Marcus Ericsson is set to begin his third season in IndyCar, and is looking towards the season’s oval races for his maiden win in the series.
The Ex-Formula1 racer dramatically improved his oval performances last season, using his natural race craft to earn three top-10s on the year’s ovals. This includes a strong fifth-place finish at the 1.25-mile World Wide Technology Raceway, commonly known as Gateway.
In fact, Ericsson improved in almost all areas in his sophomore IndyCar season, piloting his new Chip Ganassi Racing ride to a top-10 finish in two out of every three starts.
Despite the good performances, the 30-year-old is still in search of his first win in the series and is looking towards the ovals as the best chances to earn his breakthrough victory.
“I think my race craft last year was as strong as anyone, so I don’t worry about that,” said Ericsson. “I think if I can qualify up front, I’m sure I can score podiums and win. That’s going to be a big focus.
“Also to get a breakthrough result on an oval. I think from the start when I got here to IndyCar I’ve been really happy on ovals. I really felt like it’s been suiting my driving style, and I really enjoyed it.
“But I haven’t really had a big result yet.
“I had the fifth place in Gateway race one, which was a good result, but I feel like there is a lot more there to come.
“Yeah, I’m looking for a big result on one of the ovals for sure. Maybe the big one. That would be good.”
The ‘big one’ Ericsson references in the Indianapolis 500, which will return to its typical May date this year after being delayed into August due to Covid-19 last year.
The infamous race is one of only four oval races scheduled this season, as IndyCar has shifted its schedule towards a higher number of road and street courses in recent years.
The Swede’s familiarity with road racing throughout his career would seem to indicate he would prefer the road-heavy schedule as he looks for his first IndyCar win.
But despite his background, Ericsson still believes his chances on the banked turns are better than on the winding circuits.
“Coming from a road background in Europe, the normal answer would say on a road course,” said Ericsson when pressed about where his best opportunity for victory will come.
“But I actually feel like the ovals are — I don’t know, I have a feeling I’m going to get my first win on an oval. I don’t know why.
“I wouldn’t mind if I got my first win somewhere on a road course or a street course, obviously, but like I said, I’m looking for a big result on an oval because I think it’s coming.”