Marcus Ericsson says that his first run in an IndyCar brought him back to his love of racing after his stint in "artificial" Formula 1. The Swede will race for Schmidt Peterson Motorsport in 2019, partnering James Hinchcliffe at the team.
Sauber confirmed earlier this year that Ericsson, who joined the team for the start of the 2015 season, would not be racing for it in 2019. It announced that Antonio Giovainzzi would take the second seat alongside Kimi Raikkonen, while Ericsson would act as its third and reserve driver.
Soon after the Hinwil outfit announced its plans for next season, Ericsson penned a deal to race in the prominent American series. On Tuesday, the 28-year-old got his first run at Sebring after successfully completing a seat fitting last month.
"This sort of gets me back to why I fell in love with racing," said Ericsson. "F1 is always going to be F1, you know? But it’s sort of a bit artificial in some ways. You always go to these perfect places, and that’s not racing, I would say. This takes me back to the passion of racing.
"As a driver, you have to work this car a lot more, F1 always starts from perfection, whereas here you have to deal with the car you have and then sort of perfect it. It’s a lot more work from the driver. That’s the biggest difference."
"I feel like I definitely have stuff that I can bring from my F1 experience to help us as a team to move forward, but I also think the team is really at a high level. I’ve been impressed with the way they work and the preparation they do before a test with all the prep on the setup side. That’s been quite impressive."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing