Ericsson 'wants to win again' with IndyCar switch

Marcus Ericsson slides into his car during his visit to the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports shop for his initial seat fit

Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson says that he hopes his switch to the Verizon IndyCar Series next year will give him a chance to win races again.

After making his Formula début with Caterham in 2014, it's only been this season that Sauber has been in a position to see him regularly contending for points. But that's still a long way from making it on to the podium or contending for victory.

The 28-year-old Swede hopes that it will be different next season when he joins the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports as team mate to James Hinchcliffe in the US open-wheel championship.

“I’ve done five years of F1 and not once have I ever thought about winning because it’s not realistic," he admitted. "It’s super hard. Mentally, it’s super hard.

"That’s why now I’m just so excited to get this chance and have an opportunity to fight for wins again and podiums.

"That’s something that really gets me going," he added. “That’s one of the most exciting things about next season for me."

Ericsson said he had been encouraged to switch to IndyCar next season after seeing Fernando Alonso take part in last year's Indianapolis 500.

“It looked really cool,” Ericsson confirmed. “That also started to make me think more about IndyCar as well and potentially for me to come here in the future.

"He definitely opened a little bit of my mind when he did that jump. I spoke a bit with him as well and he said he loved it here."

Ericsson was also able to talk it over with 2016 IndyCar winner and former F1 driver Alexander Rossi.

“He told me that I would love it 100 per cent," said Ericsson. "[He said] that the racing is great and the atmosphere between the drivers is really, really good and everybody is enjoying it.

"He said I shouldn’t have any questions in my mind if I get the chance to come over.

"It looks like such a fun series to be part of. Like I said, the racing looks really good, as well. All these things is what Alex has been telling me as well."

But he's also acutely aware that coming into IndyCar from Formula 1 means that the spotlight will be on him to succeed from the get-go.

Marcus Ericsson sits in his Dallara IR-12 machine for his seat fit

© IndyCar Media

"Definitely there will be high expectations on me. I would expect nothing else," he acknowledged. "I come from almost 100 races in F1, five years there. I've built up a big experience which I think will benefit me making this step.

"I come over here expecting to be up there on fights, getting to it quickly. But I also know it's going to be requiring a lot of hard work from me because everything will be new.

"The competition in IndyCar is extremely tough, as well. It's very important to not underestimate it. It's going to require a lot of hard work."

Ericsson will retain a foot in the F1 camp as Sauber's third driver for 2019, but he says that he views his switch to IndyCar "as a long-term project" and not a gap year while he tried to negotiate a return to the Grand Prix grid.

"I want to come over here and do well, you know, make myself a career over here," he insisted. "But with that said, I don't close any doors. I don't know what happens in the future."

Ericsson has already had his seat-fitting at SPM and hopes to have his first on-track test before Christmas.

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