It has been announced today by the Sauber team that Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr have both had their contracts extended to next season.
Ericsson, currently in his second season of Formula 1, entered the sport in 2014 when he drove for Caterham. He joined Sauber in 2015 and managed a very creditable 8th position in Australia in the first race of the year.
In an interview with the media today, Ericsson is delighted to to extend his contract into 2016. Ericsson stated the following:-
‘I’m very happy that the Sauber F1 Team has put its trust in my potential for another year. Up to now I have some good memories of my first year with the long-standing Swiss team. I had a great start from the very beginning, and it is worth mentioning my first points in Formula One that I scored right away during the season-opener.’
It is clear that Ericsson is happy to remain with Sauber for another season after having in his words a great first year with the team especially scoring his first points in the sport at the first race of the season with Sauber which surely has helped his case to extend his seat with the team until next season.
Further on in his interview with the media, Ericsson believes that he can improve as he is given more chance to settle in. The fact that he has a drive for next year will help as well. Ericsson added the following;-
‘I am getting to know everyone within the team more and more, and feel I am being appreciated as a valuable driver. I feel honoured to be part of the Sauber Motorsport family, and I will continue to do my very best to succeed.’
Even though Ericsson is still learning with the team as a driver, he feels that the team have given him the environment to learn while also have the chance to develop more as a driver on the track as well and wants to build upon the success that he has already achieved with the team heading into next season.
Although Nasr is in his debut season in Formula 1; he has already shown much potential. The Brazilian has impressed right from the opening race in Australia where he finished 5th. He has managed a further 6 points over the course of the season.
In his interview with the media, Nasr believes a contract extension with the Swiss team continues to point his career in the right direction. Nasr stated the following:-
‘It is great to be driving another season for the Sauber F1 Team. The extension to the contract is an important step in my career. During the first half of the season, in what is my rookie year, I was able to gain a lot of experience from a driving perspective as well as on the personal side.
‘Finishing fifth at my first ever Formula One race in Melbourne in the Australian Grand Prix is so far my career highlight.’
It is clear that Nasr just like Ericsson is delighted to have his services renewed for next season and believes that this will only strengthen his career in the sport even more as a result of this. As Nasr says he is still in his rookie season and still has a lot to learn about himself as a driver and also about the team too, but scoring points on his F1 debut surely has helped his case to be resigned for next season.
Further on in his interview, Nasr feels that the experience he has gained thus far will continue to help him improve and is especially looking forward to the second half of the season. Nasr added the following:-
‘Now I am looking forward to the second half of the season. My objective is to support the team as best I can, and also with regard to the development of the new car.’
It is clear that Nasr is pushing himself to acquire more mileage and experience in the car and with the team and wants to do the best job as he can in order to help the team improve their performance on the track, while also developing the car.
Sauber Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn has stated to the media today that both their young drivers deserved their extensions and believe that they have the potential to succeed as well as being talented generally. Kaltenborn stated the following:-
‘We are pleased about the extension of the contracts with Marcus and Felipe. This early point in time shows that the drivers and the team are sure they are heading in the right direction. We have full confidence in the talents and skills of Marcus and Felipe. Both have shown solid performances, gained experience and learnt quickly.
‘We enjoy having them in the team and they give it a positive boost. Despite their young ages, they work very professionally – on as well as off the track.’
Overall, it is clear all the parties are delighted to remain working together for the 2016 season. The fact that Sauber are continuing with their driver line up shows that the team believe they are doing good jobs and rate their abilities as drivers as well while gaining experience all the time with the team and also with the car on the track.
Ericsson and Nasr have done the best jobs that they can do on the track so far this season; given the fact that the team simply just don’t have the money to update their car as much as the bigger teams on the grid. And you can see why Sauber have renewed their contracts and this will provide the team and the drivers with the stability that they need (especially given the contract situation at the start of the season- less said the better!)
This can only be a positive for all concerned and I am sure that with their driver line up announced, they can start focusing and concentrating all their efforts on building on what they have managed to achieve so far this season and build towards the future.
And Nasr and Ericsson are big parts of that future and I really hope that for Sauber’s sake they do the best job that they can do on the track and deliver the results when the opportunity arises.