Weather: FP3: sunny and dry, 27-30°C air, 52-59°C track; Qualifying: cloudy and raining, 22-26°C air, 27-33°C track
After working on both cars overnight, the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team had a productive third free practice session and was ready to tackle the qualifying session, when the rain shuffled the cards. As qualifying approached, the weather conditions suddenly changed, with temperatures dropping and rain starting to fall. Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc started the session on intermediate tyres. With changing conditions, both drivers pitted and opted for dry tyres after a few laps, and pushed to complete their fastest laps. Marcus Ericsson advanced to Q2, while Charles Leclerc finished a hectic and challenging qualifying session in Q1 (P17).
The second round of qualifying was even more chaotic due to increased rain. Marcus Ericsson ultimately finished the session in Q14, after a yellow flag hindered his last fast lap.
Nevertheless, the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team is heading into tomorrow’s Grand Prix feeling optimistic, having shown good pace and having made improvements throughout the weekend.
Marcus Ericsson (car number 9):
C37 (Chassis 03/Ferrari)
Qualifying: 14th in Q2 (1:18.641 min / ultrasoft tyres)
3rd practice: 18th (1:18.842 min / ultrasoft tyres / 18 laps)
“It was a very difficult qualifying with the weather conditions playing a very big part in it. Conditions were tricky and reminded me a lot of Hockenheim, but I felt really comfortable. It was nice to go into Q2 – it was very close though. In Q2 I had the yellow flag when the track was at its best. I tried to improve but there was too much water on the track. It’s still a good result. P14 is a decent place to start from and we will see what we can do from there.”
Charles Leclerc (car number 16):
C37 (Chassis 02/Ferrari)
Qualifying: 17th in Q1 (1:18.817 min / ultrasoft tyres)
3rd practice: 13th (1:18.376 min / ultrasoft tyres / 19 laps)
“It was not a good day for me. Qualifying was tricky as it started raining lightly just before the session started. We went out on intermediate tyres, however, the track was too dry to put in good lap times. After we changed to ultrasoft tyres, we got back in the mix, but all of the teams were advancing quickly and positions were changing within seconds. At the end, it was not enough today. I hope that the race tomorrow will be an interesting one, and that we will be able to make some progress.”