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Sauber For­mula 1 driver Mar­cus Ericsson will switch to Indy­car in 2019, driv­ing for Sch­midt Peter­son Mo­tor­sports as full­time team-mate to James Hinch­cliffe.

Ericsson has raced with Sauber for the past four sea­sons, and should have made 97 F1 starts when he com­petes in the sea­son-clos­ing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix later this month. Sauber is mak­ing a com­plete line-up change for 2019, with 2007 F1 cham­pion Kimi Raikko­nen joined by An­to­nio Giov­inazzi as Charles Le­clerc moves to Fer­rari and Ericsson is de­moted to a re­serve role.

The 28-year-old Swede quickly made clear that he wanted to com­bine that F1 link with a full sea­son rac­ing else­where and will now join the Indy­car grid.

“It feels like a per­fect step for me and my ca­reer af­ter five years in F1,” said Ericsson.

“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 work­ing hard to con­tinue and im­prove on that path.”

Ericsson be­lieves he can get up to speed quickly, but there will be added pres­sure due to the fact he is an F1 driver cross­ing over.

“Def­i­nitely there will be high ex­pec­ta­tions on me,” he said of his Indy­car move.

“I would ex­pect noth­ing else. 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.

“So I def­i­nitely feel that there will be high ex­pec­ta­tions, which is some­thing that I think is right. And that comes with pres­sure as well, but that’s some­thing that I’m used to.

“Be­ing in F1 for five years, you al­ways have that big pres­sure on your shoul­ders to de­liver so that’s noth­ing new. I come over here ex­pect­ing my­self to be up there and 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.”

SPM fielded Hinch­cliffe and Robert Wick­ens as its full-time 2018 line-up un­til Wick­ens was se­ri­ously in­jured in a hor­rific crash at Po­cono.

Pho­tos: LAT

F1 time has run out for Ericsson

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