The lowdown on Marcus Ericsson
Lee McKenzie's view:
"Marcus Ericsson is managed by Swedish racer Kenny Bräck, who has a big motorsport pedigree and so is able to offer support and advice to his young charge.
"We've seen Marcus make some incredible overtakes and I particularly remember a weekend in Japan where he just kept doing the same pass over and over again.
"But, despite that, Marcus is inconsistent and can make a silly mistake in FP3 or qualifying which puts the team under pressure and sees him start further back, which means he doesn't ever really get the opportunities to show what he can do."
2017: 20th place. Born: 2/9/1990.
More than anyone, perhaps, Marcus Ericsson must be hoping that bottom team Sauber’s strengthened ties to Ferrari will result in improved track fortunes.
The only Swedish driver on the grid, he hasn’t scored a point since a golden run of three consecutive top-10 finishes midway through his first season with Swiss team in 2015.
That campaign’s nine points are his total sum in F1, having failed to register in his rookie season at Caterham.
Sauber, who he joined after the UK-based outfit formed by AirAsia mogul Tony Fernandes went into administration, have also suffered with money constraints.
The new partnership with Alfa Romeo – like Ferrari, part of the Fiat corporate umbrella – brings not only financial benefits and technical expertise, but also another young hotshot for Ericsson to deal with.
Last year he was out-scored by Mercedes protege Pascal Wehrlein, admittedly just 5-0, as he failed to finish six races with the car running a 2016-spec Ferrari engine. He was last of all drivers who had a full season.
Ericsson subsequently claimed that his performances were much closer to Wehrlein’s than the standings suggest, but this time he will have a new benchmark in the form of Charles Leclerc as well as an updated power unit.
Ferrari academy star Leclerc comes into his rookie F1 year after successively winning the GP3 and Formula 2 championships.