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Marcus Ericsson initially questioned Sauber's year-old Ferrari engine deal

Marcus Ericsson admits he "questioned it quite a lot" when he heard Sauber had opted to take year-old Ferrari engines for the 2017 season.

Sauber opted for the older power units at a cut price in order to maximise the focus on next year's sweeping regulation changes. Though Ericsson was eventually convinced about the benefits by the team, he wondered whether the tactic would lead to Sauber struggling in the same way Toro Rosso has this season with a 2015-spec Ferrari engine.

"When I first heard about it, I questioned it quite a lot and I was thinking, 'is that really the right way to go?'" said Ericsson. "Then I spoke to the guys at the track and the factory and the reasoning makes sense, as there are really big changes to the regulations and we are a small team. The team can focus on developing the car for next year and knowing what package we will have will help.

Sauber has been going through a rebuilding process since being taken over by Longbow Finance prior to the summer break. Though that has included an overhaul on the staff side, Ericsson is happy the team now has the funds to ensure it is competitive next season.

"You look at Toro Rosso and how much they've lost, but all the guys I speak to back in the factory and here are convinced that it's the right way to go as a team. The chassis has not been where it should be in this team, and to go into the winter not knowing about the package is just going to hurt even more.

"Now, the resources are here in the team to really push on the chassis side and they feel that to really do that they need to know early enough what we're going to have in the back. If we know what we have in the back they can really push hard on the chassis side. So I understand it and it makes sense to me now."

Though Sauber is yet to confirm its line-up, Ericsson is expected to remain at the team in 2017.