Prior to 2014, Stefan Johansson had been the last man to represent Sweden in a Formula 1 race. That mantle has now been passed to Marcus Ericsson, a racer who was not even a year old when Johansson made his 79th and final F1 start at the 1991 Canadian Grand Prix.
Born in the city of Kumla on September 2, 1990, like many of his contemporaries Ericsson cut his racing teeth in karts, quickly accumulating a host of trophies. Then in 2006 he met former Indy 500 winner and compatriot Kenny Brack, who along with fellow Swedish racer Eje Elgh helped him make a highly successful transition to single-seaters - in 2007 Ericsson won the British Formula BMW title at his first attempt with seven race victories.?
The following year he graduated to British Formula Three where he finished fifth in the championship behind, among others, future F1 drivers Jaime Alguersuari and Sergio Perez. Ericsson stuck with F3 in 2009, but this time switched to the Japanese series. Despite having to adapt to living and racing thousands of miles from home, he stormed to the title with five wins, and his efforts were rewarded with a Brawn GP F1 test at Jerez in Spain later that year...