Ericsson "surprised" by early Sauber deal

Marcus Ericsson admits he was surprised by how early he has managed to secure his Formula 1 future with the Sauber team.

The Swiss squad became the first team to announce its full driver line-up for 2016 on Thursday, when it confirmed both Ericsson and teammate Felipe Nasr.

Ericsson, who joined Sauber from Caterham this year, said sorting his future so early was a boost, as it will help him focus on his performance without distractions.

"Doing it this early is perfect," Ericsson told reporters on Thursday in Hungary.

"It means we can focus only on the performance during the rest of the year and not thinking too much about next year because you know what you have. It's great news and I'm really happy."

He added: "I was very surprised, actually, that it was this early.

"But the team made it very clear that they are both very happy with both me and Felipe and wanted us to stay for next year, and from my side I'm really happy to get to stay on."

Upgrades coming

Sauber, which started the season strongly, has fallen behind its direct rivals in recent races, but the team is planning significant upgrades for the second half of the season.

The team will run an upgraded Ferrari engine in the Belgian Grand Prix, before introducing aero improvements in Singapore.

Ericsson is hopeful the updates will help Sauber return to the position it was when the season began.

"That's the plan, because now it's no secret that we have lost a bit of momentum and we are struggling a bit to keep up with the midfield pack," he said.

"But, hopefully, first at Spa with the engine it should be a quite decent step, and then Singapore we have the aero upgrade, so hopefully in the second half of the year we should be back on the level where we can fight for Q3 and points on a regular basis like we started the year.

"It's difficult to say how much it will bring us, but it should be another decent step for the laptime.

"Hopefully for the last races we can be at the level that we saw in the beginning of the year. That's the aim."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Hungarian GP
Track Hungaroring
Drivers Marcus Ericsson
Teams Sauber
Article type Breaking news