Motorsport

Swedish F1 racer Ericsson jumps to IndyCar for 2019

2018-10-31 07:12
Marcus Ericsson (Getty)

Washington - Swedish Formula One driver Marcus Ericsson, never better than an eighth-place finisher over five F1 seasons, will jump to IndyCar next year, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announced on Tuesday. 

The 28-year-old racer who made his F1 debut with Caterham in 2014 will drive a Honda-powered IndyCar entry after racing four Sauber the past four seasons, this year for Ferrari-powered Alfa Romeo. 

"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," SPM co-owner Sam Schmidt said. 

Ericsson has made 95 F1 starts with races yet to come this season in Brazil and Abu Dhabi. His top finish was eighth in the 2015 season opener in Australia. He had five top-10 efforts that year but topped it with six top-10s this year, including 10th in the United States and ninth at last Sunday's Mexican Grand Prix. 

"It's a great honor to be picked as one of the drivers at Schmidt Peterson," Ericsson said. "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." 

Ericsson will remain a reserve driver for Alfa Romeo Sauber next year but is excited to race in IndyCar. 

"The racing in IndyCar looks great and I feel really excited to be part of it in the future," he said. "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." 

Ericsson will be a teammate of Canada's James Hinchcliffe, set to start his ninth IndyCar campaign and fifth with Schmidt Peterson with his most recent of five series wins coming this past July at Iowa. 

British racer Jack Harvey has a part-time ride with the team while the team holds a spot for Canadian Robert Wickens, who was paralyzed in a crash at Pocono in August, should be ever want to return. 

Two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso of Spain had considered making a move to IndyCar next year as well but decided against it, although he said a one-off drive at the Indianapolis 500 was "a possibility." 

"I thought it was too demanding next year," Alonso said. "I don't know about in the future, but next year the commitment of the 17 races, it was too much. That dedication and that amount of work that you need to put into that series to be competitive, starting from zero, I felt it was too much."

Read more on:    marcus ericsson  |  motorsport
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