Marcus Ericsson will join the IndyCar Series next season with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports alongside his Formula 1 reserve driver role at Alfa Romeo Sauber.

The Swedish driver will step away from full-time F1 at the end of this season, with the Swiss team signing Kimi Raikkonen alongside Antonio Giovinazzi for 2019, with Ericsson remaining part of the fold as reserve and test driver.

With the freedom to expand into other series, Ericsson will take on a rookie campaign in IndyCar with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and is relishing the opportunity of a fresh start.

“It’s a great honour to be picked as one of the drivers at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and IndyCar for the 2019 season,” Ericsson said. “It feels like a perfect step for me and my career after five years in F1.

“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 work hard to continue and improve on that path.

“The racing in IndyCar looks great and I feel really excited to be part of it in the future. It will be a lot to learn including new tracks, oval racing, etc. I know it won’t be easy, but it’s a challenge I’m very much looking forward to and I can’t wait to get started.”

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Ericsson will line-up in the #7 Honda next to James Hinchcliffe who remains at the team in the #5 Arrows Electronics Honda, while British driver Jack Harvey will continue his part-time campaign through the team’s affiliation with Meyer Shank Racing.

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has also moved to confirm the #6 car will remain vacant in 2019 for the injured Robert Wickens as he battles back from life-threatening injuries sustained at Pocono Raceway during the IndyCar round in August.

“Ric (Peterson) and I are excited to welcome Marcus to the team,” Sam Schmidt, SPM co-owner, said. “He has a ton of experience racing in the top levels of motorsports, so we believe that he will be able to contribute to our development program that began in earnest in 2018.

“While the circuits on the IndyCar schedule will be brand new to him, particularly the ovals, we have a lot of confidence and trust in his eagerness to learn along with his work ethic.

“We think he and James Hinchcliffe will be a good fit to push one another and fight for those wins.”

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