Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson has said that he "can't wait" for the new F1 season to start, and is eager to get back on track following the end of pre-season testing and an extensive physical training regime.
"I can't wait to finally kick off the 2017 Formula 1 season in Australia," he said. "After challenging pre-season testing with a lot of data collection and preparation, I am going to Melbourne with a positive mindset."
Neither the teams or the drivers really know what to expect from the first Grand Prix, thanks to a new set of regulations that have enlarged the tyres and altered the cars to provide more downforce and a significant improvement in lap times. Ericsson acknowledges the initial difficulties these will bring, remaining tentative but upbeat.
"We have to see how things work out during the first race weekend with the new car. The Albert Park Circuit is a bit tricky with a mix of permanent racetrack and a street circuit. I think it is going to be a challenge to find the right setup, but I am confident we will get this done."
Ericsson also loves the venue, as does most of the F1 community, and is enthusiastic about starting the year in Australia: "I like Melbourne a lot as it is a fantastic place," he revealed. "The fans and the atmosphere there are just great. I always enjoy being downtown in Melbourne and on the circuit at Albert Park."