SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – Swedish driver Marcus Ericsson, who will be replaced at Sauber next season, continued to hope on Thursday for an eventual Formula One comeback.
The 28-year-old has nowhere to go for 2019 after the Swiss-based team completed their line-up this week with Ferrari-backed Italian Antonio Giovinazzi joining 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen.
Ericsson, who has previously enjoyed a close relationship with Sauber’s owners, will stay as reserve and brand ambassador.
“It’s obviously disappointing to be not racing. It’s all you want to do,” said Ericsson, whose five years in Formula One have produced little of note with just 15 career points from 91 starts.
His best result was eighth in Australia in 2015.
“My goal is still to come back into Formula One,” he told reporters at the Russian Grand Prix. “I think for 2019 that’s not going to happen but hopefully after that there will be possibilities to come back.”
Ericsson said Sauber’s signing of Raikkonen from Ferrari, with Charles Leclerc going in the other direction, after the Italian Grand Prix in early September had been bad news for him.
He had still hoped to be kept on in the second seat, however.
“But then obviously over the past weekend I got the information that Antonio had signed for the other car,” he said. “And then my management were looking around a little bit but we decided to continue with Sauber and the relationship there.”
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond)