F1: Sauber pair at odds over Monaco clash

Sauber teammates Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson have opposing views on their collision and the Formula 1 squad’s use of team orders in the Monaco Grand Prix.

Nasr refused to give up his position to Ericsson when instructed to, with the Swede then trying a pass into Rascasse that damaged both cars and led to their eventual retirements.

Stewards handed Ericsson a three-place grid penalty for the Canadian Grand Prix.

Team boss Monisha Kaltenborn said both drivers were in the wrong and should have put Sauber’s interests first. Nasr believed there was “no reason” for team orders to have been imposed.

“The team could see all the data – they could see my tires were down on temperature and they could see there were issues I was having on the engine side,” Nasr said. “Once I got that clear, the pace was there so there was no reason to swap positions at that time.

“I got the message, but I didn’t feel it was the right time.”

When asked if he would have moved over eventually if the calls to do so persisted, he said: “Let’s put it this way: There was two occasions last year that Marcus was told to swap positions and he didn’t do it. We have to have confidence inside the team to trust that when an order like this comes that it’ll be done. Twice Marcus didn’t do it.

“The confidence we don’t have is on him not obeying the order. They should speak to him in a way that as a team, we should be team members.”

The two drivers sat down with Kaltenborn after the race but Nasr said he had no plans to talk to Ericsson one to one.

“I don’t think there is anything to comment,” he said. “I don’t have anything against Marcus; I just think what happened, he is mature enough to analzse.”

Ericsson had a different take, saying: “I was catching him by three or four seconds a lap. I got stuck behind and called for the team what to do and they told me they were going to tell him to swap positions.

“They told me this for seven or eight laps and this didn’t happen so I said to the team, ‘I will have to try and make a move myself.’ I got the green light from my engineer to try and make the move and I tried in that corner to overtake [Valtteri] Bottas earlier in the race.

“It was close and I almost got him but it was fine, so I thought it was a good place to try. I went for the move but obviously the end result was not the same as Bottas. It could have been avoided if orders were followed.”

Ericsson added he apologized to the team and wanted to “sit down and clear the air” ahead of the Canadian GP.

 

Originally on Autosport.com


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