The Sauber racer brushes off those ‘pay driver’ accusations and discusses the traditional Swedish delights of Volvos and Ikea meatballs…
Marcus Ericsson beams cheerily when we meet outside Sauber’s hospitality unit. His debut year with Caterham ended when nancial ruin put paid to the little Oxfordshire team’s dreams, so he offered his services to Sauber. Despite a number of drivers very publicly battling it out for the Swiss team’s two 2015 race seats, Sauber were more than happy to take on both Ericsson and his sponsors, and the young Swede scored his rst world championship points with them at the 2015 season opener in Melbourne.
Fast forward a couple of races and here we are, armed with a pack of cards featuring your questions. Without delay, he turns over the rst one and starts by tackling the tricky situation in which he found himself at Caterham last year… How tough was it to be at Caterham when the nancial situation was quite dire? Andrew Phillips, USA It was tough. The nancial situation didn’t affect me that much through the season until the point where they closed down and I missed the last few races. The hardest part was to be with a team where we were so far off the rest of the grid that we really only had Marussia to ght with.
So for me, as a driver, it was difcult to show what I was capable of. Even if I did a perfect qualifying or race, it was very difcult for anyone to notice it because I was so far behind. How does it feel to drive the Sauber compared to last year’s Caterham? Jennifer Morehouse, Canada It’s different. It’s not one specic part, it’s the whole package, the whole car: it’s a step up. In speed, in corners, it’s better in general. Also, Sauber have been around for a long time. I don’t want to say bad things about Caterham because everyone there tried really hard, but the experience and structure here is a lot better. As a young rising star, what do you feel is the youngest age a driver should enter F1? Daniel Jones, UK Difcult question. It’s not easy to say as everyone is very different. Max Verstappen has come into F1 very young, but he has done a very good job so far. But for me, when I was 17, I would not have been ready as I learnt a lot in the junior categories with different teams and cars. My experiences helped me as a driver, so it’s hard to give a specic age because everyone is different. You were commentating for Swedish TV at last year’s US GP. How was it to experience F1 from the other side? Mike Atkinson, Australia I was quite frustrated because I had been driving all year and then to go to Austin and not drive was a strange feeling. But the Sauber deal happened quickly, and by Saturday it was done. That meant I could go into the commentary box knowing I would drive in 2015 and I could enjoy it. If I was commentating without knowing what would happen, it would have been hard. Nico Hülkenberg is racing at Le Mans this year. Would you be tempted to try it? Stephen Higgins, UK I think every racing driver would like to do Le Mans at least once in their career. When is