Marcus Ericsson has spoken out about losing his Formula 1 drive with an improving Sauber team and admitted it “hurts a bit”. The 28-year-old is coming to the end of his fourth year with Sauber but it will be his last as Kimi Raikkonen is set to join the team from Ferrari in 2019.
The Swede has enjoyed five years in F1, racing for Caterham prior to joining his current employers in 2015, where he will now become a reserve driver.
However, it was revealed last month that the former Formula BMW UK champion will fill up the rest of his time up by moving to the United States to join Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in IndyCar in 2019.
Ericsson has now discussed the possibility of departing the Swiss-based outfit as a main driver just as they are becoming regular points contenders.
He said: “I thought I was going to stay but obviously I understand the reasons as well, with a driver like Kimi becoming available, and the other seat is obviously taken [by Ferrari]. “To get an opportunity to get a driver like Kimi, it’s impossible to not take that opportunity.
“So I understand that, even though it’s obviously disappointing for me and my career.”
Ericsson added: “[I’ve] just been pushing really hard to try and help the team to improve and I feel like I’ve been very much part of that journey and part of that process.
“And to then not be able to continue that, when the car is finally getting competitive and the team is finally getting competitive, it hurts a bit, but that’s the sport we’re in.”