F1 refugee Ericsson makes IndyCar switch with SPM
Sauber Formula 1 driver Marcus Ericsson will switch to IndyCar in 2019, driving the #7 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda as fulltime teammate to James Hinchcliffe.
The 28-year-old Swede, who scored three GP2 wins, and has raced with Sauber for the past four seasons, will have made 97 Formula 1 starts when he competes in the season finale in Abu Dhabi next month.
With current teammate Charles Leclerc moving to Ferrari next year, Sauber is having a complete change in its lineup for 2019, with 2007 Formula 1 champion Kimi Raikkonen to be joined by rookie Antonio Giovinazzi. However, Ericsson will remain part of the squad as reserve driver.
"It's a great honor 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.”
Team co-owner Sam Schmidt commented: “Ric [Peterson] and I are excited to welcome Marcus to the team. 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.
“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 [Hinchcliffe] will be a good fit to push one another and fight for those wins.”
Jack Harvey will also retain a link with the team through SPM’s collaboration with Meyer Shank Racing which aims to continue an expanded but still part-time schedule.
Ericsson will race the #7 car for SPM, as the #6 has been retained for injured driver Robert Wickens “when he wants to and is able to return.”
Marcus Ericsson seat-fitting at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
Photo by: IndyCar Series
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