Marciello pleased with practice progress at Sauber

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MONTMELO – Sauber reserve driver Raffaele Marciello was pleased to have enjoyed another successful practice outing for the team on Friday ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix as he continues to make steps towards a Formula 1 seat.

The Ferrari-backed youngster is tipped to be one of the future stars of the sport, and is currently balancing a reserve driver programme at Sauber with a full season in GP2.

Marciello took part in practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix at the end of March, and followed this up with a second run-out in Spain on Friday ahead of this weekend’s race.

“[It was] quite busy but it was quite good,” Marciello said when asked about his session by MotorSportsTalk. “My FP1 session was good, I think. I was quite close to Felipe [Nasr].

“I did improve a lot on the second run, it was not easy to do all the constant speed plus also warm up the tires. But I think it was not bad for me.

“Compared to Malaysia, it was better, I know the track here so it was better for me. Also I had already the feeling of the car from Malaysia so I knew where the limit was and it was easier, for sure.”

Immediately after the session, Marciello had to take part in GP2 practice for Trident, where he finished in ninth place. However, he did not feel affected by doing the sessions so close to one another in different cars.

“No, it was quite close,” Marciello said, comparing his Sauber F1 and Trident GP2 cars. “There was not much difference.

“Only two seconds, also the braking point was not much different because with F1 you arrive faster, so you arrive at the same point as GP2. So I think it was good to do F1 after GP2 because it is quite similar.”

Marciello’s next outing for Sauber will come at next week’s in-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and he is relishing the opportunity to enjoy some longer runs behind the wheel of the C34 car.

“During FP1 you don’t have a lot of time,” he said. “You’re afraid to crash or something. During a test you have all day, so you can do warm up laps. You can do long runs, of course during a normal day you have more chance to improve.

“I also improve myself when I test new parts. We need to improve together so we will do a bit of everything.”