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Marcus Ericsson grateful for Sauber patience in 2015

Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Marucs Ericsson has praised Sauber's patient approach with young drivers ahead of his third season in Formula One.

Ericsson endured a tough start to life at Sauber last year and despite an improvement in the second half of the season he finished 18 points behind rookie team-mate Felipe Nasr. The Swede has been retained alongside Nasr for another year and he says the team deserves credit for allowing him to iron out mistakes last year.

Asked if Sauber are more patient with its young drivers than other teams, Ericsson told ESPN: "They are, for sure. They allow you to do mistakes, which maybe sounds a bit weird but it's important when you push on the limit -- mistakes are going to happen and it's important you learn from them like I did last year. They have a good way of involving the driver and explain why they are doing different things, the way of working is just very good for a driver wanting to learn."

Having come from Caterham to a team ready to immediately score points in early 2015, Ericsson thinks he let the situation get the better of him at the start of the year.

"Looking back at the beginning of the year, I was trying a bit too hard I think. Coming from Caterham and being at the back all the time and then suddenly at the start of the season we were there fighting for points and I was so eager to show what I could do I think I overdid everything a bit and pushed a bit too hard."

Ericsson's improvement in the latter stages of the year coincided with a downturn for Sauber as it struggled to bring upgrades to its car and delayed a switch to Ferrari's updated power unit. The 25-year-old admits that -- plus some ill-timed retirements -- made for a frustrating situation but hopes to build on those harsh lessons in 2016.

"I think it was a pretty solid season from my side. Even though I scored more points at the beginning of the year I still feel that was my weak point, then the second half of the year I was performing at a much better level even though the car was not competitive compared to our rivals.

"It was a bit frustrating in other ways because, even in the second part of the year, it seemed in the races I was really strong no-one retired, no-one had any issues. Then there were some crazy races like Austin for example, where we could have scored good points and I was running very good, then my car switched off and I had to retire.

"The whole thing was an important lesson to bring into this season -- that you have to be consistent and take those opportunities when they come. I want to be more regularly in the points and be the stronger driver in the team, like I ended 2015. I want to look at my own performance and be able to say I want to improve as a racing driver."