Ericsson: “I want to be a sort of leader” in the Andretti IndyCar squad

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The winner of the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500 talked about his transfer from championship-winning team Ganassi to newly-rebranded Andretti Global in the first press conference of 2024, attended by Pit Debrief and other selected media.

Ericsson, “super excited” about his upcoming debut with the team directed by Michael Andretti in St. Petersburg, described his first approach with the new team as well as his new teammates Colton Herta and Kyle Kirkwood:

“It’s been super good. It’s been easy to come into the team. Very welcoming. And also with Kyle and Colton, I know them a bit from before, of course. But doing more stuff with them, it’s been really fun, and they’re two really good guys.”

Set to work with Romain Grosjean’s former race engineer Olivier Boisson, the Swedish driver mentioned that so far he’s found the approach to racing quite similar to the one he had experienced while working with Chip Ganassi:

“I think they’re quite similar in many ways. They have very talented people that you get the chance to work with. Over at Ganassi I was with a great group there and worked with a great engineer in Brad Goldberg.

Photo Credit: Penske Entertainment | James Black

“And now, coming over to Andretti, I’ll be with Olivier, who is a very good engineer, and we’ve gotten along very well in the first few months. So I’m excited to go through the races with him and the rest of the engineering department there at Andretti, there is a lot of clever people there.

“It’s a new challenge, but like I said, I’m super excited about it,” he concluded.

His partnership with long-time sponsor Huski Chocolate hasn’t been renewed as for now, with Ericsson sporting a rather different colour race suit. After years behind the wheel of the bright red no. 8 car, in fact, Ericsson started his first year as an Andretti driver sporting an interesting navy blue suit.

In order to be even more successful in 2024 Andretti has decided to downsize to three full-time entries. Key in improving the results achieved last season, with Kirkwood scoring two race wins in Long Beach and Nashville, will be the cooperation between the younger drivers, well adjusted to the team dynamics, and the experienced Ericsson:

“I want to be the sort of leader there. I have great teammates in Andretti, as well, with Colton and Kyle. And Colton and Kyle both have been with Andretti for most of their careers, so they know the team very well, and I can still lean on them.

“I think the key for us this year, being three drivers, three cars in the team, is going to be to work together. If us three can work together and help each other, push each other forward and get the best out of each one of us, we’re going to be really strong as a team.

“I think there might be some different dynamics compared to what I’m used to, but already we’ve been doing a lot of stuff together, and it’s been working really well. We seem to get along in a very good way already,” he added, looking forward to his first race at St. Pete with his new team.