Marcus Ericsson may not be turning as many heads as two of his fellow rookie teammates in 2019, but that could soon be changing. See, if Ericsson had some luck go his way, he’s be making as much noise as Colton Herta and Felix Rosenqvist.
Rosenqvist, led 31 laps and finished fourth in the season opener on the streets of St. Pete. Herta, became the youngest NTT IndyCar Series race winner ever with his win in COTA. So, it’s not like their attention has been a fluke.
But, if Ericsson could get better luck on Saturday’s, then his success on Sunday’s would be a whole heck of a lot different.
In the season opener in St. Pete, Ericsson qualified a disappointing 18th. He was one of those drivers caught out by a red flag. He’d have an issue with his No. 7 Honda and finish a disappointing 20th.
Then, in the next race at COTA, Ericsson was caught out by a fluke red and would start 16th. He didn’t stay there long though as he short pitted the first pit sequence and came out in the top 10 when it was all said and done. The Swedish rookie would remain in the top 10 until having to serve a pit road penalty towards the end of the day. That dropped him from a a for sure top 10 to a 15th place effort.
Last weekend in Barber was more of the same. A frustrating qualifying effort left him starting 20th. Again, like COTA, he didn’t stay in the back very long. Ericsson, short pitted the first pit sequence again and just like COTA, he was in the top 10 after.
This time, he stayed there.
Ericsson, finished a career best seventh last Sunday which gives him the momentum and confidence he needs heading to one of the most prestigious races on the entire circuit – Long Beach.
“I’m really excited to go to Long Beach,” said Ericsson. “We’re going there with a very positive feeling after a strong race at Barber. We finally got a good result in the Arrow car after the bad luck in the first two rounds, so we’re bringing that momentum with us.
“Obviously now the main target for us is to try and qualify higher up; that’s the key for an even better result on Sunday. That’s where we’ll focus our preparation and go out and try to execute it again this weekend. I’m excited and really happy we’re already heading to another race. Bring it on.”
Ericsson’s Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports teammate of James Hinchcliffe told me on Monday that he feels like Ericsson has passed more cars this season than anyone else. He echoed Ericcson in saying that if he could have some better luck/results on Saturday’s, then his race days would be so much better. Just think of how many less cars he’d have to pass.
That’s why Sunday’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach (4 p.m. ET/NBCSN/IndyCar Radio Network) should be a good weekend for him.