Team: Caterham F1 Team
Car No.: 9
Podiums (excluding wins): 0
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Championship Position: 19th
Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)
Much like Esteban Gutierrez in 2013, Marcus Ericsson’s rookie season may not have been that notable, but he did make some definite strides forward as the year wore on, even if they were not reflected in his results.
Coming up from GP2, Ericsson’s best outing of the year came at Monaco when he finished 11th in a race of attrition, matching Caterham’s best ever result in Formula 1. That would be the peak of the season, though, with the Swede not returning after the Russian Grand Prix when Caterham folded.
Amid all of the financial uncertainty that engulfed Caterham, Ericsson has managed to land on his feet, securing a seat with Sauber for 2015. People may point to his wallet, and although this will have played a part in it, if paddock speculation is to be believed, it is perhaps not as big as many may assume.
It may have been an unspectacular first season, but Ericsson deserves a second bite of the cherry in 2015. However, he must take full advantage of this chance – very few drivers escape the bottom-feeder teams.
Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)
Swede Marcus Ericsson had some marginal moments in his debut season of Formula One but like many others for either Caterham or its prior iteration as Lotus, wasn’t all that noticeable throughout the season.
The highlights included his near points-score in Monaco with 11th place and a handful of times he was best qualifier in the four-car Caterham/Marussia battle. Outside of Russia though, his 16th and final start this season, he never broke out of Row 10 on the grid, and fell towards the back as the year progressed.
Only one of his five retirements was from an accident, and that was excusable in Hungary given the race’s mixed conditions. But he made several mistakes in practice throughout the year, and those incidents probably set him back a bit. It also wasn’t a good look for him when Andre Lotterer – who hadn’t sat in an F1 car in more than a decade – turned up at Spa and outqualified him by nearly a second. With full-season teammate Kamui Kobayashi, a deficit was expected, but not against the German in his debut.
Ericsson has garnered enough funding for a second chance with Sauber in 2015 and with a full year of racing under his belt, will enter as de facto team leader over rookie Felipe Nasr. He did just enough this year to merit another season, but will need some true breakout performances next year to assure his long-term future.