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Marcus Ericsson (SWE), Sauber F1 Team. Suzuka Circuit.

Ericsson: I expect a tough fight with Wehrlein

Marcus Ericsson (SWE), Sauber F1 Team. Suzuka Circuit.

It would be fair to say that Marcus Ericsson has not set the Formula 1 world alight in his 56 grand prix starts to date, now this season he will be paired with highly rated Pascal Wehrlein, and the Swede is relishing the opportunity to measure up against the German in the Sauber team.

Ericsson told the official F1 website, “I think it’s great news for me and Sauber. Pascal is a very fast and respected driver with a great CV. I think we can really push each other and the team forward, so I am looking forward to a great season.”

“I honestly rate him highly. He’s won the DTM championship and been part of the Mercedes family for a long time, so they seem to believe a lot in him. Of course my aim is to beat him – what else – and I expect it to be a tough fight. But that’s exactly what I need in order to perform at my best.”

Ericsson is in Formula 1 by virtue of loyal backers who believe in his abilities. He was confirmed by Sauber earlier than expected, “There really aren’t enough drives in F1 if you look at how many great drivers there are around, and being in F1 is the ultimate dream of each and every one of these drivers.”

“Coming back to my situation, believe me it relaxes your mind massively knowing you are confirmed – no nail biting over the winter!”

Sauber were rescued from oblivion by Longbow Finance during the 2016 season. With their future assured, the Swiss team are now focusing on becoming a force on track.

Ericsson said, “It definitely takes time, but I think it’s clear that if you look at the second half of last season we really made some big progress. And the aim is, of course, to continue that way in 2017.”

“We’ve had some great people decide to join the team in the last couple of months and that also makes a difference. So all in all it feels like we’re moving in the right way. And with two young and hungry drivers in the cockpits we should be on a good run.”

“I think the financial stability we now have in the team makes a big difference already. And like I said, there have been some great people joining the team lately that will make a difference. But also everyone in the team now is so motivated with this fresh start.”

“Instead of focusing on surviving, everyone is now pushing 100 percent on finding performance. That surely will make a big difference,” added Ericsson.