After a dismal 2014 that saw the Hinwil-based team fail to score a point, the new Sauber chassis has shown signs of being a step forward compared its predecessor, while also benefitting from an upgraded Ferrari power unit. Ericsson managed to get some significant mileage as he completed 101 laps in the C34 before running out of fuel and stopping on track in the closing stages of the session. Having driven on both the opening and final days, Ericsson was buoyant after stepping out of the car.
“We’ve had a really good test,” Ericsson said. “I think it is also very positive because every day we’ve done a lot of laps with no real issues on the car.
“For me driving on day one and on day four, it was interesting to see the progress we have already made. [Comparing] the car I started with on Sunday to the one I drove in the afternoon, it’s already quite a step forward.”
Session-topping times from Sauber undoubtedly raised a few eyebrows in the paddock, with the cash-strapped team’s need for sponsors remaining a well-documented subject. However, Ericsson insists he completed his flying lap while conducting a race simulation on soft tyres. Like team-mate Felipe Nasr yesterday, the Swede believes there’s more to come from the car and hopes the pair’s strong early performances will prove a significant boost.
“We’ve quite a bit of margin to be honest, so that’s also positive. We have been focusing on our programmes, we’ve done a lot of different stuff, tried a lot of different tyres. All in all we are very happy with these four days and have something to build on for the rest of the pre-season.
“It feels everyone in the team is really excited about this season. I think I made that feeling even better this week, sending more energy to the guys back home. We need to push on and continue to work hard, and see in Melbourne where we are.”
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