublefree race. With Felipe we stuck to the original strategy we had planned for him. I have to say that he did an excellent job making up places and keeping Daniel Ricciardo behind him. He drove a fantastic race all the way. Reaching P5 in his first Formula One race was an outstanding achievement. Marcus had to start from further behind and was on the medium tyres. Nevertheless he managed to make up a couple of places on lap one. Then we decided to bring him in during the safety car period and put him on the soft tyres to give him a boost. We gave up a couple of positions, which he was able to recover quickly. At some point we had to make the decision whether to leave him out or to go more aggressively and stop again. We went for the second option and asked him to push to the maximum. He did a very good job and was able to overtake Carlos Sainz Jr. and clinch eighth position. Everybody in the team did a fantastic job and I’m really happy about what we delivered today.’
Sauber F1 Team Principal Monisha Keltenborn concluded by saying:
‘That was a great achievement by the whole team. We already saw during qualifying that we are competitive, but being able to achieve these positions by our own efforts is a bit of a surprise. It is a confirmation of our hard work and a great reward for the team that had to deal with unfavourable circumstances. This applies to the crew in Hinwil as well as to the team at the race track. It was an outstanding achievement which we have to be proud of. Obviously, I am very happy about our two drivers who both put in a great performance, and in the end they made this great result possible for us.’
© Ben Johnston 2015