Marcus Ericsson has confirmed he is in talks with several IndyCar teams as he looks to secure a seat in the American series for 2019. The Swede will step away from racing in F1 next year after being replaced by Antonio Giovinazzi at Sauber.
Sauber confirmed that Ericsson would stay on board as its reserve driver and a brand ambassador for Alfa Romeo, its title sponsor. But the former Caterham driver still wants to hold a full-time race seat somewhere and is looking at IndyCar as an option.
"We’re looking around at different options, but nothing is done yet. I definitely want to race next year, that’s the main target,” Ericsson said. “The most attractive for me is IndyCar at the moment, so I’m looking at it. We’re talking to some teams there. I think it’s a realistic target.”
Ericsson's ultimate goal is to make a return to F1 in the future, but he believes that continuing to race elsewhere will be a boost for his chances of making a comeback.
"I want to race at the highest level possible because I see myself coming back to Formula 1 in the future as well,” Ericsson said. “To be able to come back to Formula 1, I think I want to stay in single-seaters and I want to stay in fast cars. Looking at how it is at the moment in motorsport, for me, IndyCar is the one that is the best series to do that in.”
IndyCar has attracted the attention of many top-tier drivers in recent years, most notably Fernando Alonso who raced at the Indianapolis 500 last year. Ericsson says that it would be "cool" to experience the series first hand as is aiming for a full-season contract.
“I’ve always looked at it and thought it would be really cool. Now I think the racing over there is amazing, it looks so much fun,” Ericsson said. “When you speak to drivers or other people that are over there, they all seem to love it over there and say that the racing is great and the atmosphere is great and the series is really on the up. That’s also something that makes me quite interested in it.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing