Ericsson: Sauber told me to “go for it” before Nasr clash

Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson claims his team did not warn against his attempt to overtake teammate Felipe Nasr that ended in disaster during the Monaco Grand Prix.

Ericsson: Sauber told me to “go for it” before Nasr clash
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber F1 Team C35
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C35
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber F1 Team
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C35 and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
Felipe Nasr, Sauber C35
Felipe Nasr, Sauber F1 Team
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C35
Felipe Nasr, Sauber F1 Team
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C35

Neither Sauber was able to continue to the finish of the race after they collided heavily at Rascasse, although Ericsson managed to complete another three laps.

Before the crash, Nasr had been told to allow Ericsson to pass – but decided to ignore the instruction. So Ericsson felt within his rights to attack, leading to the incident. 

Stewards found him at fault, however, and have him a grid penalty for the next race in Canada.

“I was feeling very strong on the ultrasofts, catching [Nasr] three, four seconds a lap,” Ericsson told Motorsport.com. “I asked the team for the procedure and they told me he was gonna let me past, because the speed difference was so big.

“For seven or eight laps he didn’t let me through. I told the team ‘look, I’m losing too much time’ and said I was going to make a move and they said ‘yeah, go for it’.

“I was behind for so many laps, and I saw from earlier with Bottas [when he clipped the Williams] and from GP2 I knew you can pass there. I knew it was possible. Obviously the end result was not what I expected.

“I’m 100 percent sure we’ll solve this and move forward. It’s tough competition, we need to discuss it and clear the air. We’ve had some incidents before [between them in GP2] and done that.”

Nasr’s version of events

Ericsson’s teammate Nasr was also sticking to his guns following the collision, and the Brazilian claimed he was within his rights to defend his position – despite the team orders otherwise.

“I think it was unnecessary the way it ended up,” Nasr told Motorsport.com. “For me, it had been a fantastic race starting from the pitlane, and it ended up like this.

“I heard them asking [for him to let Ericsson past] many times, but I didn’t feel it was the right time to do it. I didn’t see a reason, I was doing my own race, racing the cars ahead.

“After my pitstop, I got the leaders coming past so I got blue flags for three laps in a row. So when I started to recover, of course Marcus had warmer temperatures.

"But mine we coming up OK, and I was catching Grosjean by two seconds per lap. He had a Manor in front.

“Before the crash happened, I was less than a second behind Grosjean and we were clearly catching the cars in front. For me there was no reason why the two cars went out of the race.

“If there’s team orders or not, the two cars have to be on the track – we’re teammates in the end.”

Interviews by Oleg Karpov

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