Marcus Ericsson: IndyCar test reignited driving passion after F1 felt 'a bit artificial'

2019 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver Marcus Ericsson believes his passion for racing has been reignited after his first run in an IndyCar at a private test at Sebring on Tuesday, leaving him to describe Formula 1 as "a bit artificial".

The Swedish driver ended his five-year stint in F1 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last month and just nine days later had his first outing in IndyCar at Sebring.

During his time in F1, Ericsson competed in 97 races with a best finish of eighth coming at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix, which marked his debut for Sauber, in the wake of Caterham's demise.

Ericsson signed with the SPM team in October having lost his seat with Sauber and will be driving the #7 entry. The #6 is being kept open for the recovering Robert Wickens should he be able to race again after his horror smash at Pocono in August.

"This sort of gets me back to why I fell in love with racing," said Ericsson. "F1 is always going to be F1, you know?

"But it’s sort of a bit artificial in some ways. You always go to these perfect places, and that’s not racing, I would say. This takes me back to the passion of racing.

"As a driver, you have to work this car a lot more, F1 always starts from perfection, whereas here you have to deal with the car you have and then sort of perfect it.

"It’s a lot more work from the driver. That’s the biggest difference."

"I feel like I definitely have stuff that I can bring from my F1 experience to help us as a team to move forward, but I also think the team is really at a high level.

"I’ve been impressed with the way they work and the preparation they do before a test with all the prep on the setup side. That’s been quite impressive."

Ericsson is set to be the Sauber's reserve driver for the 2019 season but is also signed on to compete in all 17 races of the IndyCar season.

IndyCar has one official test at the Circuit of the Americas scheduled for February 12-13.