Sauber Formula 1 team has made a breakthrough - Marcus Ericsson

Marcus Ericsson says a breakthrough in the way his Sauber Formula 1 team manages its tyres is the key reason behind its recent upturn in form

Sauber Formula 1 team has made a breakthrough - Marcus Ericsson

Sauber, running a year-old Ferrari engine, fell off the back off the pack after the summer break, but has turned a corner in the last three grands prix.

In Mexico last weekend, Ericsson ran in the points for nearly half of the race before losing track position when the virtual safety car was deployed and then ultimately retired with what the team described "as technical issue around the rear inboard suspension".

He said it had taken Sauber time to master the 2017 Pirellis but it had now done so.

"The tyres this year are more conservative, less peaky and do not degrade so much, but there is still a small window where they work the best and give the best available grip," he told Autosport.

"My feeling is we've been wrong there for most of the year, we haven't been working on it in the best place.

"Now, we have found some stuff the last couple of weekends which has helped us a lot to improve that and it's all about the temperature and controlling the temperature of the tyres.

"We have worked the tyres a bit differently, a bit different temperature windows and that seems to be helping us quite a lot.

"It's been a big breakthrough for us."

Ericsson also felt reducing the weight of his car combined with the unlocking of more performance from its engine has contributed to the better pace.

"From my side, we've got 7kg out of the car since Malaysia," he said.

"That's quite a lot of lap time every lap for me, two or three tenths depending on track.

"Also on the engine side, the Ferrari guys have managed to get a bit more out of it.

"We still have the same engine but they've been able to squeeze a bit more out of it."

Ericsson felt a point, which would have been the first of his season, was possible in Mexico.

"The start of the race was really good and the first stint was really competitive," he said.

"To run inside the top 10 for the first 30 laps was really good. We timed the pitstop really well.

"Then the virtual safety car came at the worst possible moment for us and ruins our race.

"We lost out to both McLarens and [Felipe] Massa. Without that, I think we would have kept position and been fighting with Fernando [Alonso] for P10 towards the end of the race.

"It's a shame, but that's how it is sometimes. It felt like we did everything right.

"But the luck was not on our side."

shares
comments
Force India F1 team sure VSC cost it Mexican Grand Prix podium
Previous article

Force India F1 team sure VSC cost it Mexican Grand Prix podium

Next article

Lewis Hamilton: I need to raise my game for Max Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton: I need to raise my game for Max Verstappen
Load comments
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2021
How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021