Australian Grand Prix - Preview

The await is over. After a long winter, the F1 season opener in Australia has a special taste for the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 as it marks the return of the iconic Italian brand to Formula 1 after more than 30 years as Title Partner of the Team. With the brand new C37, which is equipped with the 2018 Ferrari engine, and a strong line-up – consisting of Marcus Ericsson, a well experienced driver, and Charles Leclerc, a very promising rookie – the team is heading out to Melbourne ready for an exciting season.

Marcus Ericsson (car number 9):
“We are ready and looking forward to the first Grand Prix. It is always exciting to kick off the season in such a fantastic location, and on a track that is fun to drive. The circuit in Albert Park is a mix between a street track and a regular circuit, which is a good challenge for us drivers. The weather is usually quite unpredictable there, so that also spices things up for the weekend. I am looking forward to seeing our new car on track for the full race weekend for the first time. Winter testing was useful in terms of gaining a general understanding of the car’s behaviour and potential. Now, we are moving to the next step when we will start to understand where we are in relation to our competitors. I look forward to it all and can’t wait to be back on track in Albert Park.”

Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal:
“We are starting off the new season with quite a few changes. First of all, we are returning to the paddocks with an iconic Title Partner – Alfa Romeo. Our new car, the C37, is equipped with the 2018 Ferrari engine. Recent winter tests in Barcelona have given us a first understanding of its potential, and we will continue developing it throughout the year. We also have a new driver duo. Marcus (Ericsson) has a lot of experience and has become a key part of the team over the past three years. Charles (Leclerc) is joining us for his debut season in Formula 1. It is always exciting to see a rookie experience his debut in the sport. This Australian GP will be a special one of all of us, and I look forward to starting off the 2018 season on a positive note.”

Tack facts:
Albert Park is a rather special venue and not a permanent race track, thus the surface will be improving throughout the weekend, weather permitting. Its abrasiveness is usually expected as quite moderate so Pirelli has allocated the soft, supersoft and ultrasoft compounds for the race weekend. When it comes to set-up for the new C37, braking stability and traction from low speed, as well as sharp changes of direction, will be important factors.

Circuit: Albert Park / 5.303 km
Race distance: 58 laps / 307.574 km
Schedule: Qualifying 17:00 hrs local time (7:00 CET), Race 16:10 hrs local time (6:10 hrs CET)

Tyre choices Marcus Ericsson:
Soft: 2
Supersoft: 3
Ultrasoft: 8

Driver information Marcus Ericsson:
Born: 02.09.1990 / Kumla (SE)
Height / Weight: 1,80 m / 70 kg
First GP: Australia 2014
GP started: 76
Best race result: 8th Australia (2015)
Best qualifying: 10th Malaysia (2015), 10th China (2015),10th Italy (2015)
Points 2018: –
Points in total: 9