Sauber’s Swedish stal­wart dis­cusses his di­verse mu­sic tastes – Rox­ette, any­one? – ex­plains why con­struct­ing IKEA fur­ni­ture isn’t a solo un­der­tak­ing… and why he’s sit­ting out 2019 as ‘third driver’


Mar­cus Eric­s­son has been in­volved in For­mula 1 for longer than you might think. He first drove a grand prix car at the age of 18, nearly nine years ago. F1 trivia buffs may re­call that this first out­ing was for Brawn GP, in that dra­matic ti­tle-win­ning sea­son of 2009.

Mercedes were poised to buy Brawn as Mar­cus, newly crowned All-ja­pan For­mula 3 cham­pion, spent three days lap­ping Jerez in early De­cem­ber. From there he spent four sea­sons in GP2 be­fore mak­ing his F1 race de­but for Cater­ham in 2014. When that team died, he re­lo­cated to Sauber, where he has been ever since – and will re­main as ‘third driver’ next sea­son as Kimi Räikkönen and Fer­rari pro­tégé An­tio­nio Giov­inazzi move into the race seats.

If Eric­s­son starts ev­ery race this year, he’ll still be 26 shy of the 123 starts notched up by F1’s most fa­mous Swede, Ron­nie Peter­son. There are links be­tween the two: both hail from the city of Öre­bro, and Eric­s­son’s man­ager, Eje Elgh, was Peter­son’s rac­ing pro­tégé. Eric­s­son even raced with the colours of Ron­nie’s hel­met at the 2014 Monaco GP. So it’s ap­pro­pri­ate, then, that the first ques­tion card con­cerns one of F1’s prin­ci­pal ex­po­nents of op­po­site lock…

Mar­cus Eric­s­son: He would prob­a­bly strug­gle to get them side­ways as it’s a bit more dif­fi­cult to do that these days. But I’m sure he would have found a way around it with his ta­lent.

F1 Rac­ing: You’re a bit of a Ron­nie Peter­son fan, aren’t you?

ME: Yes, he would be my num­ber one pick if I had to choose any driver from the his­tory of For­mula 1. He comes from my home city of Öre­bro and I also know his daugh­ter, Nina, quite well. There are ac­tu­ally quite a lot of things that con­nect us, and Ron­nie has al­ways been an im­por­tant source of in­spi­ra­tion for me.

How do you think Ron­nie Peter­son would cope with to­day’s cars? Glen How­ell, UK Su­per Swede Ron­nie Peter­son has long been Eric­s­son’s in­spi­ra­tion

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