Ericsson feels he left F1 after "strongest" season

Marcus Ericsson believes he is leaving Formula 1 at the end of his strongest year in grand prix racing.

Ericsson feels he left F1 after "strongest" season

The Swedish driver will switch to IndyCar next season after Sauber opted for an all-new line-up of Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi for 2019.

Ericsson cited his qualifying form as the chief reason he was comprehensively beaten by rising star and rookie teammate Charles Leclerc over the season.

However, Ericsson said his fifth season in F1 had "definitely been my strongest", with 17th place making his best championship finish.

"It's the race pace that has been very strong this year," said Ericsson. "I've had some really strong races.

"Qualifying has been the problem, I've been too far back compared to Charles and that's made it difficult to keep up with his points tally.

"On tyre management I'm one of the strongest out there at the moment in Formula 1. That's been my biggest strength this year."

Ericsson's nine-point haul from 2018 matched his previous best in F1, from '15, while he also secured a career-best sixth-place start in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

He was unfortunate not to benefit more from a late-season burst of form, as floor damage before the Brazilian GP even started stopped him from making the most of his grid position and he retired from the season finale as well.

Team boss Frederic Vasseur said: "The last part of the season he is consistently in the same lap time like Charles - in front of Charles in Sao Paolo, just behind him in Austin.

"It was very helpful for Charles also to have someone as a reference like Marcus.

"Marcus also has the advantage of very good technical feedback and he helped us a lot at some stages of the season to take decisions on technical side."

Leclerc ended the year with a run of three consecutive seventh-place finishes to finish on 39 points, enough to have earned Sauber eighth in the constructors' championship by himself.

Ericsson said he took pride in the role he played in helping Sauber move from a back-of-the-grid team at the opening race to being a regular top-10 finisher.

"The whole year has been my best in Formula 1, especially the improvement from start of the season to now," said Ericsson.

"In Melbourne we started at the bottom with Williams pretty much, and then we've been improving very impressively from then on and I feel very much a part of that.

"Me and Charles worked very hard together with the team to show the direction we want to go, and the team obviously listened to us and did a good job in improving the car."

shares
comments
Why 2018 left McLaren with no one else to blame

Previous article

Why 2018 left McLaren with no one else to blame

Next article

McLaren: No regrets over "expensive" Honda split

McLaren: No regrets over "expensive" Honda split
Load comments
The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin Prime

The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon in Texas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement Prime

Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man Anthony Peacock explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it).

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
How Verstappen has become F1 champion material Prime

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle Prime

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be set to be another close contest.

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Prime

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021