Date published: October 9 2018
Marcus Ericsson has blamed cold tyres for rear-ending Charles Leclerc during Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix.
Running behind Leclerc during an early Safety Car period at the Suzuka circuit, the Swede prepared for the restart only for the entire to suddenly slow down.
He didn’t and drove intot he back of his Sauber team-mate.
“Bit of a scary moment!” Ericsson told the official F1 website.
“A bit weird that everyone just stopped there, so it was like we’re almost standing still. I couldn’t stop the car with cold tyres.
“Luckily I tapped him and then we picked up a little bit of damage but was not too bad, not ideal!
“I spoke to Charles afterwards and he said he almost did the same to the car ahead of him and he was caught out ahead of him with everyone stopping.”
— iGP Manager (@iGPManager) October 7, 2018
That, though, wasn’t his only mistake of the weekend as Ericsson brought out the red flags in qualifying as he crashed heavily.
He lost the front end through the Dunlop Curve, ran wide and into the gravel trap where he hit the barriers.
He reckons without that mistake, points may have been possible on Sunday.
“It’s definitely frustrating because I think we should have qualified around P10, like Charles did, because for sure the pace is there.
“It’s very frustrating what happened in qualifying. I think if I would have started a bit higher for sure the points were there. Frustrating, but I want to bring the positives as well and I’ll bring that within me.
“It was good afternoon I think. From starting 20th on a track like this, you know it’s going to be a difficult afternoon. The pace was very strong, we knew it would be strong on Friday where I think we were best of the rest on the long runs, but I was surprised how easily I could overtake the Williams and the McLarens early in the race.
“We took a gamble under the Safety Car and took on mediums, I knew the aim was going to be going to the end and it would be critical, but it’s one of my strengths, the tyre management, and I think I played that really well, I took care of them in a really good way.
“I’m pretty pleased with that performance and if a few more cars, the top cars, had problems then we would have been in the points. It was pretty good result I think.”