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Vasseur admits Marcus Ericsson could leave Sauber

  • Published on 25 Sep 2017 12:59
  • comments 7
  • By: Rob Veenstra

Frederic Vasseur says Mercedes junior Pascal Wehrlein is still in the running to stay at Sauber next year. Earlier, German Wehrlein seemed resigned to losing his seat with the Swiss team, as Sauber looks to accommodate a junior promoted by engine supplier Ferrari.

But it could be Marcus Ericsson who has to give way, despite the Swede's solid links to the Sauber team owners. But boss Vasseur told Auto Motor und Sport: "It would be a mistake to build a team around a driver just because he has a connection to the owners."

Ericsson has therefore been linked with a switch to Williams for 2018. Vasseur continued: "Rebuilding Sauber will require patience, while drivers normally want results in the next race. So if he wants to sit in a podium car next year, he will have a problem with Sauber. We will talk with the owners about what is best for Marcus and the team," said the Frenchman.

Asked if that means Wehrlein still has a chance of staying in 2018, Vasseur answered: "Of course he has a chance. Pascal knows our situation, and I know his skills because we worked together in the DTM. If you want to rebuild a team, you need not only fast drivers, but those who are willing to work with the team and push it in the right direction," he added.

As for at least one of the 2018 cockpits, Vasseur hinted that a Ferrari-linked driver like Charles Leclerc is likely. "We will discuss this with Ferrari in the coming days," he said. "For us, the engine choice had priority and we did not want to mix that with the driver question. It would have taken too much time. There is now the opportunity to do that in peace," added Vasseur. (GMM)

Replies (7)

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  • Im not as sure, but we'll see. I wouldnt exactly miss him, find it a shame his backers didnt promote e.g Rosenqvist instead.

    • + 0
    • Sep 25 2017 - 17:40
    • Kean

      Posts: 683

      I also rate Rosenqvist higher than Ericsson, but I would like to see Ericsson in a Williams next year (hopefully a competitive Williams), I really want to see what he could to in a better car.

      • + 0
      • Sep 25 2017 - 19:28
    • I dont find that switch likely.

      • + 0
      • Sep 25 2017 - 19:29
  • Bhurt

    Posts: 320

    Ever since Vasseur joined the team I've gotten a pretty strong impression from him that he would love to put someone else in Ericsson's car. He seems to be praising every driver apart from him at every chance.

    Not looking good for Ericsson's future and his performance this season has done little to impress people.

    • + 0
    • Sep 25 2017 - 22:06
    • Orchide

      Posts: 82

      If you actually read the article that this article is based uppe he praises Ericsson and says that Sauber is not an option if he wants to fight about points in 2018.

      • + 0
      • Sep 25 2017 - 22:18
    • Bhurt

      Posts: 320

      No he doesn't. Did you read the article?

      He says this about Ericsson: "It would be a mistake to build a team around a driver just because he has a connection to the owners."

      Which translates to: I know Ericsson's backers own the team, but it would be better for the team if we got a better driver for that car.

      He then goes on to say: "So if he wants to sit in a podium car next year, he will have a problem with Sauber. We will talk with the owners about what is best for Marcus and the team."

      Which repeats the point of how Marcus probably isn't the best option for Sauber. If Vasseur wanted Ericsson behind the wheel of the Sauber, would he be this open with wanting him to get a different seat? No.

      Regarding Wehrlein he says: "Of course he has a chance. Pascal knows our situation, and I know his skills because we worked together in the DTM. If you want to rebuild a team, you need not only fast drivers, but those who are willing to work with the team and push it in the right direction."

      Again taking shots at Ericsson by stating that not only is Wehrlein as fast as him, he's also a much better team player and the sort of person who would really help move the team forward (which is something he hasn't said about Ericsson).

      It's obvious that during the Kaltenborn reign there were two sides in the Sauber garage: the Swedish side and the "rest". The relationship was frosty with Nasr and seemingly even more so between the Swedes and Kaltenborn/Wehrlein. In the end Kaltenborn was removed.

      Vasseur is a racer. He's there to win and I'm pretty sure he negotiated a great deal of freedom to do things his way when he joined (the way he reversed the Honda deal for a more competitive engine is a great indicator of this). That freedom and competitive desire will also dictate who drives for the team. Vasseur will want the best drivers he can find and I doubt he ranks Ericsson in that group. If Ericsson could somehow buy his way into Williams, I don't think anyone will be happier than Fred Vasseur (provided the Longbow financers remain at Sauber with Ericsson gone, something I'm sure they will).

      • + 1
      • Sep 26 2017 - 13:13
    • Orchide

      Posts: 82

      Wow. Impressed. That's what I call alternate facts.

      • + 0
      • Sep 26 2017 - 18:42

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