2018 Formula One Emirates German Grand Prix – Race – Sunday
Strong race for Marcus Ericsson, who is back in the points at Hockenheim after finishing in P9
Weather: cloudy and dry, then heavy rain, 24-28°C air, 31-46°C track
With the strength of the good pace shown during the weekend, the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team took the start of the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim with Charles Leclerc in P9 and Marcus Ericsson in P13. The beginning of the race evolved as planned with both drivers fighting in the midfield.
The race changed face when the rain, expected to fall heavily, started. It was a crucial moment and the team decided to call Charles Leclerc in to pit on lap 43, and change to intermediate tyres. When the rain decreased just a few laps later, the tyre performance dropped requiring Charles to pit again to change back to ultrasoft tyres. From that moment, his race was an uphill battle with the track conditions made particularly challenging by intermittent rain. He finally finished the race in P15.
It was a different race for Marcus Ericsson who drove a long first stint, changing from soft to ultrasoft on lap 38. When it started to rain, he remained on track where he was very good at controlling the car and managing his tyres. In a hectic race, with many of the teams pitting, and a hard fight in the midfield, he remained calm and determined, finally finishing in P9 and scoring two more points for the team.
After an overall positive weekend, the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team heads into the final round ahead of the Formula One summer break feeling confident. With two additional points to its tally, the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team holds 9th place in the Constructors’ Championship (18 points). Charles Leclerc is currently in P15 (13 points), and Marcus Ericsson in P17 (5 points) in the Drivers’ Championship.
Marcus Ericsson (car number 9):
C37 (Chassis 03/Ferrari)
Result: 9th. Start on soft tyres, after 38 laps change to ultrasoft tyres
“It is very satisfying to be back in the points. It was a difficult race, especially in terms of managing the tyres. We had a long first stint on soft tyres. After the rain started, together with the team, we decided to keep calm and stay out. It was a big challenge not to make any mistakes because the track was very slippery and demanding but I was able to manage the hectic situation. At the end of the race, there was a lot of pitting among the teams, and there were some good fights for the points. All in all, it was a fun race to drive, and it is very satisfying to finish it in P9. It is great for the team, a great boost for all of us, and we go to Budapest feeling positive.”
Charles Leclerc (car number 16):
C37 (Chassis 02/Ferrari)
Result: 15th. Start on ultrasoft tyres, after 20 laps change to soft tyres, after 43 laps change to intermediate tyres, and after 46 laps change to ultrasoft tyres
“It was a disappointing outcome to the race for me today. After having a good start, I was able to keep my position in the upper midfield during the first stint. The performance was good and I felt confident in the car. As the rain started to appear, I was called in for a change to intermediate tyres. As the track was only wet in a few of the corners, the tyres were destroyed after just a few laps. From that moment, the race was a struggle. I lost a lot of positions in that time, and it was a challenge to try and get the tyres to work. It is unfortunate to finish the race in this way. However, we did make good progress again this weekend. I am now focused on the next race in Hungary, and look forward to being back in the car there.”
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal:
“There were two sides to the race today. Marcus had a very positive day. He managed a demanding situation very well and had good control of the slick tyres on a wet track. He gave a strong performance and good pace from beginning to end, scoring two more points for the team. On the other hand, it was a tough race for Charles. He started in a good position and showed a strong performance. Unfortunately, we made a risky call when it started to rain. We brought him in and put him on intermediate tyres. That compromised his race. Looking at the race weekend as a whole, we made good progress and are confident that we will continue on this positive path during the upcoming Grand Prix weekend in Hungary.”