Mar­cus Eric­s­son

F1 Racing - - YOU ASK THE QUESTIONS - WORDS POR­TRAITS

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 difcult to show what I was ca­pa­ble of. Even if I did a per­fect qual­i­fy­ing or race, it was very difcult 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 specic 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 Difcult 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 specic 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

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