Having ended the most difficult week in the team’s history with a double points’ finish at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, the Sauber F1 Team is aiming to collect more points when the Formula 1 field grids up for this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit.
The Swiss outfit’s build-up to the year’s first race in Melbourne was mired in the controversy over former driver Giedo van der Garde’s claims to one of the team’s race seats. Despite several rulings in the Dutch driver’s favour, the matter was finally resolved in an out-of-court settlement, allowing Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson to drive the team’s Ferrari-powered C34s.
The duo claimed the team’s first championship points in over a year, with rookie driver Nasr finishing a fine fifth on debut, while Ericsson claimed his first points’ finish with an eighth place. It marked the first points’ finish for a Swedish driver since Stefan Johansson claimed a shock podium for the Onyx team at the Portuguese Grand Prix in 1989.
It’s a result which Ericsson is keen to repeat on his second Grand Prix outing at the Malaysian circuit. After crashing out in qualifying, he finished fourteenth at the venue last year driving for Caterham, and was at one point running ahead of than the Ferraris on merit.
“After the great result in Melbourne, it feels good going to Malaysia. I know the track quite well from GP2 and also from last year in Formula One. For me it is quite an interesting circuit with many medium and high-speed corners, which are quite demanding for the tyres,” he said in his preview of the event.
“The Malaysian Grand Prix is one of the toughest on the calendar, because of the high humidity and heat. It means you need to be in good physical shape, and I am sure I am. I have been training very hard over the winter, and before the race in Sepang I have spent one week at a training camp in Thailand getting acclimatised to the humidity.
“I am sure I will be one hundred percent ready when I get to Malaysia. Another aspect which comes into play is that we often have the risk of heavy rain there, so the races are usually quite exciting. I hope we can build on the progress we have made in Melbourne, and have another good race weekend.”
Image via Sauber F1 Team