Marcus Ericsson has apologised to the Sauber team after a crash late in second practice stymied attempts to work through race preparation at the Belgian Grand Prix.
On an otherwise positive day, Sauber put both of its cars into the top ten in FP2, but plans to work through his race preparation programme were interrupted, first, due to a red flag when Nico Rosberg suffered a high-speed tyre failure and, then, ended completely when, on the restart, Ericsson made a mistake in the high-speed Pouhon corner, hitting the wall and bringing about another stoppage..
“Especially on soft tyres, I was satisfied with the balance of the car but, unfortunately, at the end of the session, I made a mistake in Pouhon,” the Swede confirmed, “I touched the grass, the car snapped and I hit the wall.
“I want to apologise to the team for this incident, which has given them a lot of extra work. It is racing, sometimes it happens but, when it happens it is, for sure, frustrating.”
Ericsson had made good progress through the day, and vaulted to the top of the timesheets early in the afternoon session after bolting on the softer Pirelli rubber, before being pushed back to an eventual eighth.
“In FP1, we tried different set-ups on the car and, in the afternoon, we continued to build on FP1, doing short and long-runs on the soft and medium tyres,” he revealed, “Before the accident, it had been a good day for us, and some of the outcomes from what we were doing were positive.”
Team-mate Felipe Nasr was sandwiched between Ericsson and four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel on the final timesheet and also reported progress from his first day driving an F1 car in anger at Spa, which coincided with an engine upgrade for the Sauber team.
“I had two good practice sessions today,” the Brazilian reported, “I am satisfied with the overall balance of the car, which gives us a good direction for the weekend.
“In the morning, the temperatures were cooler, so we knew there was room for improvement. For FP2, we then made the right changes to the car. I still have some small margin for improvement on soft tyres, as I was stuck in traffic on my best lap, but, overall, I am quite pleased that the engine specification is a benefit for us here in Spa. It is a good start to the weekend, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us.”