Marcus Ericsson labels IndyCar as “the most attractive” option for 2019

by Jordan Groves
Marcus Ericsson - Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team - Hockenheimring

Marcus Ericsson has stated that he is in talks with a number of teams to try and secure himself a seat in the 2019 IndyCar Series. The Swedish driver is hoping to contest a full-time campaign in the series following the announcement of his demotion to the third driver role with the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team for next year.

It was confirmed last week that Ericsson would be losing his race seat for 2019 after Antonio Giovinazzi was confirmed to be partnering Kimi Raikkonen at Sauber. Ericsson, who has competed in seventy-six races since his Formula 1 debut in 2013 with Caterham, will stay on with Sauber as a brand ambassador and as a reserve driver; but Marcus has made it no secret that he wishes to keep racing.

In a recent interview with Autosport, Ericsson made it known that he was actively pursuing a ride in IndyCar next year, going on to say that he wanted to “race in the highest level possible” in case an option for him to return to Formula 1 came about in the future:

“We’re talking to some teams there [in IndyCar] and I think it is a realistic target,” Ericsson told Autosport,

“We’re also talking to teams in other categories as well. For me, I want to race at the highest level possible because I see myself coming back to Formula 1 in the future as well. To be able to come back to F1, I want to stay in single-seaters and fast cars. IndyCar is the best series to do that in.”

“I’ve always looked at it [IndyCar] and thought it to be really cool and the racing over there is amazing,” Marcus went on to say, “It looks so much fun and when you speak to other drivers or people that are over there they seem to love it, they say the racing is great, the atmosphere is great and the series is on the up.”

Ericsson confirmed to Autosport that he would be hoping to contest a full season of IndyCar, which would include oval races. Other drivers, recently including the likes of Jordan King, who have made the switch from Formula 1 and it’s preceding categories have usually only taken part in the road course and street circuit races. Ericsson, however, wants to give the speedways a shot.

Marcus Ericsson - Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team - Spa-Francorchamps

Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Autosport has also gone on to state that Ericsson is currently in talks with IndyCar teams that will not require him to bring additional funding through sponsorship. This could rule out possible deals with teams such as Carlin and Juncos Racing and may perhaps make Schmidt Peterson Motorsports the most likely spot for Marcus; especially as the team are without a second driver for the foreseeable future whilst the injured Robert Wickens continues his recovery following his crash at Pocono Raceway.

If Ericsson was not able to secure a full-time ride, another option could come from Ed Carpenter Racing; as the team has yet to confirm who will share the #20 Chevrolet with Ed Carpenter; who will once again contest only the oval races of the 2019 championship. Jordan King had occupied that part-time slot for 2018, but it is as yet unknown as to whether the British driver will keep the seat; despite having shown impressive pace throughout the year.

Ericsson went on to tell Autosport that there were a number of other potential options on the table for him should an IndyCar deal fall through. Marcus named Japan’s Super Formula series as one option alongside a potential seat in Formula E. However, Marcus intimated that he saw Formula E as “more of a career move” and that he would prefer other options that could see him more readily able to make a return to Formula 1.

“[Formula E] is definitely one of the options,” Marcus said. “It is interesting in many aspects but to stay in F1-type of driving it’s maybe not the best one.

“FE is more of a career move. There are some other options that you can keep on the F1 radar and come back here.”

In the meantime, Ericsson will be hoping to contest his final five confirmed Formula 1 outings to the best of his abilities as he looks to showcase himself to potential teams for next season. He will be back out on track tomorrow, Friday, October 5, in practice for this weekend’s 2018 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit.

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