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Ericsson sees 2018 as 'big chance' to break through

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Sauber F1 driver Marcus Ericsson says that the upcoming 2018 season will be his best chance yet to show what he can do.

The Swede made his Formula 1 début with Caterham alongside Kamui Kobayashi in 2014. When the team closed its doors he moved to Sauber in 2015 where he was originally paired with Felipe Nasr.

Last year his team mate was Mercedes protégé Pascal Wehrlein, who picked up all of the team's championship points.

Ericsson admitted that it hadn't been a great season.

“2017 was a difficult year," he acknowledged. "But we worked hard as a team and made some good progress.

"I am happy about the way we improved in the end of the season after having had a difficult first part."

The 27-year old added that having Wehrlein as a benchmark last year had helped him improve his driving to a new level.

"I have developed a lot as a driver," he told the official Sauber F1 website. "[I now] have a good level of experience that can be beneficial to the whole team."

This year he will be racing alongside a new team mate, Formula 2 champion Charles Leclerc. The 20-year old from Monaco will be a tough challenge, but Ericsson is putting the team first as he looks to the new season.

"Working together as a team, and becoming more competitive," he says when asked what his objectives are for 2018.

The biggest difference is that Sauber will be on a much firmer footing this year than in recent seasons. Its title sponsorship with Alfa Romeo and supply of current-spec Ferrari engines will be a major boost to the Swiss squad.

"The partnership with Alfa Romeo is a great opportunity for all of us.

"For me, it feels like a big chance after having worked hard for many years," he added.

"It will be my fourth season with the team, and I look forward to being back on track with everyone."

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