Out-going Sauber racer Marcus Ericsson says that the team was in survival mode for two-and-a-half years, struggling to stay afloat in Formula 1 for most of his stint with the team.
Ericcson joined in 2015 after spending his rookie year with Caterham. After a somewhat successful 2015 year, the Hinwil squad finished bottom of the standings in 2016 and 2017, scoring just three top-ten finishes in 41 Grands Prix.
However, 2018 has seen it resurge back up the field, scoring points on regular occasions. It ended the year in eighth place, four points behind Racing Point Force India in seventh. Ericsson will hold the tole of the team's third driver in 2019, with Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi filling up the race seats.
Ericsson described how difficult most of his time at Sauber was: "When I came here we had a great start to  with some strong races, strong results, quite a lot of points,” he said. “But then from sort of halfway through that season it became like a survival mode type of racing for two-and-a-half years.
“It was a very, very tough time for the team,” he continued. “We were struggling a lot, being less and less competitive and that was making it very difficult for you as a driver. We were really at rock bottom it felt like.”
Sauber's original plans for 2018 was to take on Honda power units. However after Monisha Kaltenborn was sacked, Frederic Vasseur was brought in and he almost instantly cancelled the deal and penned a new long-term contract with Ferrari.
“We managed to turn it around and to be part of that transformation we’ve had the last 12 months has been fun and I’m proud of being part of that," Ericsson reflected. "This last season has been really great I think for the team and for me as well.”
“I’ve been here through all the bad times and now it’s [been] good times this year. I feel very much part of that journey with the team with everything that’s been happening.
“That’s why it’s sad to not be continuing that because now it feels like we’re really starting to hit our stride as a team, fight higher up the field and it would have been nice to continue that next year. But that’s the way it is. I’m still proud of what I’ve done and I feel that it would have been nice to continue that next year.”
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