Marcus Ericsson is looking at other racing options outside of Formula 1 having been named as Sauber’s third driver for 2019.
Antonio Giovinazzi (pictured at right, above, with Ericsson at left) will replace Charles Leclerc as the Ferrari young driver at Sauber next season, with Kimi Raikkonen taking Ericsson’s race seat as a result. After four years at Sauber, Ericsson takes on the role of third driver and brand ambassador and says he will look to combine it with a race seat elsewhere.
“Regarding today’s news, I’m proud of what I’ve achieved in these last years in F1,” Ericsson said. “I’ve always given 100%, putting my heart and soul into it. I will continue in the same spirit, aiming to finish the season on a high! And I’m happy to continue working with Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 team next year in a new role.
“I’m also excited about exploring other racing options. Today is not the end of the story, it’s just the start of a new chapter.”
Ericsson acknowledges the impact the signing of Raikkonen will have on Sauber, with the 2007 world champion having signed a two-year deal to join from Ferrari.
“I would have loved to continue on this path, but having a driver like Kimi Raikkonen on board is a great opportunity for the whole team. Going forward, I will continue contributing to the development of the team as I have always done, with full dedication and all of my support.”
With Ericsson racing for Sauber since 2015 — during which time there has been a change in ownership — team principal Frederic Vasseur praised the impact the Swede has had on helping the team improve.
“We would like to thank Marcus for his dedication to the team and for the great job he has done over the past four years,” Vasseur said. “We are very pleased that he will continue being part of the Sauber family in the future. In 2018, the team has made important progress and Marcus’ work has been essential to our development. He has a long history with our team, and we look forward to our new shared chapter. Together, we will strive to continue moving in this positive direction.”
Confirmation of Sauber’s line-up leaves Haas, Force India, Toro Rosso and Williams yet to announce any of its drivers for 2019, although RACER understands Haas is set to retain its current pairing of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen.