(via RACER) – NTT IndyCar Series rookie and Formula 1 veteran Marcus Ericsson says he wants to remain in the American open-wheel series.
“I have a one-year contract, and when I came here, you know, I had no idea,” the Swede said of his debut IndyCar season with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. “I just thought that the series, from the outside, looked very, very interesting and something I wanted to do and I was pushing very hard. But obviously, you don’t know how it is until you just had to experience it.”
“I’ve already told my management that I really want to stay, and I want them to push everything to stay in the series for the next year and beyond, if possible.”
Coming off his best result to date in the No. 7 Honda, a second-place on Sunday at the Detroit street race, Ericsson knows he’ll need to deliver more front-running performances to reinforce his claim to the seat.
“I’m really having a great time,” he continued. “And that’s also what I’ve said to Sam (Schmidt) and Ric (Peterson) and the rest of the Arrow Schmidt Peterson team, that I would be very, very keen and interested to stay on. But obviously, to be able to do that, there needs to be results. And that second place in Detroit was definitely helping my case.”
Ericsson’s recent comments about wanting to test for Alfa Romeo – where he is still a test and reserve driver – after the IndyCar season in order to remain in tune with F1 equipment were interpreted in some quarters as a sign of wavering commitment to a long-term future in the U.S., but his efforts to establish himself as a long-term teammate to James Hinchcliffe indicate otherwise.
“And hopefully, with some more results like [Detroit], I think I can convince people that I should just stay in the series,” he added. “Because, like I said, I’ve really had a great time so far and would love to see what I could do with a year under my belt, and with that experience and all the tracks that I would gain this year.”
Ericsson’s podium last weekend was his first since 2013, when he closed out his GP2 career with a third in the Abu Dhabi feature race.