Marcus Ericsson skips Portland for Alfa Romeo F1 reserve duties

Marcus Ericsson will miss this weekend’s IndyCar round at Portland in order to be present as Alfa Romeo’s reserve driver for Formula 1's Belgian Grand Prix.

Ericsson spent four years racing for Sauber but relinquished his seat at the rebranded Alfa Romeo squad for 2019 after it recruited Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi.

The Swede remained connected to Alfa Romeo through a reserve and ambassadorial role, and has been an occasional presence in the paddock this year, when his IndyCar schedule has allowed it.

He tested Alfa Romeo’s C38 during the post-race tyre test in Austria.

Ericsson was set to compete for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports at Portland this weekend but instead, his place will be taken by Conor Daly who has been linked with the team who will merge with McLaren for the 2020 season.

“On request by Alfa Romeo Racing I will be in Belgium this weekend together with the team,” he confirmed.

“It means I miss this weekend’s IndyCar race at Portland. I wish SPM and Conor Daly the best for the weekend.”

Alfa Romeo has not yet confirmed why it needs Ericsson to be on location in Belgium, with the Swede having previously skipped grands prix at clashing IndyCar rounds.

The team released its preview on Thursday morning and confirmed a media schedule with both Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi in attendance.