Sauber pair left to rue first lap Hungarian GP collisions

Sauber drivers Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc were left to lament separate first-lap collisions at the Hungarian Grand Prix, as the team’s strong form dipped.

Sauber entered the weekend having scored points in four of the last five Grands Prix, missing out only in Britain when Leclerc was comfortably set for a top 10 finish until suffering a botched pit stop.

Ericsson made it through to Q2 but clashed with Daniel Ricciardo at the start and opted to pit under an early Virtual Safety Car period to take on Medium tyres that he ran until the finish.

Leclerc, meanwhile, was squeezed between Force India pair Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon as the trio exited Turn 1 and he was forced to park his C37 due to the terminal damage sustained.

“It was a difficult race,” said Ericcson. “I lost positions after the collision on the first lap and fell to the back of the grid.

“From there on, it was a difficult race. I tried to overtake the cars ahead, but it is quite tricky on a track like this.

“When the safety car came out early on during the race, we decided to box and change to medium tyres. It was a good move, and we managed to gain a few positions back.

“Unfortunately, not much more was possible. Overall, it was not a great race for us, but we will analyse it and come back stronger.”

Added Leclerc: “It is a bit unfortunate to finish the last race before the summer break like this.

“Shortly after the start, I got stuck between two other cars which caused damage to my car.”

Sauber preserved ninth place in the Constructors’ Championship but slipped 10 points behind Toro Rosso as a result of Pierre Gasly finishing in sixth.