Ericsson's British GP crash caused by 'slipping' off DRS button

Marcus Ericsson has admitted his failure to close his Sauber Formula 1 car's DRS in time was the cause of his big crash in the British Grand Prix

Ericsson's British GP crash caused by 'slipping' off DRS button

The Swedish driver was challenging eventual 10th-place finisher Sergio Perez for 13th when he went off into the barriers at high speed at the Abbey right-hander just after half-distance.

Ericsson had his DRS engaged at the time - with a third zone having been added at this year's Silverstone race covering the start/finish straight and the first two corners, Abbey and Farm.

Although at first Ericsson believed there had been a problem with the system, he revealed that subsequent analysis by Sauber showed that he in fact did not hit the button to manually disengage it.

"I was behind Checo [Perez], and when you're racing and you have this DRS zone you want to be as late as possible to switch it off and early as possible to switch it on," explained Ericsson.

"I wasn't sure after the incident if it was a failure or not, but we've looked at the data and it seems like... I have the button behind my steering wheel and it's quite bumpy on entry and you go on the kerb, and I think I slipped and didn't hit it.

"Basically I turned in with the DRS open and then you're a passenger as the car just turns, that was the reason why it happened."

Ericsson was convinced the incident cost him a chance to finish in the top 10.

"I think points were on the cards," he said. "At that point I was just behind Checo and Pierre [Gasly] was right ahead. I felt at that point really strong and had fresher tyres than both of them."

Neither Sauber finished the British GP, as Charles Leclerc was sent out of the pits with a loose wheel - costing him the chance to fight with Renault's Nico Hulkenberg for sixth place.

"It was a very good race until that pitstop," said Leclerc. "It's a shame because we were fighting for P6, at the end Nico finished P6 and the undercut was working very well.

"The pitstop was good again, and we would have gained quite a lot on new tyres. I was quite close to him that lap we pitted, so I think we could have been in front."

Sauber team principal Frederic Vasseur said he would take away the positives of being able to challenge Renault rather than dwell on the loss of a potential major points haul.

"It's a shame because the pace was there, the start was good," Vasseur told Autosport. "But I think we have to keep in mind the positive side of the weekend, that we are improving.

"The pace was there in qualifying, and even in the first 20 laps when we were fighting with Renault. I think it's a good improvement.

"Now we have to turn the page and focus on the next one. We'll have an update for Hockenheim."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Marcus Ericsson
Author Jamie Klein
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