RACE DEBRIEF

    Confirmation of Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi as Sauber’s 2019 race line-up on Tuesday left a question mark hanging over Marcus Ericsson’s F1 future. That question has been very swiftly answered, however, with news that he is to become third driver and a brand ambassador for the team next year.

    Ericsson has spent five seasons on the Formula 1 grid, the last four of them with Sauber, following his 2014 debut campaign with Caterham. The Swede has scored 15 points to date, with a best finish of eighth at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix.

    “I am thankful for the past five years of my career which I have spent racing in Formula 1,” said Ericsson, after confirmation that he had lost his Sauber race seat to the returning Raikkonen. “I am proud to have represented Sauber for four of those years, and for having raced for such an iconic brand as Alfa Romeo this season.

    “I would have loved to continue on this path, but having a driver like Kimi Raikkonen on board is a great opportunity for the whole team. Going forward, I will continue contributing to the development of the team as I have always done, with full dedication and all of my support.”

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    Sauber paid tribute to Ericsson’s “experience, optimism, and his highly professional approach to working with the team” which they say have contributed greatly to their progress – progress which has already brought them 21 points this season, 16 more than they scored in total last year.

    “We would like to thank Marcus for his dedication to the team and for the great job he has done over the past four years,” said Sauber Team Principal Frederic Vasseur. “We are very pleased that he will continue being part of the Sauber family in the future.

    “In 2018, the team has made important progress and Marcus’ work has been essential to our development. He has a long history with our team, and we look forward to our new shared chapter. Together, we will strive to continue moving in this positive direction.”

    Though Ericsson has scored six points this season, he has struggled to match the form of Ferrari-bound rookie team mate Charles Leclerc, who has secured 15, with a best result of sixth place in Azerbaijan.

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