Marcus Ericsson believes COTA podium was 'on the cards'
Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsport's Marcus Ericsson believes a podium was on the cards in only his second IndyCar start at the Circuit of the Americas' IndyCar Classic last weekend.
The Swede had an unfortunate qualifying session which left him starting a lowly 16th. However as the race progressed the SPM car proved to have strong pace, allowing the Swedish driver to steadily climb up the order.
Bad luck would intervene again during the race as Ericsson made his final pit-stop on lap 43. Once the SPM pit crew had finished working on the #7 car, the front-right wheelman gave the signal to go but it meant Ericsson drove straight into the path of Spencer Pigot who was attempting to pit in the garage ahead, causing the pair to briefly touch. Although there was no damage, Ericsson was delayed.
Later in the race, following a caution period to clear the wreckage of Felix Rosenqvist's car, Ericsson was set to restart the race in fifth place, but a penalty for the pit lane clash with Pigot meant he fell towards the back of the field.
"We knew it was going to be a tough job today starting from 16th," said Ericsson. "I had a good start, the first stint was good. I think we were the fastest car out there for much of the race moving up through the field. Everything was going according to plan, every pit stop, everything.
“It was very unfortunate on the last pit stop that we had traffic there on pit lane and had an issue which picked us up a penalty which was extremely frustrating. At the last restart, being P5 with good tires, I think a podium was on the cards with the pace that we had.
"So even fifth, where we were running, would’ve been an amazing result considering where we started the race.
"I think we have a lot of things that we are very happy and proud of, but of course it’s extremely frustrating that the second weekend in a row we have the pace and the Arrow car to be in the top five, or better, and we got away with almost nothing.
"We need to sort that out but we have a lot of positives as well. From a personal side, it was one of the best races of my career I think, so I’m very proud of that and I’ll be ready for the next one."