Stronger than ever
In the history of Formula One there are not that many Swedish racing drivers. In 2014 Marcus Ericsson became the tenth driver from the Scandinavian country, making his debut with the Caterham F1 Team. 2017 marks the third season with the Sauber F1 Team. “I have spent two years with Sauber now, and I really feel at home. Surely, we had ups and down, but it is a fantastic place to develop and grow as a driver.” Last season has been difficult for the Swede being pointless, but with his positive attitude he knows how to deal with these things. “2016 was disappointing in terms of results, but it was a good year in terms of my personal development as a driver”, argues Marcus. Indeed, the northerner outperformed his former team-mate Felipe Nasr. The statistics speak on behalf of Ericsson: 13:8 in qualifyings and 12:8 in terms of races. But in the end it was Nasr who scored the two very important points at the Brazilian Grand Prix. “Of course I wanted it to be me, but still for the team and for Felipe I was happy. We deserved the points and in the end we all work for the team’s best possible result”, says Marcus, a true team player.
The 2016 season summary is overall positive for the 26-year-old Swede. “I had some strong races throughout the year, but if I have to pick one highlight, I choose the Mexican GP. After the incident on lap one, I had to box early, but was able to complete the race on one set of tyres”, says Marcus. He saw the chequered flag in P11 – close to one point. “That was a good achievement, on which we were close to the top 10.” After the season is before the new season. “I continue to learn with Sauber and I can not wait until the 2017 season starts. We are growing together becoming stronger and stronger in the future.” Wise words.
Marcus started his racing career in karting more by coincidence, as he admits. “My family was never involved in motorsport, so I got into racing more or less by accident. When I was eight years old I went to a shopping mall with my parents. They had a rental go-kart track there. I wanted to try it out and convinced my parents.” It happened that Marcus almost broke the lap record on his first kart drive. The owner of the track was Fredrik Ekblom, who is a Swedish racing driver. After Fredrik convinced Marcus’ father to buy him a kart, the motorsport journey began. Interestingly, Marcus’ roots are in Kumla/Örebro. The region in the middle of Sweden is well known for motorsport as many Swedish racing drivers come from this area. One of the most famous was Ronnie Peterson, the Swedish Formula One legend from the ‘70s. His fellow countryman, Marcus, admits that Peterson is still one of his Formula One heroes.
After successful years in karting being the Nordic and Swedish champion, the next logical step for Marcus was a switch to formula racing. In his rookie year in 2007 he became the Formula BMW UK champion with seven wins. A year later he finished fifth in the British Formula 3 Championship.
Big in Japan
“When my manager called me saying that I was going to live in Japan and race there for a year, I could not believe it,” explained Marcus. In the end, it was not a joke, and so the 18-year-old Swede left Europe and continued his career in 2009 in Japanese Formula 3. He moved from his parents’ house in Sweden to live in an apartment in Japan, on the other side of the world. “That was a massive change for me. I lived there on my own, and I had to learn to grow up very fast.” All in all, a huge challenge, but also a great experience. “Looking back, I think it was a great year which helped me to develop not only as a driver, but also as a person.” At the end of an intense year, Marcus clinched the Japanese Formula 3 championship title with five wins.
The greatest reward for Marcus was being offered a test in the Brawn GP Formula One car during the Young Driver Test days in Jerez. “It was an amazing experience that made me realise that this is what I wanted to do. After that I worked even harder to reach my ultimate goal of driving in Formula One.”
In 2010 Marcus came back to Europe for his first year in the GP2 Series. In total, he competed for four seasons in GP2, with his best result being sixth overall in 2013.
F1 stats prior to the 2017 season
|First GP||Australia 2014|
|Best race result||8th Australia (2015)|
|Date/place of birth||2nd September 1990 / Kumla (SE)|
|Height / weight||1,80 m / 70 kg|
|Hobbies||Icehockey, Football and sports training|
|Favourite food||Traditional Swedish food and Sushi|
|Favourite music||Depends on the situation, but may like almost all music genre|
|Favourite circuit||Suzuka, Silverstone|
|2016||22nd FIA Formula One Championship (Sauber F1 Team)|
|2015||18th FIA Formula One Championship (Sauber F1 Team)|
|2014||19th FIA Formula One Championship (Caterham F1 Team)|
|2013||6th place GP2 series|
|2012||8th place GP2 series|
|2011||10th place GP2 series
6th place GP2 Asia
|2010||11th place GP2 series|
|2009||1st place Japanese Formula 3|
|2008||5th place British Formula 3|
|2007||1st place Formula BMW UK|
|1999 – 2006 Karting||Swedish and Nordic Champion – ICA Junior 2005
Swedish Champion – Formula Mini 2003
Rookie of the year and 4th overall – Swedish Formula Mini 2002
Rookie of the year – Swedish Formula Micro 2000