Sauber has yet to get the full potential out of its 2018 car despite such a clear improvement this year, according to Marcus Ericsson.
Following an uncompetitive 2017, Sauber opted for a new aerodynamic concept for this year at the same time as receiving the latest specification of Ferrari power unit, and has made rapid progress to fight consistently in the midfield. Ericsson said at the start of the season that Sauber had the greatest potential to improve with its new car, and the Swede believes that remains the case ahead of the second part of the season.
“There is for sure more potential in it,” Ericsson said. “I think we understand where we want to run this car and what the optimum is to get the most out of it, but still we know there are areas where we can improve, so that’s where we try and improve with the tools we have and with new parts and aero, mainly.
“We’ve done a great job there throughout the season to bring parts pretty much every race. Hopefully we will do it for a bit more, but then obviously gets a bit less towards the end of the year. We still have some stuff coming after the summer break as well.”
Ericsson attributes the progress made so far this season to an overall improvement across the team, rather than a specific weakness having been addressed.
“I think looking where we came from the last two seasons, it has been very impressive, the way the team has done. Also to be fair, where we were after the first week of testing to where we are now is also quite impressive, the rate of progress we’ve made.
“I wouldn’t say there’s one specific area where we’ve been super-good or super-bad, it’s been the whole team that has been stepping up and all departments have been stepping up. That’s what makes the difference, it’s teamwork, and you cannot have one department that’s really good and then other departments not working. The chain needs to be complete to improve.
“I think that’s been one of the keys – that we’ve been able to have all the departments work very hard together and improve the whole concept and the whole car. The car is just better in all areas, the power unit is also, and it’s been a good improvement.”
Asked if he looks forward to running the updated power unit in Spa and Monza, Ericsson replied: “I really do, yeah.
“I really think Spa and Monza can be good tracks for us, I’m looking forward to that. It’s tracks that we like! In Budapest you don’t really see much, there and Monaco are probably the ones where you see the least of what the engine can do, so I think Spa and Monza can be very interesting. Hopefully very good.”