Ericsson eyes 'powerful' Sauber car changes amid Leclerc pressure

Marcus Ericsson is banking on "extremely powerful" changes to his Sauber Formula 1 car to revive his strong early-season form and get him back on terms with team-mate Charles Leclerc

Ericsson eyes 'powerful' Sauber car changes amid Leclerc pressure

Ericsson has fallen back after a good start to the season and struggled particularly in qualifying, while rookie Leclerc has settled into a run of four consecutive Q2 appearances and three points finishes in four grands prix.

A set-up tweak in Azerbaijan, which dialled understeer into Sauber's C37 and settled down the nervous rear end Leclerc had struggled with in the initial races, sparked that turnaround.

Ericsson said Sauber will make significant car set-up and mechanical systems changes, relating to "extremely powerful" areas like "the differential, engine braking, throttle maps and brake shaping", for this weekend's French Grand Prix to try to arrest his slump.

"That's where we've been mainly looking to revert a bit," Ericsson said when asked by Autosport to explain his planned changes.

"These types of things can be very, very powerful.

He said that the gradual philosophy change that Sauber had implemented over the first seven grands prix had hurt him more than he initially thought.

"We sat down after Montreal, pressed the reset button and really tried to analyse what's been happening the last few weekends in qualifying," said Ericsson.

"We've improved throughout the year in a way that's been suiting Charles quite well and even though I felt it's been suiting me, maybe that's not been the case.

"We've reverted more to where we've started the season, where I felt comfortable and had good one-lap performance.

"We've gone back more to that baseline set-up and system settings.

"I really hope, and think, that with that it will go back to a car to my liking, I can regain some confidence and build from that point."

Ericsson believes extending the changes beyond basic car set-up will help him counter the nervousness of the C37 without hurting his preferred driving style of leaning on the rear of the car.

"We've done a bit of a different philosophy on the set-up, probably since around Baku, where we have a car that's more on the understeering side," he said.

"There's a lot of rotation in it and that seems to suit Charles very well, but for me we need to maybe have a bit of a different philosophy there.

"[The target is to] still have a strong rear-end on corner entries, but doing it in a different way to what we've done the last couple of races."

shares
comments
Renault F1 drivers won't miss Red Bull benchmark after Honda switch
Previous article

Renault F1 drivers won't miss Red Bull benchmark after Honda switch

Next article

Ferrari ready to replace Raikkonen with Leclerc for 2019 F1 season

Ferrari ready to replace Raikkonen with Leclerc for 2019 F1 season
The relaxed home life that helps F1’s Danish superstar to deliver Plus

The relaxed home life that helps F1’s Danish superstar to deliver

The unrelenting grasp of the tax man prompts most racing drivers to move to the likes of Monaco, Switzerland or Dubai. But, as OLEG KARPOV found out, Kevin Magnussen is quite happy where he is, thank you very much – at home, with his family, in Denmark

Formula 1
Oct 5, 2022
How Perez has shown what many F1 drivers need from the 2022 season run-in Plus

How Perez has shown what many F1 drivers need from the 2022 season run-in

OPINION: Sergio Perez’s Singapore triumph arrested a big decline in his Formula 1 performances against Max Verstappen at Red Bull since his Monaco win. He now needs to maintain his form to the season’s end, while others are also seeking a change in fortunes

Formula 1
Oct 5, 2022
How the FIA should punish any breaches of the F1 cost cap Plus

How the FIA should punish any breaches of the F1 cost cap

OPINION: On Wednesday, the FIA will issue F1 teams with compliance certificates if they stuck to the 2021 budget cap. But amid rumours of overspending, the governing body must set a critical precedent. It needs to carefully pick between revisiting the bitterness of Abu Dhabi, a contradictory punishment and ensuring parity for the rest of the ground-effect era

Formula 1
Oct 4, 2022
Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

A testing return to the Singapore Grand Prix in tricky conditions created plenty of hazards and mistakes for the Formula 1 drivers to fall into. That partly explains a number of low scores, including from a handful of high profile runners, allowing others to take a starring role under the floodlights

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2022
The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in F1's 2022 Singapore GP Plus

The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in F1's 2022 Singapore GP

In a marathon Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, Sergio Perez’s victory was only assured hours after the race due to a stewards investigation. Throughout the contest the Red Bull driver impressively held off Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in changing conditions to see the Mexican pull out enough of an advantage to negate his post-race penalty

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2022
The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams Plus

The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams

What happens, asks MATT KEW, if the old adage of win on a Sunday, sell on a Monday is no longer true for F1 manufacturers?

Formula 1
Oct 2, 2022
Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Plus

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2022
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Plus

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022