Ericsson Swaps F1 for IndyCar Next Season

Ericsson IndyCar Seat.jpg

Outgoing Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson will switch to the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda team in IndyCar next season, ending a five year stay in Grand Prix racing.


Having found himself without a drive at Sauber next season thanks to the surprise signing of Kimi Räikkönen and Ferrari junior Antonio Giovinazzi, Marcus Ericsson has made the bold decision to relocate his driving talents to the American IndyCar series for 2019, teaming up with the highly rated James Hinchcliffe at the wheel of the #7 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team.

With the likeable Swede having limited opportunities to remain an active driver for 2019, aside from the already agreed Sauber reserve role, the 28-year-old has decided to seek opportunities in the United States as he looks to remain behind the wheel following what is effectively the end of his Formula One career.

"It's a great honour to be picked as one of the drivers at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and IndyCar for the 2019 season,” said Ericsson. “It feels like a perfect step for me and my career after five years in F1.

“I can't wait to start work with SPM and all the people in the team which I've heard a lot of good things about. They've had some great success over the years, and I'm looking forward to working hard to continue and improve on that path.

“The racing in IndyCar looks great and I feel really excited to be part of it in the future. It will be a lot to learn including new tracks, oval racing, etc. I know it won't be easy, but it's a challenge I'm very much looking forward to and I can't wait to get started.”

Despite an often difficult career in Formula One these last years, Ericsson has shown flashes of promise for both Caterham and Sauber since 2014, with the Swedish star showing particular pace in the last few Grand Prix following confirmation that he will no longer remain with the squad beyond the current season.

Thanks to the experience gained in Formula One, expectation will be high for Ericsson to perform at a high level immediately once he makes the move stateside, something that the team acknowledge will be a useful advantage as they look to build themselves into regular racing winning form in 2019:

"He has a ton of experience racing in the top levels of motorsports, so we believe that he will be able to contribute to our development program that began in earnest in 2018" said team co-owner Sam Schmidt of the driver announcement.

“While the circuits on the IndyCar schedule will be brand new to him, particularly the ovals, we have a lot of confidence and trust in his eagerness to learn along with his work ethic. We think he and James will be a good fit to push one another and fight for those wins.”

Ericsson will remain associated with Sauber thanks to his reserve driver and ambassadorial roles, however it is thought that IndyCar will be the main focus for Ericsson and his management team in 2019 and beyond.

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Do you think a move to IndyCar is a good one for Ericsson? Can the Sauber man perform at the front of the field in the series do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
 
RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.

chrillgrill

Painter/designer for RaceKraft Engineering
Dec 30, 2014
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26
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As a Swede, it will be fun to see two Swedish drivers in Indycar next season with Roseqvist joining as well. Hopefully, we'll get the rights to watch it :D
 

Durge Driven

2000RPM
Jun 17, 2017
2,520
1,527
What with the Indycar youtube channel uploading full races (even if with a considerable delay), I really don't have an excuse right? I should just go watch the things.
Google: Nismo TV, IMSA, GT World, ADAC, Formula E all have full races ;)

Shame others are not so forth coming, people that can afford hi speed streams will always pay either way.

Let those that can't have free delayed 720p say............... all it could do is make more fans
 

Michel Forest

100RPM
Jul 26, 2017
210
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Good for him. I hope he succeeds. However, if I was a driver, I would think twice about joining that series. Justin Wilson’s death and the horrible crash of Wickens are making me believe that open wheel cars are just too dangerous on oval tracks. Just my opinion, of course, and I am not the person doing the driving...
 

Paul Jeffrey

RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief
Original poster
Staff
Premium
Jun 5, 2009
11,738
35,550
I'd like to know why he looks so concentrated in that picture.. he's just having a seat fitting :roflmao:

Ericsson on Twitter: "Look guys, tried an IndyCar and didn't crash". Fails to mention it had no wheels attached and wasn't moving... :confused:
 

wombat999

500RPM
Premium
Oct 11, 2015
724
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Indy-cars gain is effwuns loss.
Shame they aren't real open wheel racing cars.
 

howitzer155mm

250RPM
Oct 14, 2015
260
167
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Good move, better to abandon that sinking ship of a series until Formula E takes over.

And it's nice that more than 6 drivers will have a chance at the WDC in IndyCar.
 

Nick Hill

1000RPM
Premium
Oct 26, 2013
1,276
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Kind of hypocritical of me I suppose - I find Ericsson to be a very "meh" driver and have had my fun at his expense...yet I'm excited to see him make the jump. I guess I just find the cross-series comparisons fun and will be rooting for him to do well in IndyCar.

Also, can never have too many Swedes around in my book. :p
 

Slowdive

250RPM
Oct 28, 2017
433
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Kind of hypocritical of me I suppose - I find Ericsson to be a very "meh" driver and have had my fun at his expense...
That's the problem with F1, it's exceptionally difficult to see driver skill. Not so in Indycar where it is all driver skill.
 

F1Aussie

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Oct 16, 2010
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And if he excels in Indycar it will be proof that the driving standards aren't that flash there, he has proven to be a very mediocre F1 driver regardless of what car he is in.
 

SuperLime

100RPM
Jun 15, 2017
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I'd like to know why he looks so concentrated in that picture.. he's just having a seat fitting :roflmao:

Ericsson on Twitter: "Look guys, tried an IndyCar and didn't crash". Fails to mention it had no wheels attached and wasn't moving... :confused:
maybe trying to memorize buttons on wheel already?
 

MoerasGrizzly

1000RPM
Premium
Dec 29, 2014
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753
Google: Nismo TV, IMSA, GT World, ADAC, Formula E all have full races
Yup, and I watch a lot of those - Nascar uploads the full races as well! Wish F1 would , but they'd probably have to go full Indycar/Nascar style on the advertising first.
 

St3fan

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Apr 12, 2015
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I don't know other people, but when I watch F1 on TV here in the US the TV always cuts right before a potential overtake, and forces me to understand either swtiching to GEICO saves me on auto insurance, or to know that the new Chevy Equinox wins some stupid awards. I think the only races I have been watching live now is IMSA and SuperGT.