Marcus Ericsson is "looking at everything" as he explores racing options for the 2019 season, but is targeting a racing return to Formula 1 in the future after losing his seat at Alfa Romeo Sauber.

Sauber confirmed earlier this week that Antonio Giovinazzi would be stepping up to a full-time race seat for 2019 alongside the incoming Kimi Raikkonen, leaving Ericsson on the sidelines.

The team also announced that Ericsson would be taking up a third driver and brand ambassador role, with the Swede saying on social media that he was keen to keep racing next year.

Speaking in Thursday's FIA press conference ahead of the Russian Grand Prix, Ericsson said that he would be looking at racing options in all categories for next year, but was pleased to be remaining with Sauber in some capacity after four seasons with the team.

"It was not good news for me obviously. Still, I’m happy to be able to continue my relationship with the team," Ericsson said.

"I want to race still, so I’m looking at different options to keep doing that. I’m looking at everything really, what I could do in what series and what it could be.

"It’s still a bit early and it’s quite fresh, this news, so I need to look at my options, but overall of course I would have liked to stay."

Asked if he felt this marked the end of his F1 career, Ericsson said: "No. My goal is still to come back to Formula 1.

"I think for 2019, that’s not going to happen, but hopefully after that there will be possibilities to come back. That’s still the goal, to come back to Formula 1."

While Giovinazzi was the final driver announced, it was current Ferrari racer Raikkonen who appears to have displaced Ericsson for 2019.

Ferrari's links to Sauber via its sister brand, Alfa Romeo, gave it a say in one of the seats at the team, with current Sauber racer Charles Leclerc and the incoming Giovinazzi both being part of its junior programme.

Ericsson said that while he only found out he had lost his seat last weekend, he knew when Raikkonen was announced two weeks ago that it was bad news for his future.

"I think when Kimi signed, I think that was bad news for me. Then I was still hoping, but obviously over the past weekend, I got the information that Antonio had signed in the other car," Ericsson said.

"Me and my management, we were looking around a little bit [in F1], but we decided to continue with Sauber and the relationship there, which we think is important."