Marcus Ericsson 'nervous' before 2018 deal signed

Published on 05 Dec 2017 10:24

Marcus Ericsson has admitted he had "a few nervous weeks" before he was re-signed by Sauber for 2018. The Swede was out-scored this year by his teammate Pascal Wehrlein, who has been ousted and looks set to leave F1. Ericsson admits that Wehrlein, the highly-rated young Mercedes driver, was "the perfect measure" for him in 2017.

However, it is believed 26-year-old Ericsson's strong links with the new Sauber ownership were enough to secure his place for next season. "I had a few nervous weeks but of course it's nice that everything is ready now, especially with Alfa Romeo as a major sponsor and partner," he told the Swedish motoring magazine Teknikens Varld.

Ericsson, who has also raced in F1 with the now-defunct Caterham team, admitted he is relieved that Sauber looks set to have a more competitive car in 2018. "It has been quite a tough career so far in formula one," he said. "It has been difficult to show what I can do with cars that are always at the back of the grid. But now with Sauber together with Alfa Romeo, it should mean that for the first time I can be much higher on the grid," Ericsson added.

He will be paired next year with Charles Leclerc, the new Formula 2 champion and a Ferrari junior driver. "Charles Leclerc is an incredibly talented driver who really dominated F2 this year and will of course be a tough opponent for me next season," Ericsson said. "He is also Ferrari's new super junior but I'm sure we will work well together to develop the car in the best way." (GMM)

Replies (10)
Posts: 401
Every single news article brings up the fact that he was outscored by Pascal and that Ericsson’s backing saves him from losing his seat, and I guess if I was a Pascal fan and Ericsson hater I would do the same. But honestly, how can you call Pascal’s 8th place anything but luck, or was it Pascal’s skills as a driver that made it so drivers in front of him retired and was it his skill as a driver that enabled him to do his pit stop during the VSC? Personally I rate Pascal slightly higher than Ericsson because of his aggression, but by no means do I find Pascal to be leaps ahead of Ericsson. These reporters really need to look at the stats more closely, I’m sure they’ll find that Ericsson and Pascal were very evenly matched. Seems the hype surrounding Pascal, generated by Toto and Mercedes, echoes in these reporters minds and blinds them from looking at how that inter-team battle unfolded and the circumstances surrounding the results, such as weight disadvantage, strategy, yellow flags on Ericsson’s hot laps in quali and so on.
DK RenaultFM1 05 Dec 2017 11:23+1
Posts: 100
I will not comment on what you write but for sure I like Ericsson to have a chance in a better car. Sauber needs experience and Ericsson bring that to the table. Good luck in 2018! Stay behind Kevin of course;)
Posts: 625
I never really rated Wehrlein, but he did shine in the DTM. I have no opinion regarding Ericsson either as I don’t think he’s had much of a chance to show what he’s got. Having said that, he’d better raise his game for Leclerc because his sponsor cash won’t help him after next year with the Alfa thing going on..
Posts: 401
Absolutely he has to raise his game against Leclerc. I predict he will have a very tough time against him, in a way I hope so because I have high hopes that Leclerc is a new star, someone who will take the fight to Verstappen in years to come.
DE juju_hound 05 Dec 2017 12:06+1
Posts: 166
Wehrlein scored points with Manor and with Sauber. He is scoring point with weak teams. Saying Ericcson needs a better car to show his potential is really funny comparing to what Pascal did. It's a shame and we all know Ericsson drives because his pocket is bigger than Wehrlein. Only reason he is still there.
Posts: 133
I was thinking the same but everything changed for me in four last races. When was time to fight for place in Sauber he did his best to win, in the same time Pascal only complained about his hard situation in media instead fight. Of course Marcus isn't the best material for F1 driver but i have doubts about Pascal as well and in the end he has alias "princess Pascal"...
DE juju_hound 05 Dec 2017 13:10+1
Posts: 166
Pascal lost his chance after losing seat in Force India. It was clear his future uncertain when also Mercedes chose Valterri.
SE calle.itw 05 Dec 2017 20:070
Posts: 5669
It will be interesting to see how he perform this year. Especially if the car is good enough to compete with the rest.
US ajpennypacker 05 Dec 2017 21:590
Posts: 1425
I don't understand how Ericsson has managed to hold on to a seat this long. He not only hasn't performed in Formula 1, but he's also been lackluster in every category he's been in since 2009 when he won the Japanese Formula 3 championship. I don't think Pascal Wherlein is comparable to Esteban Ocon, but I do rank him over Ericsson.
Posts: 313
Of course it's not easy to score points when you're always in the weakest car. However the biggest problem for Ericsson so far in his career (in my opinion) has been that whenever there were opportunities for the weakest car in the field to grab some points, it was nearly always his teammate who capitalized (first Nasr and then Wehrlein). Of course the points those guys grabbed were "lucky", but they both put themselves in the right place at the right time, something Ericsson so far has been unable to do. Whether that comes down to luck or something else I don't know, but the trend has been pretty consistent throughout his career.

He can have long stretches of very solid mistake-free races where he finishes 14th-15th without any attention (often beating his teammates) because not enough opponents retire. Then when there is a race where lots of other cars have problems, Ericsson too will have one issue or another leaving the field open for his teammates to pick up the odd point, causing media and casual fans to conclude that his teammates are better drivers than him.

If the 2018 car can be good enough to fight for points consistently, Ericsson should be a good bet to regularly finish in the points which could give him a better chance at outscoring his teammate than he's had so far in his career where consistent racing hasn't been enough to score a lot of points.

As for Leclerc, I'll reserve judgement until we've seen what he can do. Do I expect him to come in and be a star right away? No I don't. But I wouldn't be surprised if he's able to compete with, or even be slightly quicker than Ericsson early in the year as Ericsson over his career seems to be the sort of driver who needs a bit of time to adjust to a new car. Typically he's a slow starter compared to his teammates but as the season goes on he always ends up the quicker of the two by the end of the year.

        Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi
Local time
Give your opinion!
Which rookie do you think will impress the most in 2019?

Driver profile
Name SE Marcus Ericsson
Active As Sauber Driver in Formula 1
Date of birth Sep 2 1990 (28)
Weight 63 kg
Height 1.80m
City Kumla
33,406 comments on Ericsson
3 members have this driver as their favourite
Tweets about Marcus Ericsson
Track Yas Marina Circuit
Track Yas Marina Circuit
Location AE Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Website Website
Team profile
Name CH Sauber
Founding date Jan 1 1970
109,329 comments on Sauber
2 members have this team as their favourite
Location Hinwil
Tweets about Sauber
Formula 1 Calendar
Previous Grand Prix: 25 November 2018
AE Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi