Sauber: Stoffel Vandoorne not a contender for 2019 Formula 1 seat

Stoffel Vandoorne has been ruled out of contention for a 2019 Sauber Formula 1 seat, with Marcus Ericsson likely to be secure if he continues to perform well

Sauber: Stoffel Vandoorne not a contender for 2019 Formula 1 seat

Sauber had been mooted as an obvious potential alternative for Vandoorne should he lose his McLaren drive.

He won the 2015 GP2 title with Sauber team principal Fred Vasseur's ART Grand Prix team, and he is managed by Alessandro Alunni Bravi - who is also a director of the company behind Sauber.

But Vasseur has denied that Vandoorne is an option for his team.

"He's not in the discussions," Vasseur told Autosport.

Vasseur insisted he is in no hurry to finalise next year's line-up.

"Honestly we are in the middle of the season. And even if everybody is a bit upset and a bit nervous on the drivers' market, if you compare with previous years, I think everybody is much earlier. So we stay calm," he said.

One Sauber seat is reserved for a Ferrari/Alfa Romeo nominated driver. If Charles Leclerc moves either to the works Ferrari team or to Haas, it is expected to go to Antonio Giovinazzi.

The deadline for a decision on that seat is understood to be October 15.

Ericsson is backed by the same Swedish investment group that owns Sauber.

That does not necessarily means his seat is guaranteed, as the owners have given Vasseur responsibility for driver choice and stressed that overall competitiveness is the priority.

But a third points finish in five grands prix for Ericsson with 10th at Spa last weekend has further strengthened his case.

"He's doing a good job. He was one hundredth behind Charles in quali, with an engine issue," said Vasseur.

"In the race he had a strong pace from the beginning, the strategy was the opposite to the guy in front of us. Marcus did well.

"The best way to keep a position for every single driver in the paddock is to do a good job, and he's doing it."

Ericsson agreed he has to keep performing to keep Vasseur onside.

"It's very important and this time of year it's going to be critical," he said.

"In the last five races I've scored points in three of them and double my team-mate.

"That's the sort of statistic that's important for me to show to Fred that I'm making a difference.

"I need to continue that form because I think it's going to be critical for me getting a contract next year.

"Now the team is getting better and better, and I know the competition for the seats is a lot higher than the last two seasons here."

shares
comments
Lewis Hamilton lauds 'brave' Daniel Ricciardo's Renault 2019 'risk'
Previous article

Lewis Hamilton lauds 'brave' Daniel Ricciardo's Renault 2019 'risk'

Next article

Deal to keep German GP on F1 calendar at Hockenhem for 2019 agreed

Deal to keep German GP on F1 calendar at Hockenhem for 2019 agreed
How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history Plus

How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history

It’s 60 years since BRM achieved its goal and Graham Hill led the team to a world title double. But that was just part of the remarkable story of a unique team that at times overstretched its resources and had its fair share of disappointments

The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever Plus

The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever

OPINION: The effectiveness of DRS in Formula 1 remains a topic of debate as the winter break gives a chance for reflection on the racing we saw in 2022. For all of its detractors, perhaps an experiment where DRS is cast aside and the impact this has on racing is in order to truly understand its merits in modern F1

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche Plus

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche

OPINION: Everything looked set for Red Bull and Porsche to join forces for the 2026 season, before the marriage between both parties was called off. While at the time it looked like a major coup for Formula 1 in gaining both VW Group powerhouses Audi and Porsche for 2026, Red Bull and Porsche have really been spared a potentially fractious relationship.

Formula 1
Dec 7, 2022
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Plus

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2022
The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start Plus

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start

While it launched the F1 career 
of a future world champion, STUART CODLING recalls that the BT60 was also the final nail in the coffin of a once-great marque 30 years ago. Here is its story

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022