Marcus Ericsson is targeting a return to the Formula 1 grid in 2020 in the wake of confirmation that he will be replaced at Sauber by Antonio Giovinazzi.
Ericsson stepped up to Formula 1 with Caterham in 2014 and, after missing the final three Grands Prix amid the team’s financial issues, linked up with Sauber for 2015.
Ericsson retained his seat through Sauber’s difficult run of form – the Swede failing to score in 2016 and 2017 – and returned to the points-paying positions this year after an absence of almost 50 races.
But he has been largely overshadowed by Ferrari-bound team-mate Charles Leclerc and on Tuesday Sauber announced that reserve Giovinazzi will step up full-time in 2019, alongside the re-recruited Kimi Raikkonen.
Ericsson has accepted a reserve and ambassadorial role with Sauber for 2019, but stressed that he still wants to race in Formula 1 in the future.
“My goal is still to come back into Formula 1,” he said. “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.
“It’s obviously disappointing to be not racing. It’s all you want to do; you want to race. It’s not good news for me, obviously.
“Still, I’m happy to be able to continue my relationship with the team but then yeah, let’s see.
“I want to race still, so I’m looking at different options on how to keep doing that and looking at everything really, what I can do, in what series and what it could be – but it’s still a bit early.
“It’s quite fresh, this news, so I need to look at my options. Overall, of course, I would like to stay.”
Ericsson added that he realised his predicament was looking less-than-rosy once Sauber confirmed it had secured Raikkonen for its 2019 line-up.
“I think when Kimi signed, I think that was bad news for me,” he said.
“I was still hoping but then obviously over the past weekend I got the information that Antonio had signed for the other car.
“And then yeah, my management were looking around a little bit but we decided to continue with Sauber and the relationship there, which we think is important. And then yeah, we go from there basically.”