Marcus Ericsson became Formula One’s first Swedish driver for 23 years when he lined up on the grid in Australia; the first Swede to do so since Stefan Johansson at the
1991 British Grand Prix.
karting career started when he almost broke the lap record at a kart track in
Sweden during an arrive-and-drive session as a nine-year-old. The track’s owner
convinced Ericsson’s father to buy his son a kart, and he started racing in the
Swedish Cadetti kart series, taking six podiums in his seven races.
two years in karts, Ericsson moved up to the Karting Mini series and won the
middle Sweden championship at the second attempt; a class which had over 100
entrants. At one stage, Ericsson went on a run of 10 consecutive pole positions
to highlight his raw speed.
Moving in to
more international karting, Ericsson started to race in Italian Open masters alongside
his Swedish commitments. In 2005 he won both the Swedish and Nordic
championships, taking the former with two races still to go after winning the
first four rounds.
Ericsson started racing full-time abroad, but returned to Sweden to compete in
the prestigious Wiking Trophy race in Gothenburg. It was here he met IndyCar
champion and Indy 500 winner Kenny Brack, who helped convince his own former
team boss Richard Dutton to run Ericsson in the 2007 Formula BMW championship
marked out as a learning year, Ericsson was quickly exceeding expectations and
turned fourth on the grid for his debut race at Brands Hatch in to a podium. He
converted pole position in to victory in race two, and went on to impress
throughout the year as he won the championship at the first attempt by 40
points from Josef Kral.
Formula 3 had
become the next target mid-way through his title-winning Formula BMW season,
and Ericcson was even testing an F3 car the day after his prize-winning ceremony
for taking the championship. Driving in British F3 – again with Fortec – in 2008,
Ericsson started well and led the championship early on. However, consistent
results were hard to come by and he ended the season without a win and fifth in
stay in British F3 for another year, Ericsson moved to the Japanese F3 series.
After taking time to settle in to his new surroundings, Ericsson finally won a
race at round 6 and took the title at the final round as he ended the year with
five victories. The odd appearance in British F3 also yielded two wins, while
at Macau he finished second in the qualification race and fourth in the main
at the end of the year were Ericsson’s highlight. He tested the title-winning
Brawn F1 car during the Young Driver Test at Jerez, while some GP2 testing also
led to a seat for ART in Abu Dhabi before he signed to race for Supernova in
GP2 in 2010.
debut GP2 year was a struggle, with just one victory all season coming in the
sprint race in Valencia. However, he’d attracted the attentions of other teams
and moved to iSport for 2011 in a move which should have been the springboard
for more victories, but two podiums all year saw him finish tenth in the
iSport for 2012, Ericsson was still highly-rated but struggling to deliver on
his potential. After another poor start to the season, he turned things around
at Monaco with a podium in the feature race and went on a strong run late in
the season; the win in the feature race at Spa being the highlight as Ericsson
scored the most points of any driver across the last seven races and ended the
year eighth in the championship.
having won the drivers’ title in both 2011 with Romain Grosjean and 2012 with
Davide Valsecchi, Ericsson was marked out as a title favourite when he joined
the team for 2013. However, amid the burden of expectation DAMS was struggling
to be competitive and Ericsson didn’t even score until the tenth round at
There was an
immediate improvement after that result, with Ericsson winning the feature race
in Germany from pole position and finishing second in Hungary after also
starting from pole. Another second place in the feature race at Spa continued
his strong scoring run and he ended the year sixth in the standings after
podiums in two of the final three races.
Although it wasn’t the standout result that had been expected of Ericsson, he had still caught the eye of Caterham and he managed to secure the second race seat alongside Kamui Kobayashi for 2014 ahead of Robin Frijns.
Ericsson impressed in 2014 despite a difficult year for his Caterham team who missed the final few races due to financial difficulties. Despite not scoring a single point, Ericsson’s financial backing and impressive results in an underperforming car secured him a deal to drive for Sauber in 2015.
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