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Marcus Ericsson




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Marcus Ericsson


Kumla, Sweden
Kumla, Sweden

Official website:


Marcus Ericsson isn't the first driver to be described as "the next big thing" and he certainly won't be the last.

In Marcus' case, the cry first went out in 1999 when the youngster visited a kart track owned by former CART racer Fredrik Ekblom.

"I got a call from Fredrik, who I ran in British Formula 3000 and Indy Lights," said Richard Dutton, head of Fortec Motorsport. "He now runs a kart circuit and he told me about a nine-year old kid who'd walked in off the street and nearly broke the lap record."

Ekblom subsequently convinced Ericsson's father, Tomas, to buy a kart and as a result the young Swede's career was underway.

Over the next few years he progressed through the ranks, starting off in his native Sweden moving up to Italian and European championships. Winning the Swedish & Nordic ICA Junior Championship in 2005 he also finished third overall in the Italian Open Masters.

In 2006, whilst still karting, Marcus came to the attention of former Champ Car driver and 1999 Indianapolis 500 winner Kenny Brack, who was to end up backing the youngster.

"I spotted Marcus at a race in Gothenburg" he revealed, "He didn't win the race because his engine blew up with two laps to go but he was clearly the best out there. He didn't get caught in any battles when passing – he'd just wait for the right opportunity, then he pounced and he was away. He has such patience but when he does go for it, it measures so perfectly. He reminded me of watching Alain Prost."

Brack contacted Dutton at Fortec and persuaded him to run Marcus in the 2007 Formula BMW UK championship. Brack's intuition, and Dutton's blind faith, paid off, Marcus won on his race debut, the youngster going on to take the title with 7 wins, 11 poles and 6 fastest laps. Indeed, he finished in the top five in all the races except two, his feat seeing him crowned Swedish Junior Racing Driver of The Year.

For 2008 he moved up to the British F3 Championship, remaining with Fortec. Prior to the decision he'd tested with Raikkonen Robertson Racing - part of his prize for the BMW UK success - and also with ASM, with a view to contesting the Euroseries.

In many ways it was back down to earth with a bump, the youngster finishing fifth overall, despite claiming wins at Croft and Brands Hatch and a number of podium finishes.

Over the winter he made the decision, as others had done before him, to head to Japan where he would contest the Japanese F3 Championship with TOMS. Taking the title courtesy of 5 wins, 5 poles and 9 fastest laps, Marcus also scored a couple of victories back in the UK with Raikkonen Robertson Racing and 4th in the Macau Grand Prix having taken pole.

Over the winter of 2009/2010 Marcus contested the GP2 Asia Series with ART Grand Prix. While it was later revealed that he would contest the main GP2 Series with Super Nova Racing it was assumed he would see out the Asia version with ART but instead he was dropped for the last two races.

And so in 2010 Marcus began a career in GP2 that over the course of four full seasons, with three different teams, has seen him make little progress and just 3 wins from 86 outings.

Finishing 17th in 2010 he improved to 10th in 2011, 8th in 2012 and 6th in 2013, whilst finishing runner-up in the 2012 GP2 Final.

In December 2009, Marcus got his first taste of F1 when he drove the championship winning Brawn in the Young Driver Test at Jerez. Finishing 9th overall, and marginally out-paced by fellow Brawn tester Mike Conway, Ross Brawn said that Marcus had "performed very well" and "shown exceptional maturity in his approach and feedback".

On 21 January 2014, following days of speculation, Marcus was confirmed as Kamui Kobayashi's teammate at Caterham.

Having finished last in the 2013 Constructors' Championship, one might say that the 2014 drive is something of a poisoned challis, just ask Charles Pic or Giedo Van der Garde. Furthermore, the fact is that Marcus and his backers will have had to pay for the privilege.

However, a few years back a highly rated driver, albeit in ChampCars (sorry), declared Marcus to be the next big thing, he even went to the expense of putting his money where his mouth was. While there have been some highs, particularly that maiden season in BMW UK, there have also been long periods of nothing.

While Caterham might not be the best means by which to judge Marcus, let's not forget that a certain Fernando Alonso first came to our attention at Minardi, long before the team was part of the Red Bull empire.

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