Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, Monza, 2018

Ericsson to become Sauber’s third driver after losing race seat

2019 F1 season

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Marcus Ericsson will remain with Sauber as the team’s third driver after losing his Formula 1 race seat for 2019.

The 28-year-old, who joined the team in 2015, is connected to the Swiss investment company Longbow Finance which took over Sauber two years ago.

“We are delighted to announce that Marcus Ericsson will continue to be part of our team,” said Sauber on social media. “Marcus will be taking on the role of third driver and brand ambassador.”

The team described its 2019 driver line-up as a “dream team”. Antonio Giovinazzi was confirmed as its second race driver today following the earlier announcement that Kimi Raikkonen will join them next year.

Ericsson made his F1 debut with Caterham in 2014 before moving to Sauber the following year. He has already made more starts for Sauber as an independent team than any other driver: 75 of his 91 grand prix starts to date have been for the Swiss team.

He achieved the best result of his career to date, eighth place, on his debut for them in the 2015 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

“I am proud to have represented Sauber for four of those years, and for having raced for such an iconic brand as Alfa Romeo this season,” said Ericsson in a statement.

“I would have loved to continue on this path, but having a driver like Kimi Räikkönen on board is a great opportunity for the whole team.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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29 comments on “Ericsson to become Sauber’s third driver after losing race seat”

  1. F-word present participle finally.

  2. At least something….

  3. Yeah, makes sense. Unless he’d had another deal to race somewhere in his pocket, why not keep him around. In case something happens (see how Giovanazzi got his first two races), for simulator work and not to lose his experience with the team.

    1. Nasr did get his butt beaten in the second season together and only that lucky race made him higher in the table so i would not write Nasr as a big shot.

      Werhlein did not beat marcus with the margin everyone was hoping for, Alonso over Vandoorne is the example of beating margin werhlein should have over marcus.

      Ocon is just sad that he is on his way out, amazing driver.

      1. and my comment made the wrong post…

        1. Still I got it, no worries.

          You might be right about Nasr, but I cannot agree about Wehrlein. Your arguement is that Pascal didn’t beat Ericsson enough, only a little? The new driver didn’t utterly destroy the older one who’s had three times as much experience (and whom around the whole Sauber team was built due to financial reasons)? That doesn’t sound right.

          And Alonso is Alonso. He’s strong, of course, but he’s also getting all the upgrades sooner, gets more viable strategies, has more say in the direction of developement. He basically has the whole team under his thumb. Also take the unreliability of Mclaren into acount, and then you’ll have a more delicate pictue about Vandoorne’s failure to deliver compared to Alonso. The guy definitely would have deserved more chances than Ericsson, or at least one more year at Mclaren, partnering Sainz.

          Shame about Ocon. Shame on the Stroll family. I have a very healthy realtionship with my father, but he sure as hell wouldn’t embarass both of us paying a fortune to push me into places where I clearly don’t belong for a lack of talent. Thank goodness Donald Trump doesn’t care about Formula-1.

          1. Hi Gaspar – I agree with your comment re. Ocon.
            But I disagree with the statement (by many, many people online) that ‘X’ “deserves another chance”… Why?
            There are only 20 seats (on average), so it’s a privilege and honour for any driver from the lower ranks to be offered a chance in F1. If nothing much transpires in 2-3 years what you then ‘deserve’ is to be made redundant…
            F1 isn’t a kindergarten… It’s the pinnacle… If you show promise, and have a little luck, you get a chance – because maybe you deserved it. That’s it – ONE chance…!
            Make the most of it… or, move over…

            If we want people like Ocon to stay then the likes of these less successful drivers have to cut their losses, and hang up their F1 hats…
            Just my 2¢…

          2. Ericssons was 10kg heavier than Pascal. The Sauber that year was overweight for most of the season. That means that Marcus setup was 10kg heavier wich is about 3/4 tenth a lap during Q. Despite that Pascal could barely beat him. Som tell me again how good Pascal was.

          3. @palagyi everyone was talking about how good werhlein was and in my eyes, failed to deliver that hype. should he get fired? nope even i thought that was bs, Marcus for once got some decent material and i think he did really well with it and it sucks that he got demoted, both as a swede and a fan.

            and that with stroll, he aint that bad, did really well in his rookie season and this season can really be judged with that awful awful williams, same with Sirotkin.

            but either way, 2019 will be fun.

  4. It’s high time they did that. Amazing that this guy has managed to stay in the sport for five seasons while we watched the likes of Wehrlein or Nasr (and now Ocon and Vandoorne) losing their seats.

  5. He’s proven over the years to be a solid third driver ;)

    1. Better than a solid number 2

      1. Yes he has been solid, last few years mainly, but not enough for a higher team up the grid to pick him up. Probably not F1 material at higher end, but hey, he had 5 years driving a fast car and getting paid well- kudos to Marcus.

  6. I didn’t expect this initially. I expected him to either remain as a full-time race driver or leave the team altogether.

    1. Will he get the odd FP1? Or would that be mocking him slightly?

  7. I guess this is kind of good news for Ocon fans. If Marcus is sitting tight as a reserve driver, then there’s a decent chance that Ocon will get that Williams seat.

    Interesting to see who Williams have their eye on for next year… Latifi? Mazepin? or will they take a Kubica or Ocon?

    1. Mazepin can’t qualify for a super licence no matter where he finishes in GP3 and Latifi needs at least 5th in F2 this year which is looking unlikely. Claire Williams said Kubica is the likely option to replace Stroll but Ocon is definately an option. Maybe even both if they decide not to keep Sirotkin.

      1. Latifi apparently already has a super licence as he is Force Indias reserve driver.

        I don’t think Kubica will race for Williams next year. Claires remark is about this year if Stroll jumps ship to FI.

        My guess is that it will be Sirotkin (who has a multi year deal) and Russell.

        1. @silfen

          Latifi apparently already has a super licence as he is Force Indias reserve driver.

          That’s not how it works.

        2. I believe the threshold to be a reserve driver is only 25 points, but a full-time driver needs to have 40 points. I’m not convinced a driver with below 40 points could straightforwardly convert that into a drive though – I think it would take a lot of convincing of relevant authorities, since the only thing 25 points guarantees is that the driver will be allowed to do Friday running.

    2. Williams would really be some special kind of stupid if they go for Kubica over Ocon.

  8. “I would have loved to continue on this path, but having a driver like Kimi Räikkönen on board is a great opportunity for the whole team.”

    Implying that’s he’s being replaced by Kimi and not Giovinazzi.

    1. Actually yeah! He has been replaced by Räikkönen. Ferrari have control over one seat in Sauber. It used to be Leclerc’s and now it’s Giovinazzi’s. Räikkönen moved there by his own wish, thus replacing Ericsson.

    2. He is being replaced by Kimi – Ferrari/Alfa Romeo have the right to nominate one driver in the Sauber should they choose to as part of their engine & branding deal. The Raikkonen deal was seperatly made for the “Sauber” seat and the team came out and said as much regarding the second seat. (This is out in the open and not paddock gossip)

  9. Ooh. Has Jesus made his return today? I thought this guy was epoxied to the sauber seat!

  10. He still is epoxied to that very seat @david-beau, its actually epoxied to his wallet ,

  11. I love the “brand ambassador” bit, it very much suggests “we need to find this guy something in return for kicking him out the race seat”…

  12. Sauber: “We are delighted to announce that Marcus Ericsson will continue to be part of our team …”
    Ericsson: “I am proud to have represented Sauber for four of those years …

    At least everyone has spoken the required clichés, as should be.

Comments are closed.