With the unknowns of the grid of Formula 1 to be resolved gradually, and the confirmation that the canadian Lance Stroll will be the second pilot of Williams, all eyes are on the seat without owner most coveted of the moment: the second car of Force India, for the that have been heard several candidates, being the rumors about the pilots Mercedes (Esteban Ocon and Pascal Wehrlein) the most prevalent.
One of the options that you have sounded with more force in the last few weeks is that of Marcus Ericsson. The pilot swede, who dispute this year, his third season in Formula 1, and second in the team Sauber, has played a remarkable second half of the season, especially since the end of the european phase of the calendar. It takes as two classifications consecutive coming in Q2, and has already accumulated three in the last five sessions of qualifying, while his teammate Felipe Nasr has not passed the first elimination from the Grand Prix of Hungary.
Sauber, first choice… but not the only
Ericsson has, in addition, with the best results of Sauber in the race this year: she got three duodécimas positions in Bahrain, Spain and Malaysia (by one of Nasr in Azerbaijan), and in the past Gran Premio de Mexico, recovered from an initial incident with a long stint of 69 laps to finish the test without making any stop, running out to the doors of the first point of the team this year, in eleventh place.
Given this progression, the possibility that Ericsson opts for a leap forward level in terms of single-seater has been the subject of speculation, but this prefers to remain cautious and consider all of your options. In statements to Motorsport, the swede maintained that the most plausible is it to continue one more year at Sauber, but does not rule out the possibility of finding accommodation in another site if given the opportunity.
“Mand I have become a pilot much better in the last year and a half, and I want to be in a car that can prove it. Perhaps what has Sauber the next year, but there are also other seats and, if there is the opportunity, we have to be there and to see what options there are. most likely I’ll stay, but still I don’t want to rule out other seats that are free”.
“I Think that my performance from the european season has been extremely strong, and it is a good time of year to be in good shape. It has strengthened my position in the team. You always want to have it all tied up as soon as possible, but still there is no rush in that sense. it Would be great to know before Abu Dhabi, and start the winter knowing what I have to do next year.”
Ericsson may have good reasons to stay at Sauber. After passing through a tough financial period and of performance, in which the continuity of the team was in serious danger, the entry into action of their new owners, Longbow Finance, the past month of July, has breathed air into the computer of Monisha Kaltenborn, in addition to a significant cash injection that has allowed to pay off the debts and put in place the aero upgrades that had been left pending.
This has been noticed in a greater competitiveness of the team with respect to their direct rivals (Renault, Manor), and it is not unreasonable to conceive that Sauber can get to the point that would allow him to overcome Manor in the constructors for the tenth and penultimate place. Ericsson is aware of this, and highlights that the environment has changed radically in Hinwil.
“It’s much more attractive that makes, say, five months. I think the team is making great progress, it is showing what it can do. Tienen some resources to develop the car, and it is what we need as a team. The last couple of years, I have been in survival mode and, suddenly, you are in the search mode of performance. That changes things a lot, and obviously the atmosphere in the team has completely changed”.