Ericsson: Peterson death a big blow
4 February 2014 – Marcus Ericsson reckons the death of Ronnie Peterson in 1978 is one of the reasons why there have been so few Swedish Formula 1 drivers in recent decades, describing his accident as a "big blow" for the nation.
The 23-year-old, who is partnering Kamui Kobayashi at Caterham this season, will represent the Scandinavian country in Formula 1 for the first time since 1991, when Stefan Johansson retired from the sport.
When asked by GPUpdate.net what has prevented more Swedish talents from rising to the the top echelon, Ericsson said: "That's a good question. I think that we had a lot of good drivers with big talent.
"I think that it even goes back to when Ronnie Peterson was driving in Formula 1 and he had his fatal accident. I think that was a big blow for Sweden.
"Also, we never had that natural thing that, for example, Finland has had, when one driver stops and then helps the next driver into Formula 1. I think that could be one of the reasons too, because I'm sure that Swedish drivers can be as good as anyone."
Looking at the impact of his arrival, Ericsson said: "Obviously it's been a long time for Sweden since we had a Formula 1 driver, 23 years. So it's been big news in Sweden, which is great. I'm really happy with that."