Top 10 GP2 Driver of the Year 2011:
9 (Asia), 25 (Europe)
6th (Asia), 10th (Europe)
After a full season in GP2 with Super Nova in 2010 which saw him claim his first win at Valencia, Sweden's Marcus Ericcson would have had high expectations for his sophomore season after moving to iSport alongside the equally experienced Sam Bird.
A profitable first outing in GP2 Asia saw him take fourth place in the opening feature in Abu Dhabi (with a nice move on Giedo van der Garde along the way) and then following it up with a podium in the sprint race. Italy and Turkey saw him stuck in the midfield, but Barcelona was another profitable weekend for him when he took fifth place in the feature and then took advantage of a sluggish Jules Bianchi getaway off the grid to claim third place in the sprint.
But after that, a sequence of three retirements put him on the back foot: hitting the barrier while battling with his team mate made for an embarrassing end to his Monaco feature race (and was just one of a number of early incidents between Ericsson and Bird), and sliding into the barrier at the swimming pool in the sprint race completed a horrible Mediterranean weekend for him. At least his exit from the Valencia feature race after Jules Bianchi pinched him too tightly into the first corner wasn't his fault, even if he still ended up pointless.
Things improved at Silverstone, with Ericsson coping well with the wet conditions and with the horrible degradation that all drivers were experiencing with their tyres. After a yoyo-ing afternoon up and down the positions, Ericsson had enough left at the end to claim third place on the podium. He would finish in the points in the sprint race as well, and went in to finish in the top five at the Nurburgring once again at the expense of a late move on Giedo van der Garde.
The feature race at Hungary would prove to be his last hurrah in terms of points, while mechanical gremlins put him out of the wet Spa feature race. But he had done well enough for iSport to want him back as their senior driver for the GP2 Final exhibition event back in Abu Dhabi, and he repeated the strong form he had shown here eight months earlier: after finishing fourth in the feature he picked up a second place on the podium after a great start, although he was finally thwarted for the outright win by new boy James Calado.
It was a good note to finish on, and to set him up for an already-confirmed full 2012 season outing with iSport.
Top 10 GP2 Driver of the Year 2011 results so far:
7. Sam Bird
8. Giedo Van Der Garde
9. Tom Dillmann
10. Luiz Razia