Marcus Ericsson secures IndyCar drive for 2019

Current Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson has secured a drive in IndyCar next year with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

Ericsson will be dropped by Sauber at the end of the year to make way for Kimi Raikkonen, bringing the Swede’s five-year Formula One career to an end. He signed a deal to continue as a reserve driver for Sauber but has made no secret of his desire to continue racing in another a series.

On Tuesday, SPM announced Ericsson will drive the No.7 Honda for the team in 2019 alongside James Hinchcliffe.

“It’s a great honour to be picked as one of the drivers at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and IndyCar for the 2019 season,” 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 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 work 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.”

SPM co-owner Sam Schmidt added: “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.”

SPM confirmed the No.6 Honda remains open for Robert Wickens, who was driving for the team this year until he suffered severe injuries in a violent accident at Pocono Raceway in August.