Marcus Ericsson will join Andretti Autosport for the 2024 IndyCar season, the team announced on Wednesday.
Ericsson, who is a seasoned driver and has raced for Chip Ganassi Racing for the last four years, will move on after competing in his sixth IndyCar season. During that time, he won four races, including the Indianapolis 500, and rose to a position higher than that of a paid driver.
The 32-year old is one of the major players in the driver market this year and he currently ranks sixth in the IndyCar championship heading into this weekend’s Gateway race.
Ericsson sought a fully paid-for future with his next seat after his 2022 Indy 500 victory and had prepared a budget in his previous drives, but Chip Ganassi was hesitant to offer it.
His new home will present him with a fresh chance to win more races while competing for one of the legendary teams on the grid.
“I’m very happy and proud to be joining Andretti Autosport next season,” said Ericsson. “Andretti is one of the most legendary names in motorsports, so it is definitely a dream come true for me to join this team.
“I want to thank Michael [Andretti] and Dan [Towriss] for putting their trust in me and I can’t wait to get to know everyone in the organization.
“It’s a very exciting new chapter in my career and I’m really looking forward to getting to work achieving our goals together.
“Exciting times are ahead and I’m thankful for this opportunity.”
Ericsson had a window of exclusivity with Ganassi until August 1, right before the team made a new offer, but eventually Ericsson made the choice to switch to one of Ganassi’s key Honda-powered rivals on what Racetrackmasters understands to be a multi-year deal.
The team’s current drivers Romain Grosjean and Devlin DeFrancesco were not included in the announcement, but Colton Herta and Kyle Kirkwood will be racing alongside Ericsson.
“Like everyone else, we have paid close attention to Marcus’ success in the NTT IndyCar Series and have been impressed with how quickly he proved that he belonged with the frontrunners in what is arguably the most competitive IndyCar field ever,” said Michael Andretti.
“It’s no secret that we want to win races and Championships and to do that we need drivers like Marcus who have that natural talent and determined drive.
“We are excited for the winning mindset that Marcus brings to the table and I’m eager to see what next season has in store for us.”
There is currently no information available regarding the futures of both of the drivers, and it is unknown which car Ericsson will be running although it appears likely that he will be driving the #28 car.
The announcement, which comes as Ericsson’s current teammate Alex Palou’s situation has been making headlines, may indicate that the presumed champion will continue to race for Chip Ganassi Racing in the future.
It would be understandable if Ganassi could only afford to maintain one of the two given that Ericsson and Palou both demanded higher pay to keep their jobs.
Since three of Andretti’s four confirmed entries are Ericsson, Colton Herta, and Kirkwood, it is unknown what the team will do next in the driver market.
Andretti hasn’t won the Indy 500 since 2017 or the IndyCar championship since Hunter-Reay’s victory in 2012, and it has little chance of doing so in 2023 with Kyle Kirkwood finishing ninth as the best driver.
After a challenging season, it is obvious that Grosjean’s position on the team is being discussed, and sophomore Dale Coyne driver David Malukas has been strongly connected to taking Devlin DeFrancesco’s place. The latter could be prepared for a Coyne transition.
The #8 entry was at the very least a crucial component of IndyCar’s silly season, and additional driver announcements might start to line up as a result of the opening.
According to reports, Linus Lundqvist has been picked to replace Ericsson at Chip Ganassi Racing following his impressive two of his appearances filling in for the injured Simon Pagenaud at Meyer Shank Racing.