- September 02, 1990
- Indycar Series
- Chip Ganassi Racing
Marcus Ericsson is the leader of the new wave of Swedish racing drivers. He spent five seasons in the Formula 1 World Championship with two teams (Caterham and Sauber) between 2014 and 2018, before moving to IndyCar Series in 2019.
Before making a debut in F1, Ericsson spent three seasons in GP2 Series. Earlier in a career, he was Japanese F3 champion in 2009 and British Formula BMW champion in 2007.
Wonderboy at go-kart track
Born in September 1990 in Kumla, Marcus as a boy wasn’t really interested in racing and his career began almost accidentally. When he was 9 years old, Ericsson went to the local go-kart track for fun and almost broke a lap record in a first attempt. The owner of the track, well-known Swedish racer Fredrik Ekblom immediately spotted an uncut gem and convinced Marcus’ father to buy a kart to his son and to start his racing career.
He stayed in kart racing for four years but he never had a plan of becoming a professional racer. However, Ericsson’s talent was so huge that many famous Swedish drivers thought that it would be a pity for such talent to stay unexploited. That’s why Ekblom and Kenny Brack, another well-known Swedish racer, used their contacts in the world of motorsport to find a good engagement for the talented guy.
Brilliant start of the career
In 2007, Ericsson became a driver of Fortec Motorsport and debuted in the Formula BMW UK. Many were thinking that Marcus will use his first year in the series to gain some experience but he was in the battle for the title during the whole season and eventually won it with a margin of 40 points and seven wins on his account.
Still a teenager, Ericsson started a search for the place in Formula 3 in 2008. He had an offer from Formula 3 Euro Series team ASM but opted to stay in England and continued with Fortec, driving in British Formula 3 championship. Despite some notable performances, Marcus couldn’t win the race but he still had to be happy with the 5th place in the overall standings.
Marcus conquered Japanese Formula 3 in 2009
A bit surprisingly, Ericsson moved to Japan in 2009, but that proved to be a good decision. Driving in the Japanese Formula 3 he won the title scoring five wins and having other six podiums, driving for TOM’S, one of the best Japanese teams.
He also appeared in six races of British Formula 3 that year, driving for Raikkonen Robertson Racing, and won two out of six races he has entered. The same year he won the pole position for Macau Grand Prix but finished 4th in the race.
Four seasons in the GP2 Series
After such good achievements, Marcus earned a place in GP2 Series in 2010. As a driver of Super Nova Racing team, competing against much-experienced drivers, Ericsson had some bright moments. He won the race in Valencia and took 17th position in the Drivers’ championship which was a solid success for the rookie.
The following year, Ericsson moved to iSport International with whom he spent two years and continued his progress. In 2011, the Swede moved up to the 10th place in GP2 Series rankings while in 2012 he was 8th after winning one race and having other four podiums.
He was already one of the most experienced drivers in GP2 and in 2013 he moved to DAMS, one of the series’ best teams. Marcus was considered as one of the title contenders, but the streak of bad luck during the first half of the season kicked him out of the battle for the top of the standings. Luckily, the fortune reversed in the second half of the year. He won one race and with a couple of podiums he moved up to the 6th in the final classification.
Formula 1 debut with Caterham in 2014
Finally, Ericsson’s big moment arrived in 2014 when he debuted in Formula 1, driving for Caterham alongside Kamui Kobayashi. The expectations were low as the team was one of the weakest on the grid but Marcus could drive without too much pressure.
Before the end of the season, Caterham went into the administration and Ericsson was left without a drive but quickly managed to secure a place in Sauber for 2015.
Racing with Sauber F1 from 2015 to 2018
In the more competitive car, but again in the team that was struggling financially, Ericsson had a better opportunity to show his potential in F1. In the season’s opening Grand Prix in Australia, he finished 8th and picked four points. Later in the season he finished 9th in Italy and added 10th places in China, Hungary, and Belgium and finished 18th in the standings.
Ericsson stayed with Sauber in 2016, but the results in the first half of the season weren’t any near to the ones from the previous year and the Swede missed to score a single point which caused many speculations about his future with the team. However, he was retained for the 2017 F1 season, continuing to drive the #9 Sauber-Ferrari. He was again without points in twenty races.
Marcus stayed with Sauber in 2018 and finally scored F1 points in the second round at Bahrain, finishing in the ninth place. Later in the season, he was in the points five more times, finishing 17th in the final standings.
Moving to IndyCar Series in 2019
Sauber changed both drivers in 2019, signing Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi, so Ericsson had to find a new job. He joined Schmidt-Peterson Motorsports in the IndyCar Series to drive the #7 Honda.
The highlight of the season was his second place in the second race at Detroit Belle Isle. That remained his only podium and he finished 17th in the final standings.