Ericsson: IndyCar a "realistic target" alongside F1 role

Marcus Ericsson is talking with IndyCar teams as he eyes a full-time racing campaign in the United States alongside his role as third driver for Sauber in Formula 1.

Ericsson: IndyCar a "realistic target" alongside F1 role

Ericsson will lose his Sauber seat at the end of the season, with Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi forming an all-new line-up at the Swiss team.

Ericsson – a veteran of 92 grand prix starts, 76 with Sauber – will remain Sauber's reserve driver and have an ambassadorial role but the Swede wants to continue racing ahead of a possible 2020 return to F1.

Ericsson described IndyCar as “the most attractive” option and would be keen to do a full programme including ovals.

When asked by Motorsport.com how realistic it is, replied: “We’re talking to some teams there and I think it is a realistic target.

“We’re also talking to teams in other categories as well.

“For me, I want to race in 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.”

Motorsport.com understands Ericsson is in the frame at a team that does not require him to bring funding.

IndyCar’s leading three teams Andretti Autosport, Chip Ganassi Racing and Team Penske have all confirmed their line-ups for 2019.

Two of the other three race-winning teams from this season – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Dale Coyne Racing – appear to be set.

However, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports only has 2018 race winner James Hinchcliffe locked down because Robert Wickens has no return date following his horrific accident in August.

Teams such as Carlin and Juncos Racing would only consider a driver who brings a financial package.

IndyCar's increasing popularity means several prospective new outfits are also likely to need supporting budgets from drivers.

“I’ve always looked at it and thought it to be really cool and the racing over there is amazing,” said Ericsson.

“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 is unsure if we will test a car before the end of the F1 season but is in no rush to firm up his 2019 plans.

He said a return to Japan, where he won the Formula 3 title in 2009, was also possible, having admitted Super Formula is “also an option”.

Ericsson said he would “jump” at a good opportunity to contest the Le Mans 24 Hours and although his priority is to try to stay in single-seaters, he is not assessing Formula E seriously yet.

“[FE] is definitely one of the options,” he 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.”

Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C37

Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C37

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Sutton Images

shares
comments
Blocking Sainz deal cost Red Bull Ricciardo - Abiteboul

Previous article

Blocking Sainz deal cost Red Bull Ricciardo - Abiteboul

Next article

Alain Prost: Formula 1’s overlooked colossus

Alain Prost: Formula 1’s overlooked colossus
Load comments
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't Prime

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says Oleg Karpov, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat Prime

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap-one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt Prime

The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming.

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash Prime

How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash

A poor start for Valtteri Bottas and the lap one clash between Formula 1's 2021 title protagonists gave Charles Leclerc a surprise lead in the British Grand Prix that he almost held to the end. Here's how the Ferrari driver came close to a famous victory, ultimately denied by a recovering Lewis Hamilton three laps from home

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone Prime

The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone

Red Bull and Max Verstappen scored an early blow against Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes at Silverstone, with sprint qualifying race victory. But that doesn’t mean Sunday’s grand prix is a foregone conclusion. Although Verstappen starts as the favourite, here’s why Mercedes still holds hope of winning

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2021