Marcus Ericsson’s podiums in 2013
Read the tweet that Marcus Ericsson wrote about Stephane Richelmi and Jolyon Palmer joining Dams and tell me that he is not lovely. I DARE YOU
Also, I have the feeling that the Dams team feels so sad about not being able to let Marcus win the championship because of things that were away from them. They were so happy for having him in the team and maybe they feel some kind of guilty…
With Marcus Ericsson being linked to a drive with the Caterham F1 Team in 2014, I thought I would jump the gun a little and explain to the critics why he is a standout candidate for a full time race seat in F1.
Marcus Ericsson is a proven racer, that much is a given, but why is he better than the rest and why does he deserve a seat in F1? On the surface it might seem like an obscure call to make but his stats and racing CV don’t do the Swede enough justice. Three wins in the last four seasons of GP2 might not seem a lot and nor might 15 podiums, but when Ericsson scores points he brings them home in droves.
The numbers clearly don’t stack up and I think that this is one of the reasons why people who don’t know much about Ericsson are disregarding his credentials immediately. Is that how it should be? Measuring talent purely on race wins? I don’t think so. But we know it has happened for years.
Looking deeper under the surface of the numbers, followers of the GP2 Series will know what Ericsson is really made of. His first year of competition in the Series didn’t go to plan but he was just learning the ropes at that time. Two bright years at fans’ favourite iSport International followed and a dominant win at Spa-Francorchamps in the latter stages of 2012 put fire in the belly of the Swede and sent him into a six race string of point scoring finishes.
DAMS were impressed with Ericsson’s performances in the GP2 Series and in their car at pre-season testing and signed him for the 2013 campaign. The French team and former GP2 Team Champions don’t just pick any old driver, they select the best; Davide Valsecchi, Romain Grosjean and Kamui Kobayashi to name just a few.
2013 was strewn with bad luck and disappointing DNFs for DAMS’ new number one driver. A crash in Malaysia, rear wing damage in Bahrain, being crashed into in Spain, getting caught up in the pileup in Monaco and an unforeseen puncture at Monza ruined any chances of winning the GP2 Series crown. In all these circumstances, Marcus was running in the top ten and could have easily racked up a few more top results.
Despite having such bad fortune throughout the year, two pole positions, a race win and countless points finishes later and he finished the year in sixth place with 121 points. These performances show what a true racing driver can do. As the old saying goes “Form is temporary, class is permanent”. Driving class is all there.
Marcus may only be 23 years of age now but nowadays that is quite old given the ages that some drivers make their F1 debuts at. Jumping into the sport next year could be exactly what he needs to move his career in the right direction. If Caterham see his full potential now, there’s no real reason to hang around in GP2 for one more year only to become an F1 reject from then on.
The odds are firmly in Ericsson’s favour. Heikki Kovalainen and Charles Pic are other potential candidates for the Caterham seat but they already have issues. Kovalainen struggles with finances and Pic has admitted that his time with Caterham could well be up at the end of 2013. Furthermore, after testing with Brawn GP at the end of 2009, Team Principal Ross Brawn said ”Marcus had his first opportunity in a Formula One car this week and he has performed very well showing exceptional maturity in his approach and feedback.” Not too shabby from a man who has been round the block a few times.
Caterham’s decision on a 2014 driver pairing will hinge hugely on how much money is brought to the team. Marcus’ funds have never really broken the bank but money could have been sent his way after news of a potential F1 seat is there waiting. Don’t let that make you think Marcus is solely a pay driver. He’s not. If a deal isn’t made, it is Formula One’s loss.
Let’s see if a wise decision is made.
I don’t think Marcus will get the Caterham seat because of *cough* money *cough* reasons, but this article resumes all my efforts to let everybody know that he is a fantastic driver. Knowing that a F1 team (one of the modest teams, but a F1 team after all) is considering him is simply amazing. It’s easy for somebody who has never seen a GP2 or any feeder series race to automatically acuse a young driver of being a pay driver. And Marcus is definitely not a pay driver.
You have to see Marcus Ericsson’s (second car in the picture) overtake in the first lap of the qualification race in 2009. He started on pole but had a bad start, but then he took back the first position in a breathtaking maneuver