Marcus Ericsson will again feature on the grid for Sauber F1 team next season as the Swiss team continues its consolidation process after a bumpy year.
The buy-in from Longbow Finance in the summer, which has links to Ericsson, and the points scored in Brazil by Felipe Nasr, worth potentially €35 million to the team in FOM prize money, have meant that the team can confront 2017 with a little more confidence than 2016.
The recent signing of chief race engineer Xevi Pujolar, strategist Ruth Buscombe and more recently technical director Jorg Zander, from Audi Sport are likely to be followed by further appointments.
Ericsson has outqualified Nasr 13-7 this year and reached the Q2 part of F1 qualifying twice at the last three races. He crashed on intermediate tyres in Brazil – his 5th retirement of the season, tied with Jenson Button, Jolyon Palmer, Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Gutierrez for the most in the field.
The team has said it plans to announce both 2017 drivers before the end of the season, which means that Ericsson’s team mate may be announced in Abu Dhabi next weekend. Although team principal Monisha Kaltenborn was seen in discussion with former driver Esteban Gutierrez in the Interlagos paddock, he is not thought to be the prime target.
“It is great news that I will be racing for another year for the Sauber F1 Team,” said Ericsson. “I have spent two years with Sauber now, and I really feel at home. A big thanks to everyone within the team for trusting in me again. From a personal point of view, I have developed a lot as a driver during my time at Sauber.
“We have had ups and downs, but we always stick together and work as hard as we can. Since the new ownership, there has been a positive push in the team, so it will also be exciting to go into this new era. Many motorsport experts are becoming part of Sauber, which is a good sign for the future.
“For 2017 my aim is to build on my performance from the second half of this season, and to continue working hard with the team. I cannot wait for the 2017 season, so that we can make our way up to the midfield with the objective to score points on a regular basis.”
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