The story of Marcus Ericsson
It all started when Marcus Ericsson, nine years old, turned up at the local rental go-kart track. First time in a go-kart he almost broke the lap record and it so happened to be that the owner of the track was one Fredrik Ekblom, himself an accomplished Swedish racing driver with experience from touring cars, Champ Car and Le Mans.
Fredrik took notice and convinced Marcus father, Tomas, to buy his son a kart and so the go kart career begun. Impressive since Marcus doesn’t come from a family with a motorsport background but maybe it wasn’t such a surprise after all, Marcus hails from Kumla in Örebro, a motorsport region in the middle of Sweden from which many Swedish racing drivers happens to come from. Maybe the most famous of them all is Ronnie Peterson, the Swedish F1 legend from the 70’s.
Such was Marcus talent that Fredrik Ekblom recommended Ericsson to Fortec Motorsport team boss Richard Dutton. At this time Swedish Indy500 and IndyCar champion Kenny Bräck also had taken notice of the young talent at a go-kart race in Gothenburg. Both Ekblom and Bräck had been driving for Fortec and Kenny Bräck now helped to put a deal together for Marcus Ericsson to take the step up to cars with Fortec Motorsport in Formula BMW UK – just seven years after he first showed up at the local go kart track.
16 years old Marcus made a sensational start to his car racing career in Formula BMW and he won the championship in his rookie season with seven victories and 11 pole positions.
After such a success in his first season of car racing Marcus took another big step and moved up with Fortec to Formula 3 the following year. He finished fifth overall in British F3 in 2008 and showed great speed during the season with five podiums. For 2009 he took the bold decision to move to Japan just 18 years old for the Japanese F3 Championship with TOM’S.
With five victories during the season he won the Japanese F3 Championshiop and claimed his second car racing title in just three years. During the year he also made several guest appearances in his old hunting grounds in British F3 and won both at Rockingham and Hockenheim and also finished fourth overall at the Macau Grand Prix.
This set up a big move to GP2 where he towards the end of 2009 in only his third year of car racing raced in the GP2 Asia series. With Super Nova he moved to the GP2 series for 2010 and at Valencia he took his first GP2 victory. A switch to iSport for 2011 and 2012 resulted in another victory at Spa in 2012 during two seasons with a lot of promise but plagued by some bad luck.
In 2013 Ericsson joined reigning champion team DAMS for his fourth season in GP2. Despite being in the lead and with several front row starts bad luck and unlucky circumstances saw him have a disastrous start to the season. But in the second half of the season he was the class of the field and made a brilliant comeback to finish sixth overall after victory at Nürburgring and another five podiums and two pole positions.
Now just aged 23 and only 14 years after he first showed up at Ekblom’s go-kart track outside Örebro Marcus has joined Caterham to make his Formula 1 debut and to become Sweden’s first F1 driver since 1991.