Gearbox failure thwarts Ericsson's alternative strategy

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Sauber's Marcus Ericsson and his team mate Pascal Wehrlein were the only drivers to attempt a one-stop strategy in Bahrain.

But while the approach put Wehrlein within a whisker of a top finish, Ericsson's hopes were dashed by a late retirement with seven laps to go.

"The start was good," Ericsson said. "I was the only driver on soft tyres, but I was able to follow the queue quite well.

"The safety car phase came at a bad time for us," he noted. "At the re-start I was in P8, however, the other cars on fresh tyres were able to overtake me.

Ericsson finally made his one and only stop on lap 33 from 15th position.

"After boxing for the supersoft tyres, the lap times were looking good," he reported. "But I was too far off to catch up with the cars in front of me."

Then on lap 50 Ericsson was forced to pull over to the side of the track and retire from the race.

"In the end, I had a gearbox failure, which forced me to stop the car on track," he confirmed. "It was a disappointing race."

"We knew it would have been a difficult race," commented Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn.

"We decided beforehand to choose different strategies in order to benefit from a one-stop-strategy.

"Marcus was the only driver starting on soft tyres," she added. "Unfortunately, he was not able to finish the race due to a gearbox failure just a couple of laps before the chequered flag."

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