The Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team was back in the points for the second consecutive race at the end of yesterday’s Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona and they can take plenty of satisfaction away with it from the result after a very competitive race.
It was the third time the Swiss team, this year featuring title sponsorship from Alfa Romeo, has finished in the points with Charles Leclerc claiming the last championship point on offer after finishing in tenth place while his team mate Marcus Ericsson came home thirteenth.
Both drivers gave a strong performance during the race, fighting for positions in the midfield but the team’s Monegasque rookie Leclerc stood out as he has brought home the Sauber-Ferrari C37 for another points finish just two weeks after scoring his first Formula 1 points in Baku.
Leclerc, who ran as high as eighth place mid race, showed off plenty of speed and maturity as he was forced to spend much of his afternoon fending off the attention of former double world champion Fernando Alonso's Mclaren.
Leclerc’s also appears to be unlocking a quicker pace now F1 has returned to Europe and the last two races where he has finished in the points also coincide with tracks that he knows well from his time in more junior formulae.
Ericsson performed well, especially during the first stint, with the experienced Swede making good attacks and defence on medium tyres.
The team now has a total of 11 points and holds ninth place in the Constructors’ Championship while Leclerc is currently in P13, and Ericsson in P16 in the Drivers’ Championship.
In addition to the outcome of the race, the team yesterday celebrated the anniversary of Alfa Romeo’s first victory in Formula 1 – a result achieved by Nino Farina on the 13th of May 1950 in the Alfa Romeo GP Tipo 158 “Alfetta” at Silverstone.
C37 (Chassis 03/Ferrari)
Result: 13th. Start on medium tyres, after 35 laps change to soft tyres
“I was strong in the first half of the race with the medium tyres, then we were a bit unlucky with the virtual safety car coming right after our pit stop and that was really frustrating. In the second stint, I struggled more on the soft tyre. The result was a bit disappointing because we were in the fight and not too far off scoring points. Overall it was a good race, I had very good fights and defended well. The fact that Charles scored points is very positive for the team and from my side I need to bounce back in Monaco.”
C37 (Chassis 04/Ferrari)
Result: 10th. Start on soft tyres, after 20 laps change to medium tyres
“It is a great feeling to finish in the points again. It was quite an interesting race, with tricky weather conditions making it challenging to drive, especially in terms of tyre management. We have made considerable progress since the beginning of the season, and the whole team is eager to continue working hard in this direction. It will be important to stay focussed – the next Grand Prix will be my home race in Monaco, and I am very excited to drive my first Formula 1 race there.”
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal:
“We leave Barcelona feeling positive. We had a very strong rhythm at a certain stage of the race and scored one point, which we did not anticipate before arriving here as it is quite a demanding track. Both drivers put in a good performance, and we scored points for the third time this season. The team is motivated to keep pushing and we have to stay focussed now to make the next step.”
Photos: Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team - 2018 FIA F1 World Championship