Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, Monaco, 2018

Ericsson says his qualifying progress was hidden in Monaco

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In the round-up: Marcus Ericsson says the progress he made with his qualifying pace in Monaco was hidden by a series of misfortunes.

What they say

Ericsson has been trying to get closer to Leclerc in qualifying:

It’s been my problem in the last few weekends, qualifying. That’s where Charles [Leclerc] had made a difference. I think race pace we’ve been quite similar but he’s just been able to have the edge in qualifying.

I worked quite a lot on that with the engineers to understand it for this weekend. And I think, to be fair, we took some new steps this weekend but we didn’t manage to show it on the [times].

Both in FP2 on the qualifying run we had an engine problem that my hyper-soft run was not possible to maker, we only made a few laps and couldn’t do a representative lap. Then in FP3 I was on a really good lap, a tenth quicker than Charles’ best lap, and then I had the red flag.

Then in quali we were following each other in the first run, within the same tenth. [On] the second run he got a really good first lap, I didn’t really hook it up on the first one and in the second one was the yellow flag.

I felt like I made some good progress this weekend but on paper it didn’t look like it. But for myself and with my engineers it really felt like we made a good step there in both tyre management [and] also me as a driver to get the balance the way I want it so I can really push it in one-lap performance.

Quotes: Gabriele Koslowski

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Comment of the day

Is standardised active suspension the thin end of the wedge which will lead F1 to single-spec cars?

I can see why people may think this is a step on the road to a spec/one make series. I have the same concerns. What we need to do is think of the the alternative. If one, two or three teams drop out where would their replacements come from? Could you watch F1 races with fourteen cars, nine or ten of which have no chance of winning? That would be crazy.

Survival first. Lets get more teams in. The only way being to make it cheaper. We can think about rolling back the standardisation when F1 gets healthier. In the meantime lets increase the participation and the competition. Good luck to Liberty.
Sean N (@Sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)

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  • 29 comments on “Ericsson says his qualifying progress was hidden in Monaco”

    1. In regards to Ericsson, qualifying has always been his weak spot, he is far better on a Sunday. It’s a shame that after 4-5 seasons in F1, he still has to focus on things he should have wrapped his head around in seasons 1 and 2. His driving in 2018 suggests he does belong in F1, but his performances does not show he has participated in 80 or so races.

      1. ColdFly (@)
        31st May 2018, 8:35

        I agree that Ericsson.has shown some signs of improvement lately.
        However, with LeClerc constantly outperforming him, I don’t rate Ericsson as ‘belonging in F1’.

      2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        31st May 2018, 8:35


        I think that is a fair view. I used to think that he just wasn’t good enough to be in F1, but understood that because of his money, it was a benefit to him being there. Although it has been slow, and the start of most of his seasons haven’t usually been strong, he to me is now good enough to deserve to be here. But I would rate him towards the end of the list out of who is here now. But he hasn’t had any terrible performances this year. Although Baku was certainly pretty bad. But the rest were all decent with some good. But Leclerc has started to get on top of him now. And given the amount of time he’s been in F1, I can understand why some will be against Ericsson. In the races this year, Ericsson to be looked good at the start of Australia, then very good in Bahrain. Leclerc seemed to be struggling in Bahrain, although Ericsson’s strategy was better. China, I’d say Ericsson did slightly better. But then it turned around.

        Many say Ericsson did bad in Spain, but I don’t really think that was the case. He did some really good defending against Sainz and managed to keep him behind for 9 laps until he first pitted. And this was when Sainz was on brand new tyres. Leclerc certainly did better, but they were the closest pair of team mates time gap wise that had both cars left out there even if it was around 15 seconds. Then Monaco was very hard to work out who actually had more pace in the race. Both looked equal from what we had the chance to see.

        I think that Ericsson’s weak point in qualifying (if that is his problem) is not a good sign for Wehrlein. He wasn’t much faster in this area and they were the closest pair of team mates last year with the average qualifying gap.

      3. It just depends on what you mean by “deserves to be in F1”. Can he consistently drive an F1 fast, without causing major issues or crashes? Yes. Is he a driver that gets absolutely everything out of the available car? Not by a long shot.

        It’s been proven year after year after he fails to beat yet another teammate. And while it was easier to “hide” when Sauber was at the last 2 or 4 positions, as they improve he will be exposed more and more. And after a while they will be forced to change him, no matter what his relations with the owners are.

        1. @afonic
          I would say its the opposite. Can he get absolutely everything out of the car? yes. Can he consistently drive fast without causing issues? not by a long shot.

          If Ericsson managed to get his good drives in when it mattered he would have beaten all his teammates by a long shot.

    2. Derek Edwards
      31st May 2018, 7:39

      “we’re going to be doing a bit more work back here to dully understand”

      Definitely a Freudian slip, but so accurate!

    3. I can’t understand all the negativity around Monaco. If it’s not your cup of tea, skip it and enjoy the other 20 races the calendar has to offer.

      I am all for variety and I love the fact that Monaco is unique. Yes it is a stupidly crazy proposition, and gets more so every year, but that’s what makes it so great.

      The three free practice sessions are some of the most enjoyable of the year and qualifying is without doubt the most exciting of the year. For me this makes it worth the price of admission (figuratively and literally). Yes the race is a procession and I would love to see the drivers having to push more, I’m not pretending otherwise. But as an overall event, I still think it’s a valuable part of the calendar.

      I’ve thought for a while the race would be much more interesting if it was the one race of the year where two pit stops were mandatory. This could create some crazy strategies and would entice the leaders to push more to build margins for longer periods.

      1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        31st May 2018, 8:17

        Fully agreed

      2. I really must be a ‘proper’ fan of F1. I found this year’s race at Monaco fascinating because of how weird and slow it was.

        There have been some mega-exciting races at the track in past years. These knee-jerk reactions when one year is boring is simply ridiculous.

        My favourite memory is when rank outsider Olivier Panis won on his birthday in 1996.

        1. I love Monaco- always have. Love the scenic look and a challenging track , can certainly understand people being frustrated though.

          Sunday’s race was not boring for one second for me- I went 2 years ago when he got stiffed and my heart sank when he said “I’ve lost power” – so it wasn’t exciting or boring for me, just bloody stressful 😁 I can’t say it was quite SUZUKA 1988, but i was pretty happy when Dan crossed the line.

        2. Michael Brown (@)
          31st May 2018, 19:59

          While on-track action was bare, I was glued to the screen, so something was definitely interesting. It held my attention better than Spain.

    4. If it’s not your cup of tea, skip it and enjoy the other 20 races the calendar has to offer.</blockquote

      If Syria is not your cup of tea, skip it and enjoy the other 200 countries the world has to offer.

      1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        31st May 2018, 8:18

        Silly comment

      2. ColdFly (@)
        31st May 2018, 8:40

        Not sure what you’re trying to say.

      3. Wow, @aussierod makes a good argument, and all you can do is come up with an association fallacy in return?

      4. I get it mate.

      5. Think of the children.. who had to watch Monaco. Sad day indeed. /s

    5. Congratulations @keithcollantine, I guess it was the champagne that caused you to forget to post the roundup.

      1. Ha ha, but yes, many contratulations to Keith, and the wider team of contributors as well.

    6. Regarding the re-introduction of active suspension systems, why do we have to wait until 2021 for such systems? Why not relax the rule now and let teams decide for themselves whether or not they want to use such a system?

      1. That sounds like it would be chaotic and opposite to the stability and balance and costs they’re looking for amongst the regs and the teams. Have some teams that have the resources do a season to season massive change ahead of a planned massive change for 2021 that gives all teams plenty of time to adapt? Unworkable and unnecessary. I highly doubt they could just take the current cars and slap active suspension on them, as they haven’t been designed for that, so that would mean a complete redesign from this year to next, time needed to learn and work with such a redesign, and then the cars will have to be scrapped for the 2021 regs anyway.

        1. Yes, those are good reasons. Thanks for the explanation.

    7. ColdFly (@)
      31st May 2018, 8:45

      So when at Williams they have an overheating brake they try to solve it by changing the nose.

      1. @coldfly – IIRC, Stroll ended up pranging the car in front of him, necessitating the nose job. Whether that was caused by misjudgment or due to the puncture taking away some control, I wouldn’t know! :-)

    8. Sush meerkat
      31st May 2018, 10:49

      Congratulations to @keithcollantine for the endorsements from much larger publications!

      I just made the realisation I’ve been reading this site almost daily since 2007, 11 years. Wowzers

    9. From the Guardian-article: ”I spoke to Prince Albert the other day and said maybe we should make it longer”
      ”There are more roads so maybe we can change this great track and make it even better.”
      – Wrong. Easier said than done. TBH, there aren’t really any viable options for an alternative route for this particular circuit when looking at the surrounding roads that lead to the roads used for the track.

    10. If you’re that desperate to look cool you should wipe up the mess you made.

    11. If the Monaco Grand Prix was boring it is simply because modern F1 races are boring. An F1 race now is like a running race but the competitors all have to wear wellies and carry a heavy rucksack, there is little joy in watching a race and it sounds like there is little joy in driving in a race either.

    Comments are closed.