Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, Suzuka, 2016

Ericsson stays at Sauber for 2017

2017 F1 season

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Marcus Ericsson will continue to drive for Sauber in 2017, the team has announced. However the identity of his team mate remains in doubt.

Ericsson has been partnered by Felipe Nasr at the team since 2014. Nasr scored the team’s first points of the year at the previous race in Brazil.

“A big thanks to everyone within the team for trusting in me again,” said Ericsson. “From a personal point of view, I have developed a lot as a driver during my time at Sauber.”

The team’s future was a matter of speculation earlier this year until it secured new investment from Longbow Finance.

“Since the new ownership there has been a positive push in the team so it will also be exciting to go into this new era,” Ericsson added.

“Many motorsport experts are becoming part of Sauber which is a good sign for the future. For 2017 my aim is to build on my performance from the second half of this season and to continue working hard with the team.”

Ericsson, who is yet to score a point this season, believes Sauber can “make our way up to the midfield with the objective to score points on a regular basis” next year.

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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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28 comments on “Ericsson stays at Sauber for 2017”

  1. A bad driver in a bad team, at least nothing is lost, I hope Nasr won’t be rejected by the team, but honestly I won’t be suprised if they do so.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      21st November 2016, 10:03

      Nasr has performed worse than Ericsson overall from half way through last season until now. Ericsson is clearly the better driver now. I actually think that there are 1 or 2 other drivers that are worse than him as well as Nasr. Nasr had a great drive last race but I can’t say it was as good as his team mate’s drive the race before that.

      It will be a shame to have no Brazilian drivers on the grid next year but IMO, Nasr has been the most disappointing driver on the grid this year. He was performing well as the start of 2015 but soon after that, his team mate Ericsson quite clearly looked the better of the 2 and that has remained the same most of the time this year. Maybe a good reason why Sauber has kept him.

      1. @thegianthogweed It might be right, but on points count back he beats his teammate and that’s what count in the end of the day, Sauber can at least thank him for the prize money he is responsible for.

        1. So you mean they should keep Nasr only because he was lucky to score 2 points in a single race but have been beaten by his teammate the whole season…
          Well, that sounds that like an epic strategy.

          1. That is the hard law of results, if someone does not deliver he is shown the door no matter how talented he is, points mean prizes, that’s all what count in F1 and in life in general, pure results, someone can be hard working but if he does not deliver I can’t see how his corporation can keep him on board, because in the end they are losing money.

          2. You call lucky to finish P9 in the worst condition possible with the worst car on the grid, when many experienced drivers in a better car did crashed and spin several times? It’s not about lucky.

            Nasr is having a bad season because Sauber car this year is completely trash, and his team barely can manage to setup his car right.

            If he was in Force India, he would be as fast as Peres/Hulkenberg at least.

          3. Exactly, that is why Nasr gets sacked…

          4. @abdelilah I see what you mean, but points at the end of the year aren’t all that matters.
            There is a quite famous example of that: in the end of 2001 Tarso Marques was classified ahead of Alonso thanks to the high retirement rate of the Canadian GP.
            No one thought at the end of the year that Marques was the fastest of the two despite the numbers suggesting it.

            This is even more true in F1, a data driven business.

          5. @Miane Nasr had a very good race at Interlagos. But the conditions was terrible and many teams was gambling with the tires, so his result in P9 was mostly luck.
            Nasr didn’t change tyres so he jumped up in the result list when the other teams was gambling with inters. Then he managed to fight off enough chasing cars to score 2 points.

            The intermediate tyre was undrivable so that was why we saw crashes and spins. Not much to do when aquaplaning.

            Why blame the material? A good driver must have the competence to work with the engineers to get the most out of any car. Compared to Ericsson he doesn’t seem to manage just that.

            Faster in a Force India – Yes.
            Faster than Perez/Hulkenberg – ROFL no

        2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          21st November 2016, 12:07

          Yes, indeed the prise money is clearly a huge bonus for the team. But if it wasn’t for stronger cars retiring that race, it is unlikely he would have scored any points. Ericsson would have been 9th last race if just 2 cars in the top 10 retired and would have got the team in the same position as they are now.

          I’m not trying to say Nasr had a bad drive the last race, but much more luck was involved to get him into the points than where Ericsson got to the race before. There was just a Manor that retired in that race and yet even though Ericsson got caught out on the 1st lap, got damage, fell to the back, had to pit for a new front wing, then did 69 laps on the same set of tyres, he still managed to finish 11th. Pretty much no luck was involved there. Driving in the wet is harder I suppose but it was mainly due to when Nasr pitted and everything else going on around him as well as the retirements that allowed him to get those points. Anyway, that was a race he obviously did better than Ericsson in. Although several drivers crashed like Ericsson did and nearly every driver had a near miss too last race.

          1. Both Wherlein and Ocon, highly overrated drivers, had the same strategy on the race and had a bit better car and finished behind. And most of the drivers that abandoned the race were behind him. I think only Raikonen could have finished ahead.

          2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            21st November 2016, 21:42

            Miane, I think that considering Grosjean qualified 7th, he may well have had a good chance to finish ahead of Nasr. It was obviously his own fault that he retired though. But that was another retirement that could well have helped Nasr out. I also feel that Bottas may have had a chance to get past both Alonso and Nasr close to the end if it wasn’t for the team putting him on the intermediates. He was pretty much the only driver on them near the end of the race. They just were not suitable for the conditions but even so, he was doing a similar lap times to those ahead of him. He may well have been able to catch up with Alonso and Nasr if he was on full wets. I still think that if there were no retirements, that Nasr would have been 11th at best. I’m not saying he didn’t have a good drive though. As it was quite easily one of his best since he good drives at the beginning of 2015.

            I can’t agree with what you’ve said before though about Nasr being better than Ericsson. I also can’t agree that you think the team isn’t treating Nasr in the same way as his team mate. Teams just won’t favour one driver. Ericsson has just got better IMO. Ericsson was nothing special in 2014 and the first half of 2015. But from then on, He’s been overall been doing a fair bit better than Nasr. And there is no reason for the team to start treating them differently. Ericsson has had issues with his car too this season. But when the car has been better, he has quite easily been the better of the 2 as pretty much everyone else thinks. Probably a good reason why the team wanted to keep him.

  2. Well he’s been the least worst of the two Sauber drivers this year…

    1. Thanks to the fact Ericsson got ‘dibs’ on the proper car. I doubt Sauber was able to produce 2 equal cars this year. I’ve seen Nasr’s car covered in duct tape at several weekends.. Ericsson has payed the most and Nasr’s sponsors seemed to have missed some payments, so Nasr probably had to work with the crumbles. I’m not a fan of Nasr, but from what I have seen in their previous season and other classes, he sure is a lot better than Ericsson.

  3. The discussion of whether Ericsson or Nasr has been the better driver is interesting. Perhaps @keithcollantine could put his excellent statistic skills into this and produce a piece that gives some insight on the matter? :)

  4. I really don’t understand how drivers such as themselves can be so arrogant. I mean, surely they must know that they just quite simply aren’t good drivers? I know it’s necessary to be in F1, but if I was in the position of either of the Sauber drivers, I’d be thankful I am lucky enough to be somewhere I don’t deserve

  5. Been better this season, still not good enough for F1 IMO, but better than his teammate. Must sting that, despite Ericsson’s best efforts (and indeed better efforts), Nasr got the crucial points. Still, he gets to stay, and Nasr… who knows.

  6. People saying that he is not good enough for F1 etc. Would be interesting to know why you think that?
    It´s so much difference between the cars so it´s almost impossible to compare the drivers, the only one a driver can be compared against is the teammate. Ericsson has been a lot better that Nasr this year.

    If everyone had the same car, then it would be quite easy to compare the drivers.
    Would be fun to see Hamilton in a Manor or Sauber lacking speed and handling for a season. I honestly don´t think he would have done it much better than the current drivers.

  7. I think once Sergio Sette Camara is ready to make his F1 debut he’ll bring back some Brazilian hope back into F1. Sette Camara will be sensational. He’s already proving he has what it takes so seeing Nasr at threat doesn’t bother me for that reason.

  8. Annnnnd that is a surprise to no one

    1. Money talks, eh?

  9. Exciting news, can’t wait to see who the other four drivers contracted to a Sauber race seat for 2017 are!

  10. Nasr never got the same equipment than Ericsson this year. how do you explain that in many rounds of the year, Nasr was much faster than Ericsson on Friday qualifying, then on Saturday and Sunday he was all of a sudden half second slower? Ericsson is not a good driver at all.
    Nasr was meant to go to Force India but Toto Wolff offered Ocon with a discount on Mercedes engine and they chose Ocon. Now Nasr has to stay on Sauber, but Toto Wolff wants Werlein there and it will give Sauber some money for it.

    Toto Wolff is behind Mercedes, Valtteri Bottas, Ocon, Manor, Werlein… tried to call Verstappen to rule him too in Brasil. this guy should be baned from F1.

    1. @vracing27 You can´t really compare lap times on fridays with qualifying times on saturday. The cars don´t even have the same engines during training and qualifying.
      I guess a good driver talks with the engineers during a weekend to get the most out of the car and improve day by day.

      Nasr not getting the same equipment…not happening to regards of the sponsors etc. If that would be true, Sauber would have received subpoenas from both drivers and sponsors. They would have been pretty quick.

      Nasr´s bag of money is not filled next year and to give him a seat at Force India instead of the young Mercedes drivers is not going to happen. He´s not even better than any of them.
      He could perhaps secure a seat at Manor if his management can find some money pretty quick.

      My guess is that Wehrlein is going to Sauber and Nasr is out of F1.

      1. are you sure engines are not the same on practicing and qualifying? that was until last decade, but not now with all the regulations for limited engines. if they had free engines on Fridays they would do many more laps.
        how can somebody that doesnt know the car’s secrets to detect if the cars are truly the same? do you think sponsors would know that?

        Bad thing is that if Nasr stays at Sauber it will always be like that. He’d have to be at Force India, but Mercedes’ ruined the deal… I hope Nasr goes to Manor which is improving their car and let the drivers race free.

        1. Yes, they use practise engines and change from friday to saturday.

          So you mean everything is a big cover up, Sauber changes Nasr´s setup even if he doesn´t want it and put all the upgrades and improvements on Ericssons car to keep Nasr behind.
          Can you honestly say that it´s reasonable?
          Why would a swiss team do that? Because of swedish investors? I don´t know who is behind Longbow finance or whatever their name is but I don´t think they put all this money into Sauber just to support and favorize Ericsson.

          Ericsson outpaced Nasr even before the new investors came in.

    2. Practice doesn’t matter. Sauber have been splitting the setups on the cars on friday and then converged on saturday. Also, Nasr has been running a higher spec engine on friday practice for quite a few race weekends now.

      You just have to realize Nasr isn’t doing well right now and stop blaming his team mate for it. Ericsson has been faster than Nasr in the chassi that Nasr rejected as “broken”. And there is always excuses from Nasr, he did well 1.5 years ago, but ever since then he has been on the back foot against his team mate. I think Nasrs time in F1 is running out. Sorry to say for all Brazilians but..

      I hope they bring in Wehrlein as the reports are suggesting, it will be good for the team and a good test for Ericsson.

      1. I do not know where your information is coming from, but the news I have heard are all about Sauber changing Nasr set-up against his will from Friday to Saturday, and the car is not as good after the changes. Formula 1 cars are so precise and sensible that even a very small change can cause a bad impact. Sauber has had even more Swedish investors, why would them support Nasr before Ericsson? Also Nasr scored the only points for Sauber this year, while Ericsson couldn’t get to the half of the race. not that this is telling who is the best driver but if you are result based it is there to see with no doubt.
        Unfortunately F1 is all about money before drivers real talent and that is a shame for the history of the sport. Then when media say F1 is losing their fans they want to change race format, spray water on the track, and other ridiculous ideas. Choose the best drivers for their talent and not for their money, everybody will see racing improves a lot.

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