Marcus Ericsson has admitted that the eight years he went – most of them in F1 – without winning a race took a mental toll on him.
In his third season in the series, the Swedish driver claimed his first victory in IndyCar at the week at the Grand Prix of Detroit.
It was the first time he had been the first driver to cross the line since 2013 when he won at the Nurburgring in GP2.
After that, he moved to Formula 1, and spent his time either in the midfield or at the back of the grid due to the machinery he had at his disposal, never finishing higher than P8.
Speaking after the long-awaited victory, he admitted that the drought was difficult for him.
“I think it would be tough for anyone to go eight years without winning a race when that’s what you do,” the former Alfa Romeo man said as per RaceFans.
“My job is to win a race, and I haven’t done it for eight years. Of course, it’s going to take a toll.
“I was winning races pretty much every year, going up the ranks. It was something that you were sort of used to and targeting.
“When you reach the top level like I did in 2014 to F1, I was in smaller teams that didn’t have the resources to compete for wins. Then you as a driver sort of forget that feeling to fight and go for wins.”
— Marcus Ericsson (@Ericsson_Marcus) June 13, 2021
As soon as he joined IndyCar, he found himself further up the grid again, finishing in P2 in just his eighth race and claiming three top-five finishes in his second season.
He says prior to that, he had forgotten just how good it felt to fight for wins but importantly, kept believing in himself.
“It was not until I went to IndyCar that I realised how much I missed that feeling to go into a weekend and have the mindset to try to win, try to beat everyone,” he added.
“You need to be mentally strong and believe in yourself, believe in your abilities. I’ve done that. I’ve bounced back strong. I think that’s one of my strengths, that I’ve been having good mental strength. But, for sure, it’s tough.
“I think I showed that I can do it. I think it’s going to help going forward.”