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Ericsson: Sauber punching above its weight in 2015

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Marcus Ericsson believes that Sauber has outperformed all expectations he had upon joining for the 2015 Formula 1 season.

Ericsson joined the Swiss team following one year at the back of the grid with Caterham, and scored his first F1 points at the Australian Grand Prix in March.

After failing to score in 2014, Sauber has enjoyed a more successful campaign this season to sit ninth in the constructors’ championship with 36 points to its name.

Speaking to the official F1 website, Ericsson admitted that he was unsure where Sauber would be in the pecking order in 2015 upon joining, but has been pleasantly surprised.

“I didn’t really know what to expect,” Ericsson said.

“Sauber is a team with a great history but also Sauber had a very difficult year last year so when I joined it was absolutely not clear what it would be and were we would start from.

“To be honest, it outperformed my expectations. We have been points candidates in almost every race.”

As well as being more successful on-track, Sauber has found stability off it after a turbulent driver saga that marred the start of the new season.

Having originally planned to partner Giedo van der Garde with Jules Bianchi before the latter’s accident in Japan last year, the team signed Ericsson alongside GP2 graduate Felipe Nasr for 2015.

Van der Garde had a standing contract with the team for 2015 still, prompting the Dutchman to launch legal action against the Swiss team ahead of the Australian Grand Prix in March.

An out-of-court settlement was eventually reached, but the affair did raise concerns about Sauber’s stability and future driver options.

However, the team was one of the first to confirm its line-up for 2016, retaining both Ericsson and Nasr in a move that the Swede thinks will only reap benefits.

“I think it will be better as it will give stability to the team,” Ericsson said. “We know now the ins and outs, we know the working procedure, and we know the mentality.

“We are both very involved in next year’s car, speaking with the engineers about what we want from the car.”

IndyCar entry lists for Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

IndyCar entry lists Indianapolis
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There are 25 drivers on the NTT IndyCar Series entry lists at Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with a few new yet familiar faces for the Oct. 2-3 race weekend.

Four-time champion Sebastien Bourdais will make his season debut in the No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet (shifting Dalton Kellett to the No. 41) with AJ Foyt Racing, which he is joining full time next season. James Hinchcliffe, who had run three races with Andretti Autosport, will return in place of Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda. Helio Castroneves will drive Arrow McLaren SP’s No. 7 Dallara-Chevy for Oliver Askew, who is out with concussion-like symptoms.

Sage Karam, who has two IndyCar starts this year at IMS (the road course on July 4 and the Indy 500 on Aug. 23), also will return to the series in Dreyer & Reinbold’s No. 24 Dallara-Chevrolet.

HARVEST GP ENTRY LISTS: Friday l Saturday

Friday and Saturday of the Harvest GP presented by GMR will mark the second and third races this season on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. While the July 4 race on the circuit was 80 laps, Friday’s distance is 85 laps, and Saturday will be a 75-lap event.

Championship leader Scott Dixon led 26 of 80 laps to win the July 4 race at the IMS road course. With three races remaining in the series, the five-time series champion enters with a 72-point lead on Josef Newgarden.

Click here to see who’s on the IndyCar entry lists in Race 1 and in Race 2 for the Harvest GP presented by GMR at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.


START TIMES AND TV INFO FOR INDYCAR AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY ROAD COURSE (all times ET):

Thursday

IndyCar NTT Series practice: 2:25-3:40 p.m., NBC Sports Gold

IndyCar qualifying, Race 1: 6:20 p.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

Friday

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 1: 3:30 p.m. (green flag, 5 p.m.), USA Network, NBC Sports Gold

Saturday

—IndyCar qualifying: 10:20 a.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 2: 2:30 p.m (green flag, 2:31 p.m.)., NBC, NBC Sports Gold