Frederic Vasseur, Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 2018

Vasseur praises Ericsson’s contribution: ‘It’s not easy to have a team mate like Charles’

2018 F1 season

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Sauber team principal Frederic Vasseur says the value of Marcus Ericsson’s contribution to the team should not be underestimated ahead of his final race for them.

Ericsson has driven for Sauber since 2015 but will not be part of the team’s race line-up next year d next year when the team will run Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi.

Ericsson will combined his duties as third driver for Sauber with a race seat at IndyCar team Schmidt Peterson. Speaking to RaceFans in an exclusive interview, Vasseur said Ericsson will retain a “strong link” with the team.

“I will never forget that he was part of the whole restructuring and as driver he did a very good job,” said Vasseur.

“When I joined he was not in an easy situation with Pascal [Wehrlein]. But he reacted well and he was able to be a bit faster than Pascal in the last races of the season.

“And again with this season with Charles it was not easy, but he was committed and he never stopped to push, and it was helpful for the team. He’s a good team player.”

Ericsson responded well to the pressure from Leclerc, who will move to Ferrari next year.

“It’s not easy to have a rookie like Charles as a team mate,” said Vasseur. “Marcus pushed like hell over the season, he lost weight and until the end he was pushing.”

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2018 F1 season

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 6 comments on “Vasseur praises Ericsson’s contribution: ‘It’s not easy to have a team mate like Charles’”

    1. Say what you like about his speed or lack thereof but Ericsson has been a great team player and professional. The grid won’t be any worse without him but I think he can be quite proud of his F1 career.

      1. @tflb

        but I think he can be quite proud of his F1 career.

        +1
        Ericsson was destined to be overlooked when he did well and judged with a magnifying glass when he didn’t the moment he came into F1 in a backmarker team with the ‘pay driver’ tag. His junior career was absolutely nothing to boast about either. However, the truth is he managed to match successful/highly rated drivers like Kobayashi, Nasr and Wehrlein. The most interesting part is that in all the three cases, he started slower than his teammate but eventually managed to bridge the gap and stand on equal (better in Nasr’s case) terms, which is quite impressive.

        I know it’s too early to judge Leclerc’s level in comparison to the top drivers, but we’ll get to see next year. Either way, the fact that it took a Ferrari-bound talent to truly put Ericsson in the shade reflects well on the latter, and shows that he isn’t as mediocre/trash as some people believe him to be.

        After the announcement of Ericsson being dropped from Sauber, he was shown on TV during FP1 of the Russian Grand Prix and when he caught the camera, he gave a big smile and a thumbs-up. I don’t think he has any regrets. 😁

        1. +1
          Pay driver he may be but I bet that money came in very handy for Sauber.

    2. It’s such a shame his brilliant Brazilian GP qualifying came to nothing in the end, the car beginning to fall to pieces before the race even began. I really hope he can finish on a high in Abu Dhabi, if only so that he can be rated DotW for one race.

    3. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      22nd November 2018, 21:15

      Bit of a shame his best year is also gonna be his last. He has shown this year that maybe he did belong in F1, and I hope he’ll do well in Indycar

    4. Seems like a lovely guy

      All the best to him in Indycar

    Comments are closed.