Conor Daly will replace Marcus Ericsson in the No. 7 Honda for the Arrow SPM team in this weekend’s Grand Prix of Portland as RACER.com has learned the Swede will be at Spa with Alfa Romeo for the Belgian Grand Prix.
Texts and emails to both drivers weren’t returned, but Ericsson is under contract as the third driver for Alfa Romeo, formerly Sauber, and spent 2015-2018 driving for that team before being replaced by Antonio Giovinazzi this season. Teamed with Kimi Raikkonen, Giovinazzi has only scored one point in 2019 compared to 31 for the former world champion, but while RACER understands Giovinazzi’s seat has been under review, it is Raikkonen who is the catalyst for this call.
The Finn pulled a muscle in his left leg during the summer break and his readiness is in doubt for the race in Belgium, with Alfa Romeo calling up Ericsson to be on standby in case Raikkonen finds it too uncomfortable to drive during Friday practice.
Ericsson, 28, came to IndyCar this year and has scored one podium (second at Belle Isle) and a pair of sevenths (Barber and Texas) and ranks 17th in the NTT Series point standings, but his results have been belied by his performance, which has been surprisingly stout on ovals.
Daly is coming off another strong effort for Carlin Racing, where he ran as high as third at Gateway before finishing sixth after starting 18th. It will be the third team of 2019 for the 27-year-old American as he drove for Andretti Autosport at Indianapolis and has made four starts at Carlin as Max Chilton’s replacement on ovals. He’s scheduled to run for Andretti again in the season finale at Laguna Seca next month.
This story has been updated since its original publication to include Alfa Romeo’s denial that Ericsson will race this weekend, and Kimi Raikkonen’s revelation of a muscle injury.