Ericsson itching to get back to racing in Malaysia

2 Comments

Formula 1 rookie Marcus Ericsson is itching to get back into his Caterham car for the Malaysian Grand Prix next weekend following a solid if not spectacular start to his Formula 1 career last weekend in Australia.

The Swedish youngster was signed by Caterham for 2014 following four years in GP2 where he established himself as a race winner and built up a cult following in his native country.

However, in Australia, Ericsson failed to match teammate Kamui Kobayashi during qualifying and finished the session in 20th position. In the race, he managed to work his way up into 11th place at one point, but eventually dropped back before retiring due to an oil pressure problem. Nevertheless, he is keen on getting back to work in Malaysia next weekend.

“I can’t wait to get back in the car, especially after having a really good race until the oil pressure problem forced us to stop in Australia,” Ericsson explained. “It’s been great to read so many nice comments about what we did in the race after such a bad Friday, but now I want to get on with it again and go straight back to work.”

Unlike Albert Park in Australia, Ericsson has raced at Sepang before, with the race making up part of last year’s GP2 championship.

“Sepang’s a track I’ve already raced on, so that’s obviously an advantage over Australia,” he said. “I really like the heat and have trained hard all through the winter to prepare for races like Malaysia, so I’ll be 100% ready physically, but I’m still just loving being in F1 and for race two to be a home race for Caterham and on a track I know and like, that’s just really good for me.”

Teammate Kamui Kobayashi is also hoping to record his first finish of the season in Malaysia after retiring from the Australian Grand Prix at turn one, and with the race being Caterham’s official ‘home race’, both drivers will be hoping to make it a weekend to remember.

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.