Ericsson thrilled to be a part of the Andretti project: “The potential is really big in the team”

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The Swedish driver had his first official outing with his new team Andretti Autosport, which has recently rebranded to Andretti Global, on Friday during the scheduled hybrid engine test held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

On Thursday his Andretti teammate Colton Herta had stepped in to try the new technology, but for Ericsson it was a much needed first experience with his new team for 2024, as well as an opportunity to run with the new Honda hybrid engine.

The former Chip Ganassi driver was stoked by the opportunity to get to know his new colleagues, as he said to media at the venue:

“Yeah, it’s different for sure, but it’s exciting to be here. First day as the new guy, so it’s a lot of feelings and starting to get started. It’s all very new, but the team has welcomed me super well.”

With his main sponsor and number still to be announced, the Swede sported a simple black race suit and livery.

“Everyone is really nice and very excited. So it feels like there’s a lot of optimism in the organisation. They have a lot of things going now, and a lot of big ambitions, the potential is really big in the team. So yeah, so far it’s been really good.”

Ericsson also confirmed that he met his race engineer, Olivier Boisson, who had worked with multiple times podium sitter and the Swede’s fellow ex-F1 driver Romain Grosjean at Dale Coyne Racing and then Andretti.

“You know, first off, it was just for me to get comfortable in the car and to get a read on the car. I felt happy with that pretty much straight away, the car was feeling nice to drive.

“Of course we’re focusing mainly on the hybrid stuff today, and then sort of helping Honda to really get on top of those things, and trying whatever they want. So that’s the main priority. But of course, for me being in a new team with new people is a great way to also start interacting and sort of building that relationship with Olivier and the other people in the team,” added the 2022 winner of the 500.

Photo credits: Penske Entertainment | James Black

First impressions are key, and Ericsson is very keen on getting a positive head start for 2024 in terms of getting settled with his crew and understanding his way of talking about car behaviour and giving feedback.

“So, you know, that’s obviously what I’m already working on, and my way of saying feedback. Every driver is different, as well as how they talk about the car and their process. It is obviously great that we can get started from today onwards.”

It’s the second time the firmer Sauber driver in Formula 1 switches teams in Indycar, after his 2020 move from Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports to Chip Ganassi Racing. In his three seasons with the championship winning team, Ericsson achieved four wins and a best final season result of sixth, which definitely brought him massive credit and earned him respect in the United States.

“When I came to Ganassi, I think there wasn’t maybe as much excitement in the building. I hadn’t really shown what I can do then, and now, coming from being a ‘500 winner and winning multiple races, you can definitely feel that excitement from the organisation and from the team for me to get there,” he said.

“Like I said, the potential is really big in the team and they are ready to really push hard to be at the top. So I’m excited to be part of that journey that we’re going do together,” he concluded, hyped for the new challenges to come with Andretti.