SPM 'totally impressed' by Marcus Ericsson's work ethic after Sebring test
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports general manager Taylor Kiel says he was "totally impressed" with Marcus Ericsson's work ethic after his debut IndyCar test ahead of his maiden campaign in 2019.
Ericsson hit the historic Sebring circuit with SPM in a private test last week in order to get acquainted with the team and the Dallara DW-12 he will race next season, after losing his seat with the Sauber Formula 1 team.
The Swedish driver will race the #7 SPM entry for the full 2019 IndyCar season alongside series veteran James Hinchcliffe, a move which comes off the back of much more consistent 2018 campaign for Ericsson, despite being overshadowed by Ferrari-bound Charles Leclerc.
After five years of racing in the high-tech world of F1, the 28-year old will have to get used to a more aggressive car which utilises far less downforce and also does not carry power steering.
This makes the cars much more physical to drive compared to those in F1.
Despite the challenge of having to adapt to such a drastic change in his surroundings, Kiel was taken aback with the way Ericsson conducted himself with the team and his approach to learning about his new car.
"To the layman, this car looks similar to an F1 car, but it’s such a different animal," Kiel told IndyCar.com.
"There’s no power steering, there’s way less downforce and the brakes coupled with the downforce are not as good in an IndyCar.
"So there are a lot of things that he needs to get used to and that he was working on. So far, so good. The learning curve is going to be steep, but he’s very well-prepared mentally to attack that right now."
"I’m totally impressed with his outlook on this test. It’s difficult for a driver to come into a test and not be focused on the lap times, right?
"Just to get in the car, understand it, really take the time to understand the nuances: how you come into pit lane, what you do when you’re in pit lane, and what you do when you leave pit lane - all of the things we’re going to ask him to do on track.
"He’s responded very quickly to that."
Kiel confirmed Ericsson will get more seat time ahead of IndyCar's only official test at the Circuit of the Americas on February 12-13.
The 2019 season gets underway on the streets of St.Petersburg, Florida on March 10.