Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announced Tuesday that Marcus Ericsson, who has raced in Formula One since 2014, will pilot the team’s No. 7 Honda for the 2019 IndyCar Series season.
Currently driving for the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 team, the 28-year-old Ericsson will make the move to INDYCAR at the conclusion of the 2018 F1 season. A native of Kumla, Sweden, Ericsson has made 95 F1 starts with two races remaining on the schedule. His best F1 finish has been eighth place in the 2015 Australian Grand Prix. He finished ninth Sunday in the Mexican Grand Prix.
"It's a great honor 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.”
Ericsson climbed the European and Asian open-wheel ranks before reaching F1 with Caterham in 2014. He won the Formula BMW UK championship in 2007 and Japanese Formula 3 title in 2009, earning Swedish Junior Racer of the Year honors both years. He also competed in British Formula 3, GP2 Asia and GP2. He will remain a reserve driver for Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 in 2019 but is excited to compete in the IndyCar Series.
“The racing in INDYCAR looks great and I feel really excited to be part of it in the future,” he said. “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."
Ericsson will team with veteran James Hinchcliffe, who enters his ninth IndyCar Series season overall and fifth with SPM in 2019. Hinchcliffe will continue driving the No. 5 Arrow Electronics Honda.
Jack Harvey will maintain his part-time ride through SPM’s collaboration with Meyer Shank Racing. The No. 6 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda remains open for injured driver Robert Wickens, this year’s Sunoco Rookie of the Year for both the Indianapolis 500 and the season, when he wants and is able to return.
“Ric (Peterson) and I are excited to welcome Marcus to the team,” SPM co-owner Sam Schmidt said. “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 will be a good fit to push one another and fight for those wins.”