Former Formula One driver, and now Indianapolis 500 champion Marcus Ericsson, has really come on strong in the NTT IndyCar Series over the last couple of years winning races every season. We had the opportunity to check in with him at the media luncheon just prior to the 2023 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach where he takes us through his incredible journey to being part of Indianapolis history. He also talks about some really special moments after the win. Finally, he shares his expectations heading into the Long Beach race and Indianapolis. His predictions for both Long Beach and Indy proved to be spot on as he scored Top 3 finishes in each. A true gentleman who is humble, grateful, and can bring a car home consistently at or near the front, Ericsson is one cool guy. Enjoy!
NOTE: It was announced on August 23, 2023 that Ericsson would be moving from the Ganassi team to Andretti Autosport for 2024. He’ll have more fast teammates at Andretti with Colton Herta and Kyle Kirkwood (whom he shared a podium [3rd] with at Long Beach). As of this date, we don’t know if he’ll race alongside or replace Romain Grosjean. . .
By Larry Mason
Copyright © 2023 Larry Mason
Marcus Ericsson happily shows us his Indianapolis 500 winner’s ring!
Prepare for launch. Using just the right amount of curb in Turn 9 helps rotate the car in this deceivingly quick 90 degree right hand corner. Milliseconds later the right side tires will be in mid-air.
Early in the weekend, Ericsson’s pristine Honda leads a couple of Chevys. It would be a good weekend for the local brand as they swept the top five positions at the end of the race.
The red and white trapezoids on Ericsson’s aeroscreen are the pull tabs for the tear-offs to give him clear vision. Late in the race, if you look closely, you’ll see that some are missing from this early weekend photo.
Not only are some of the tear-offs gone late in the race, but Ericsson’s once shiny clean race car is now pelted with black tire marks and some garbage wrapped around his roll hoop!
It’s imperative to use the curbs in Turn 5 to help you get a good launch back on to Shoreline Drive. Notice that not only is Ericsson getting some air time here, but the track also falls away in a negative camber slant.
Ericsson nearly made it two in a row at the Indianapolis 500 this year as you can see him crossing the yard of bricks clearly in the lead. A very late red flag (with two laps remaining and the resulting re-start) made him a sitting duck for getting drafted by and relegated to second place at the checkered flag.–Photo courtesy of INDYCAR Photo
Fast all weekend and just missing pole position at Long Beach by a mere 0.0376 seconds, Ericsson still brought the car home on the podium in third place. Here he’s giving a champagne shower to winner Kyle Kirkwood who will be Ericsson’s teammate next year.
Interview and photos Copyright © by Larry Mason (unless otherwise noted)