Not for the first time in his Formula 1 career, Romain Grosjean is a man under pressure after a tumultuous 2018 season so far.
Ferrari’s scintillating pace, Grosjean’s excellent sixth and Ricciardo’s heartbreak were all big stories in the opening qualifying session of the new era. It was a Saturday with plot points aplenty, yet one of the most fascinating and awe-inspiring tales came in the battle to progress from Q1. Unusual, but stick with me on this one.
Unusual, but stick with me on this one.
2016 GP2 Series runner-up Antonio Giovinazzi has been parachuted into the Sauber seat vacated by Pascal Wehrlein, who following his accident at January’s Race of Champions and subsequent truncation of his winter training programme, is not sufficiently fit to complete a race distance.
Finding out that you are to make your Grand Prix debut on the morning of Qualifying day is hardly ideal. No one told Gio that though.
Launch week has commenced this morning, with Sauber tweeting the first photo of their 2017 challenger – the C36 – which sports a stunning new livery. Sauber celebrates 25 years in the sport this season, and their paint shop has crafted a suitably striking blue, white and gold livery to commemorate the milestone.
The colour scheme may well have proved an early hit with fans – even if some have dubbed it a Ligier – but it does potentially mask some looming issues on Sauber’s horizon, despite last years eleventh-hour investment.