The Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team turned in a strong performance during yesterday’s Austrian Grand Prixat the Red Bull Ring with its drivers fighting back superbly following an unproductive qualifying to finish in the points, the first time this year the team has enjoyed seeing both its cars in the points paying positions.
Starting from P17 due to a 5-position grid penalty for a gearbox change that was necessitated after failure in the FP3 session, Charles Leclerc made a good start and gained several positions.
His race came unstuck however when he went wide on lap two and fell back to P19. From that moment on though, he started a strong recovery drive and steadily fought his way back into the midfield.
It was also a strong grand prix for Marcus Ericsson who showed consistent pace throughout the race. Having started from P18, he progressed step-by-step and finished the race to score points for only the second time this season and his first since the Bahrain Grand Prix back in April where he finished in P9.
During the closing laps of the race both Leclerc and Ericsson moved up into the top ten positions, scrapping with each other, albeit the pair on different tyre strategies, as well as mixing it up with the McLaren-Renault of Fernando Alonso whom they both tried to pass.
The Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team departs from Austria with 3 further points to its tally – with Charles Leclerc finishing in P9 to earn to 2 points while Marcus Ericsson added another point thanks to his P10 finish. The team is currently in ninth place in the Constructors’ Championship with 16 points.
In the Drivers’ Championship, Leclerc currently holds P14 with 13 points while Ericsson is in P18 and has scored 3 points.
C37 (Chassis 01/Ferrari)
Result: 10th. Start on soft tyres, after 45 laps change to supersoft tyres
“It was a great race. I felt good in the car and had strong pace right from the start of the race. Our strategy worked very well. We also had another fast pitstop from the mechanics and I am really proud of the crew. It is a great result for the team to have both cars finish in the points today, especially after the difficult qualifying yesterday. We can all be proud of how we bounced back. I am really happy for the team and myself. I look forward to Silverstone, one of my favourite tracks.”
C37 (Chassis 04/Ferrari)
Result: 9th. Start on supersoft tyres, after 16 laps change to soft tyres
“It was an exciting day. After advancing quite a bit at the start, I fell back after a few laps and had a tough job ahead of me to recover enough positions to score some points. There was a lot of action during the race, and some good overtakes, so I really enjoyed driving today. It is great for the team that both cars finished in the top 10. This is an extra boost of motivation for all of us ahead of the upcoming races, and I look forward to seeing what they will have in store for us.”
Frédéric Vasseur (Team Principal)
“It was a very good race for us. Both our drivers made a great recovery after starting from quite far back on the grid. To have two cars finish in the points today is an important achievement for the whole team, both at the track and in the factory. This is another sign for us that we are moving in the right direction. We have to keep our focus on continuing in this direction for the next few races to finish the first half of the season on a positive note.”
Photos: Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team - 2018 FIA F1 World Championship