Drivers from Caterham and Marussia are easy targets for fans that are annoyed by pay drivers. Of course it’s frustrating that some drivers will not get the chance to race in F1 because they don’t have the backing, however that’s just the state the sport is in currently so there’s nothing fans can do about it.
When Marcus Ericsson joined Caterham he was automatically labelled a pay driver that wouldn’t make it far. Clearly not a lot of people saw him race in GP2. Last season he drove for the highly rated Dams team but unfortunately due to many reliability issues he was not able to fight as much for title as he would of liked too. Championship aside he was still massively quick and had a great race craft throughout the season, so does he deserve to be in F1? Yes I think he does and the fact that he has money is a mandatory bonus for the smaller F1 teams nowadays.
This season hasn’t been going well, but not just for him, for the whole of the Caterham team it’s just been issue after issue and the latest one is the fact that they may have forty members of staff suing them. That doesn’t mean the over-riding issue has gone away though, they’re simply not fast enough and are being left behind by Marussia and Sauber. So Ericsson on his own has had five retirements, most down to reliability issues and some down to rookie mistakes, which are always going to happen in your first season no matter what team you’re at. His latest crash was in the rain at Hungary, it was a big impact but luckily down to the safety of Formula 1 he was able to walk away unharmed. Monaco also stands out for a big crash and that one was really just a misjudgement which saw him unfortunately take another driver out as well.
Out of all the races Marcus Ericsson has finished his average finishing position would be 17th which isn’t bad for the performance level that Caterham has. His highest finish for the season so far is an 11th place in Monaco, painfully close to his first points in Formula 1. Qualifying on the other hand isn’t his strongest quality as his best position is just 19th and he has started 22nd and last on three occasions. The statistic that that most surprised me about Ericsson’s season so far is his position in the championship. Currently he sits 18th ahead of Pastor Maldonado, Esteban Gutierrez, Max Chilton and teammate Kamui Kobayashi, despite all these drivers having their own issues this season he sits on top and out of the bottom teams only the highly rated Jules Bianchi and struggling Adrian Sutil are ahead. For a rookie I think that’s really impressive, everyone below him should be experienced enough to have it together half way through the season.
For the rest of the season I think Caterham will continue to struggle so unless we have another crazy race like Monaco, which I can only see happening somewhere like Brazil it’s going to be difficult for them to get points. In the future, I hope Ericsson keeps a hold of his seat and really gets to move up the grid, from what I saw in GP2 and in F1 so far I think he has the talent to go on to a better team than Caterham.
‘One of my biggest strengths is to turn things around and perform when it looks like it’s impossible.’- Marcus Ericsson
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