Nordic sensation in racing – Marcus Ericcson’s incredible path

Marcus Ericsson is truly a superb driver coming from Sweden. While Nordic countries are not particularly known for people who are excelling in Formula One but this guy has been perfect. In this article, we will talk about his magnificent career.

Early period

Marcus Ericsson was born in one of Sweden’s motorsport centers. Marcus first tried his hand at the wheel of racing equipment at nine years old, sitting behind the wheel of a map at a neighboring kartodrom; the owner of it was the titled Swedish racer Fredrik Ekblom, who soon drew attention to a young compatriot who was able to quickly drive a circle on the track at the level of the best results in its history. Ekblom met with the father of the young man and convinced him to seriously engage with his son’s career in karting, and for his part, he helped to find sources of funding for Marcus’s performances. For several years in such races, Ericsson has made good progress in North European competitions, as well as attracted the attention of another well-known Swedish race car driver, Kenny Brack, who contributed in 2007 to the transition of Marcus to the formula race.

Kenny used his connections in the British auto racing circles and arranged Ericsson’s first tests in the British Formula BMW championship, and then he was able to find funding to sign a contract with the Fortec Motorsport team. The choice of Brack was quite successful – Marcus was able to quickly find a common language with the team’s engineers and already in the debut season he became the winner of the overall classification of the series, having won seven victories in eighteen starts. Quick success on unfamiliar tracks allowed a year later to go to the local Formula 3 championship, where Marcus also did not get lost, taking fifth place in the individual competition. The young Swede received a number of proposals to continue his career in Formula 3 in the 2009 season, eventually signing a contract with the TOM’S project in East Asian races. The choice was successful – a small number of opponents and his good results allowed Ericsson to win the Japanese Formula 3 championship and prove himself good at the Macau Grand Prix, winning the qualification and finishing in the fourth position in the main race.

Such results and significant improvement in his career has had a tremendous influence not only on Sweden but the rest of the countries in Nordics as well. In general, Nordics have a strong sense of mutual respect and understanding – they are happy when a player from Scandinavia achieves success. This was exactly the case in Norway, where even the largest industry in the world, the gambling one, supposedly decided to offer sponsorship opportunities to Ericsson. Hence a lot of new Norwegian casino providers, known among local citizens as nye norske casino, went through with their plan.

GP2

Having achieved the title in Formula 3, Ericsson moved to GP2 for the 2009/10 winter season. The first season did not bring any special results, but stable sponsorship allowed him to stay in the series for four seasons. Marcus has demonstrated good speed more than once, already in the first season he won the race in the main championship, but could not find himself a team that would allow him to fight for the title: he constantly experienced various problems and took only sixth place in the championship, finishing for the first time in the points zone only in the tenth race of the season.

Formula 1

For the first time, Marcus Ericsson drove a Formula 1 car in December 2009: he participated in the tests of the Brawn team. On the eve of the 2014 Formula 1 season, Marcus Ericsson signed a combat pilot contract with the Caterham F1 team. The British-Malaysian team was the weakest team in the championship, and Marcus rarely got a chance to fight at least in the middle of the peloton; however, such opportunities did appear from time to time, and at the Monaco Grand Prix, where many pilots on faster and more reliable equipment made productive mistakes, Ericsson was able to climb to 11th place at the end of the race, a step away from the points zone.

In 2015, Marcus in Sauber was significantly inferior to his partner – Felipe Nasr, but the overall speed of the equipment he got was much higher. As a result, already in the first Grand Prix of the season in Australia, the pilots of the Swiss team fought in the middle of the peloton, and multiple gatherings in the already thinned peloton allowed both Sauber racers to break into the top 10: Ericsson, losing the circle to the leader, took eighth place (Nasr finished fifth). In the future, Ericsson finished four more times in the points zone (including three consecutive times in Hungary, Belgium, and Italy). But in all these cases, he finished no higher than 9th place (three 10th places and one 9th) and as a result scored significantly fewer points than Nasr: 9 points against 27 from the Brazilian. In the championship, Nasr took 13th place, Ericsson – 18th.

In the 2017 season, Ericsson’s partner was Pascal Wehrlein (in the first two Grand Prix of Wehrlein, Antonio Giovinazzi replaced him due to his injury). Ericsson lost the team confrontation to Wehrlein, again without scoring points, while Wehrlein scored 5 points. At the same time, Ericsson was tenth at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix but missed. However, for 2018, Ericsson again remained in Sauber, and Wehrlein left Formula 1.

In the Bahrain Grand Prix of 2018, Ericsson took 9th place and brought Sauber the first points of the season. Despite this, he scored significantly fewer points than his new partner – Charles Leclerc, who made his debut in Formula 1. At the end of the season, Ericsson took 17th place in the standings. The following year, the Sauber team was transformed into Alfa Romeo and completely updated its composition – its pilots were Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi. Marcus Ericsson lost his position as a combat pilot in Formula 1 but became a test pilot of Alfa Romeo.