Q} YOU ASK THE UESTIONS MARCUS ERICSSON
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