Marcus Ericsson says that he is pleased with Sauber's straight-line speed in 2018, saying it is a big difference from last year. During the 2017 season, the Swiss team ran with year-old Ferrari power units, which damaged its chances of strong results.
However, it is now tied to a multi-year deal with Ferrari to run with up-to-date engines. Speaking about the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, Ericsson said that it was encouraging to see the boost in power down the straights.
"Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon were not far ahead of us, but overtaking was a different story," the Swedish driver said to Motorsport-Total." It's very difficult on the Albert Park circuit, but I'm curious to see this weekend where we are on a 'normal' circuit."
"We have seen in Melbourne that our car on the straights is quite efficient and has a good top speed. It's totally different from twelve months ago. It's nice to start a race weekend with the knowledge that we can fight with other teams if we do everything right."
Sauber's Charles Leclerc and Ericsson finished the first practice session from Bahrain in twelfth and seventeenth.