2018 Formula One Mexican Grand Prix – Qualifying – Saturday
Double Q3 finish for the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team with Charles Leclerc in P9, and Marcus Ericsson in P10
Weather: FP3: sunny/cloudy and damp/dry, 15-17°C air, 18-21°C track; Qualifying: sunny/cloudy and dry, 19-20°C air, 25-31°C track
The hard work carried out overnight by the track-based team and the engineers at the Sauber factory in Hinwil after a difficult Friday paid off. Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc went on track for FP3 motivated to test different solutions to fine-tune the car balance and to optimise the tyres for the challenging conditions of the Mexican circuit.
Despite the tricky, partly damp track conditions, the changes made worked well. Charles Leclerc finished the session in P6 with Marcus Ericsson in 9th place, demonstrating a significant improvement.
The two drivers then headed into qualifying eager to maximise their potential. Both Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson completed qualifying on hypersoft tyres, giving consistent and strong performances. The team finished qualifying with both cars in Q3, marking a fantastic result which, tomorrow, will allow them to take the start of the Mexican GP determined to fight for points.
Marcus Ericsson (car number 9):
C37 (Chassis 05/Ferrari)
Qualifying: 10th in Q3 (1:16.513 / hypersoft tyres)
3rd practice: 9th (1:17.565 / hypersoft tyres / 14 laps)
“After having a difficult day yesterday, we worked hard overnight to improve for qualifying. Today’s results show a great team effort, by both the team at the track as well as in the factory. We made quite a few changes for today, and they paid off. The car felt much better and we could already see the improvements in FP3. Qualifying was great, and it felt good to make it to Q3. It was a good effort and we should have good chances for a good result tomorrow, staring in the top ten with both cars.”
Charles Leclerc (car number 16):
C37 (Chassis 02/Ferrari)
Qualifying: 9th in Q3 (1:16.189 / hypersoft tyres)
3rd practice: 6th (1:17.059 / hypersoft tyres / 13 laps)
“I am happy about qualifying today – 9th place, another Q3. Our performance looks strong, and we made a good recovery since yesterday. It will be a challenge to keep our competitors behind us, as we are starting on the hypersoft tyres which we qualified on. We will make the best of it and hopefully will be able to score some points after being less lucky in the last two races.”