Ericsson opens up on 'silly' Belgium GP travel as IndyCar prime 2020 focus
Marcus Ericsson has clarified that his prime focus in 2020 will be IndyCar, especially after the silly F1 Belgium GP travel at last-minute for Alfa Romeo Racing.
Having lost his Alfa Romeo F1 seat to Antonio Giovinazzi in 2019, Ericsson moved to IndyCar with Schmidt Peterson Motorsport, where he finished 17th with 290 points, having missed a round at Portland. He ended up as the fourth-best rookie.
While he raced in IndyCar, Ericsson also stayed in F1 with Alfa Romeo as its reserve and almost had a chance to drive the car in Belgium GP at Spa-Francorchamps, where he was flown in at the last-minute due to an injury to Kimi Raikkonen in the summer break.
The Finn pulled a muscle and had some discomfort but managed to drive the whole weekend eventually, which made the Swede's travel to Belgium a 'silly' one as Ericsson was forced to skip the Portland round in IndyCar - creating a social media explosion.
Keeping this in mind, Ericsson has made one thing clear that his prime focus in 2020 will be IndyCar, where he is to drive for Chip Ganassi Racing. "Looking at it now, it was a little difficult [situation]," he said in an interview to Swedish newspaper, Expressen.
"It was my penultimate IndyCar race [for 2019] and I had nothing to fight for in the championship or the rookie championship. Had the conditions been different, it might have been a different situation. It got a little silly [in the end].
"Everything happened very quickly and Alfa Romeo chose not to go out with this and then it came out the wrong way. In the US they noticed that I would not drive and then assumed that I would drive F1. That's what is the problem with social media.
"If someone writes something it becomes like an explosion and then it stands everywhere. Then Alfa Romeo went out and put the cards on the table, but it was not optimal, but it was a bit of chaos. It's [my role for 2020 is] not quite yet.
"I have a long relationship with Alfa Romeo and Sauber and am pretty sure I will have some part in it, but then I have said that I really want to focus to a hundred percent on IndyCar this season. Priority is not to be a backup driver in F1.
"But I don't want to say too much about how it will be because it's more complicated than that, with different things affecting. We will see ahead what Alfa Romeo and even Ganassi want." The Swiss-Italian outfit is continuing with the same line-up in 2020.
Raikkonen will once again assume the role of the lead driver as Giovinazzi will be hoping to challenge him and other midfield drivers. As part of his deal, Ericsson did travel to multiple F1 races and also did the Pirelli test but it remains to be seen how it plays out in 2020.
While Ericsson's future with Alfa Romeo is under discussion, Racefans.net has reported of Robert Kubica joining the team in a reserve capacity as the Polish driver is looking to combine F1 with possibly DTM. He has already been linked to Haas and Racing Point.
Meanwhile, discussing about his IndyCar move, Ericsson revealed of uncertainties when McLaren joined hands with SPM and his seat was already under doubt. It was then that he decided to look elsewhere and eventually signed up with CGR for a big switch.
[Image courtesy: Alfa Romeo Racing] [Note: This story was also written by me on FormulaRapida.net]