Ericsson questions Sauber's Singapore ‘gamble’

© XPB 

Marcus Ericsson feels he and Sauber ‘threw away a chance of fighting for a point’ at the Singapore Grand Prix, after gambling on an early pit stop at Marina Bay Circuit.

Having escaped the chaos from the start, the Swede was running on the cusp of the top-10 positions when his team called him in on lap 8 in a bid to overhaul Renault’s Kevin Magnussen in front. But the undercut did not work and Ericsson ended up 17th after running in dirty air for most of the 61-lap night contest.

“I think the guys took a bit of a gamble with the early stop to get the undercut but I think it was a bit early!” the Sauber driver said.

“So nobody really reacted and the problem was we came out and very early on in the second stint I caught the queue of Ocon, Button, Bottas, Sainz, this train which was going very slow because Ocon was at the head of this train and holding everyone back. Obviously here it is so difficult to overtake so the whole second stint was a disaster really, just staying in that queue.

“I think it was an opportunity missed because the first stint after the start and everything that had happened promised quite a lot. We tried to do something different and it didn’t pay off, for sure.”

With Sauber still looking to open its tally in 2016 and Magnussen eventually scoring the final point on offer at Marina Bay, Ericsson was left to contemplate what might have been.

“I was running between Magnussen and [Esteban] Gutierrez [in the early laps] and Gutierrez couldn’t pass me and I was attacking Magnussen as well. So when you look and you see they finished 10th and 11th it’s frustrating.

“I wouldn’t say we threw away a point because it’s still a long race and we need to look at the numbers if we really could have kept up with these guys over the race. So I wouldn’t say we threw away a point, not at all, but we threw away a chance of fighting for a point, let’s put it that way.”

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