After a successful rookie campaign in the NTT IndyCar Series, Marcus Ericsson is on the move for 2020 as he joins Chip Ganassi Racing alongside Scott Dixon and Felix Rosenqvist.
POPULAR OPEN WHEEL recently caught up with the Swedish driver to get his thoughts entering the season.
POPULAR OPEN WHEEL: What are your thoughts entering the year?
MARCUS ERICSSON: I’m super excited. For me going into year two, last year was a big learning experience and a learning year to get know American racing, and all the tracks in America which were new to me, and oval racing. So it was a steep learning curve, but I did learn a lot. On top of that, to join a team like Chip Ganassi Racing, one of the best in the business, I think it’s the perfect place for me to take the next step. I’m very excited for the upcoming season.
POW: Speaking of the upcoming year, what are your goals and expectations?
MARCUS: Like I said, I’m joining the team that has won a lot in this category and everything they do, and they expect me to run up front and score a lot of wins and podiums, and that’s my goals as well. My ambition is to be fighting for wins and podiums every weekend. That’s the mindset that you have to have when racing for a team like this. That’ll be my goal – to be up there with the front runners.
POW: So having ran all the tracks on the schedule, what track are you most excited for?
MARCUS: Is it possible to not say the (Indianapolis) 500? It was, for me, one of my best experiences ever in a racecar, as far as an event goes and everything goes on with that race and the history and everything and the fans. That’s the highlight for sure. But then beyond that, there’s a lot of fun places that we went to, a lot of fun tracks. Long Beach comes to mind, COTA is always a favourite to drive as well, Road America – another great circuit. There’s a lot of races that I look forward to. A lot of highlights, but the 500 for sure is a big one.
POW: The fans have seen the aeroscreen, the drivers have tested it. What are your thoughts on the new areoscreen?
MARCUS: I think it’s great that IndyCar is taken the lead in driver safety and this new areoscreen is another step up from I think from the halo as well. It’s another step up in safety, so I think that’s great as it shows IndyCar is leading the way in safety. I think the car looks cool as well; it’s like a fighter jet look of it. So I’m on the positive about that addition to the cars this year.
POW: You made the decision to move to IndyCar due to being open mind to that new challenge. Is there any other series out there that you would want to try one day?
MARCUS: I mean, I’m super excited to be in IndyCar and I want to be here for a long time and be successful in the IndyCar Series. I think it’s a great championship. But for sure, when you’re out here in America, I’ve seen a lot of GP Racing and I might end up in that as I know a lot of guys do some races there. So that’s something I would like to do in the future, and combine in a perfect world with IndyCar. But my main goal for the future is in the IndyCar Series.
POW: What is the biggest thing that you learned from last season that you feel will benefit you this year?
MARCUS: I think the competition is so high in IndyCar that there’s no room for mistakes. It’s such a tough and competitive championship, and also to minimize mistakes is a key to the championship. So you need to be consistent and that pays off in this championship. All of the small details make a difference and that’s why some of the guys are always up front.
POW: Let’s say someone gave you an unlimited budget to design a new racetrack. What kind of racetrack would you build and where?
MARCUS: I would build it in Sweden because I think it’d be fun racing in Sweden as I’ve never done that. I’d build a track with a lot of high speed content and corners – like the first section of COTA, as corners like that are the best for me on a race track, something along those lines.
POW: Switching off the track, letting the fans get to know you. What is your go-to karoke song?
MARCUS: I did have one when I was younger. It was always Blink 182 – What’s my Age Again?
POW: Do you have a hidden talent?
MARCUS: I was a pretty good ice hockey player, but I stopped when I was 16. So I’m not sure if I’m as good anymore.
POW: If you could take a vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?
MARCUS: I would go to Sweden in the summer. Obviously being from Sweden, I think it’s a beautiful place and the summers there might be short, but they’re very nice.
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