Marcus Ericsson says he was “fuming” in the cockpit of his Formula 1 car after “throwing away” his race to help Sauber teammate Charles Leclerc in the Mexican Grand Prix.

The Swede, who is without a drive for 2019, finished ninth in Mexico City – two places behind the Ferrari-bound Leclerc – as he recorded back-to-back top 10 appearances, though he claimed he had to “sacrifice” his race to ensure the team scored points with both cars.

“The plan was just to help Charles’ race basically,” Ericsson said.

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“I was just sacrificing my race completely to help him. I wanted to box many laps earlier because I knew I was throwing away my race but for the team and for Charles.

“I had to try and keep these cars behind to help him open the gap. So I did that for the team but it was frustrating because it felt like I threw away my chances of points.”

Asked how he felt inside the car, Ericsson replied: “I was really fuming in the car. I was really getting frustrated, in a nice way.

“I know we have to work for the team’s best, but for me it was a bit extreme. I felt like I’d thrown away my race, which was very frustrating.

“I’ve always been a team player. I’ve always done everything for the team, I always put the team first and I think that’s one of my abilities that people value a lot and I will always do that.”

Ericsson said he rated his performance as one of his strongest races in F1, having matched his best result of the season despite thinking his race was “over” after losing significant time with an issue during his pit stop.

“It’s close with Bahrain but I would say it’s definitely up there. I think it’s one of my best races in F1 in general, I’m very proud of it,” he explained.

“The way I raced, keeping cars behind that were on fresher tyres, also sacrificing my strategy a lot for the other car and still managing to fight my way to P9, I’m very proud of that

“To still finish ninth and beat all these cars was quite incredible,” he added. “That’s why I think it’s one of the best performances I’ve done, because all these circumstances - a first stint that was five laps too long and losing nine seconds in the pits - and still being able to beat all these guys I think is pretty well done.”

Sauber’s result enabled the Swiss squad to leapfrog Toro Rosso into eighth in the constructors’ standings by three points.

“It is a huge deal for the team because that represents a lot of money for the team and for the development of it,” Leclerc said.

“It’s not done yet, there are still two races to go and we need to make sure that we keep them behind but I think our recent performance is good and I hope we can keep it.”

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