It was a challenging Saturday at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza for the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team. The team worked hard to repair Marcus Ericsson’s car and both drivers were back on track this morning. After a promising third free practice session, with Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson setting 9th and 16th fastest times respectively, both drivers headed into qualifying feeling confident of their potential. It was a close fight in the midfield with eight drivers covered by one-tenth of a second. Charles Leclerc missed Q2 by 0.002s, ultimately finishing in P17. Marcus did a great job tackling qualifying after having completed only one full session (FP3). He ultimately finished in P19. Marcus Ericsson will take a ten-place grid penalty for tomorrow’s race due to using the 4th engine following his crash in FP2 on Friday. The team is confident of the race pace and with the field so tight, the opportunity is there for both drivers to fight back at Monza.
“First of all, it is good to be back in the car after the crash I had yesterday. Our mechanics worked all night and did a great job to repair the car in time. FP3 was all about getting comfortable again, and I felt good in qualifying. Unfortunately, the result was not what we wanted – with both cars out in Q1. We will analyse what happened and work on making improvements for the race. The result doesn’t change much for me, as we have received a grid penalty for changing my engine. Nevertheless, it is really tight in the midfield, so I hope that we can still fight from there and have a good result tomorrow.”
“I am not sure what happened to our performance between FP3, where we were very competitive, and qualifying. I am very happy with my lap – which is something I rarely say – so that makes it even more frustrating to be out in Q1. We have lots of work ahead of us, and have to understand exactly what happened so that we can recover before the race tomorrow and get a good result.”