Caterham driver Marcus Ericsson has completed his final test ahead of his Formula 1 debut at the Australian Grand Prix in two weeks’ time, completing more milage than any other driver in Bahrain today.
Ericsson, who is set to become the first Swedish driver to start a grand prix since Stefan Johansson at the 1991 Canadian Grand Prix, finished in eighth place on Saturday with a fastest lap of 1:38.083 and completed 117 laps with no problems. Given the engine issues that have blighted much of the Renault-powered teams’ best efforts this winter, it was an impressive display from the Swedish youngster.
“I’m very pleased we finished off my pre-season tests with so many laps and I want to thank the team for working so hard last night to fix the car after the problems we had yesterday,” Ericsson said.
“The day went exactly to plan – we started with a few short runs to go through some setup options, and then ran very nearly a whole race simulation, including stops, which was just what we wanted to do today.”
With Kamui Kobayashi returning to the wheel of the CT-05 car tomorrow in Bahrain, Ericsson’s next track time will come during practice for the Australian Grand Prix. However, he feels well prepared and pleased with what he has achieved over the winter.
“I’m back in the factory next week for more sim sessions, and we have more new parts coming for Australia so we have lots to look forward to.
“Overall I’m happy, for the team and for me, and I’m more excited than ever about starting the race season properly in Australia.”
After four years in GP2, Ericsson will be hoping to make a good impression on his Formula 1 debut later this month. With reliability set to be a big problem during the first few races of the season, there is a chance that Caterham could be on track to score their first ever points in the sport, and Ericsson will be keen on being the man to achieve that feat.