Ericsson labels new Sauber as a 'nicer package'

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Marcus Ericsson got his first taste of his 2016 mount yesterday but a series of setbacks limited the Swedes time behind the wheel of Sauber's new C35.

Ericsson was late to take to the track because of an overnight engine change of the Ferrari power unit which wasn't quite finished, and was forced to stop at one point in the afternoon when the Sauber lost its rear right wheel, an incident which caused a red flag period in the session.

"It was a difficult day, which was very much compromised, especially in the morning, by issues on the technical side," explained Ericsson.

The 25-year-old was at odds to explain why the C35 had lost its wheel, beaching the Sauber in the run-off area.

"There was no warning, it was my third lap, I think.

"We're not sure 100 percent yet, they are investigating. Basically it just fell off when I went into the corner… It was just the wheel."

“We were still able to do some useful running, with longer stints in the afternoon, which was good for me to get a feel for the new car for the first time.

"However, sometimes this sort of thing happens with a new car when testing. Let’s look forward to the next time I test on day four."

Despite his limited running, Ericsson offered his assesment on the C35's improvements compared to last year's car as well as on Ferrari's new power unit.

"I think there's potential there, as you can feel that Ferrari have taken some steps forward.

"Compared to last year's car, I feel the braking stability has improved, while on the aero side, it feels better in the high speed corners and it's a bit more stable.

"Overall, when you're driving it seems like a nicer package, it's a bit easier to predict what it's going to do."

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