A brief biography of Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson, including his career history and Formula One statistics
When a nine-year-old newcomer Marcus Ericsson almost broke the lap record at a local kart racing circuit in Kumla, Sweden, it immediately caught the eye of Swedish race car driver Fredrik Ekblom who convinced Ericsson's father to buy him his own kart, paving the way to an enviable haul of trophies over the next few years. In 2006 Ericsson was noticed by another big name in Swedish racing, former Indianapolis 500 champion Kenny Brack, who compared him to a young Alain Prost. Brack was instrumental in helping Ericsson move into single seater racing the following year.
Brack's instincts were amply confirmed when Ericsson won the British Formula BMW title at his first attempt with Fortec Motorsport in 2007, with seven race victories among 13 podiums and 11 pole positions. After that he stepped up to British Formula 3 and claimed two wins in both 2008 and 2009 competing against the likes of Jaime Alguersuari, Daniel Ricciardo and Sergio Perez. However Ericsson wasn't able to make a significant impression in the championship and in 2009 he looked further afield, dropping out of the series in favour of a full season in Japanese Formula Three. That proved a fruitful decision with five wins amid a total of 11 podium finishes in 16 races including five pole positions. He clinched the 2009 title and in the process earned himself a Brawn GP Formula One test at Jerez, Spain at the end of the year.
The following season he switched his attentions to the GP2 Series with Super Nova Racing, and picked up his first win at Valencia during his rookie season. A switch to iSport the following season garnered two more podium appearances, but it wasn't until Spa in 2012 that he would again be on the top spot after two runners-up spots at Monaco and Valencia. The following year saw him switch teams to DAMS and another win this time at the Nurburgring, but he could only manage sixth in the drivers championship despite starting the year as one of the favourites to contend for the title.
After four seasons in the feeder series it was time to move on. Ericsson managed to secure himself a full-time drive for 2014 with the Caterham F1 team alongside Kamui Kobayashi. Unfortunately the car wasn't capable of competing for championship points, and Caterham itself went into administration just before the US Grand Prix leaving Ericsson watching on from the sidelines.
Despite the premature end to his season, Ericsson had done enough to prove his talent and was swiftly picked up by Sauber for a full season with the team in 2015 alongside fellow GP2 graduate and Formula One rookie Felipe Nasr. He finished in the points on five occasions, but the team was struggling to stay afloat financially leaving no money for development and little chance of maintaining any level of success. With Sauber finally rescued by an investment group in the summer of 2016, Ericsson will be hoping the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight at last.