Ericsson targeting season turnaround in Detroit

Everything Marcus Ericsson thought would happen at this point in his move from Chip Ganassi Racing to Andretti Global has been elusive.

Recruited by Andretti to join its downsized and refocused three-car program, the Swede expected to be running right with teammates Colton Herta and Kyle Kirkwood in the championship, but with Herta (fifth) and Kirkwood (10th) well removed from Ericsson who sits 19th, the 2022 Indianapolis 500 winner is determined to restart his year on the streets of Detroit.

An engine problem while running strong at the first race relegated Ericsson to 23rd, and while he had a brief respite with a blast to fifth at Long Beach, the last three races have been filled with adversity or missed opportunities, capped with being crashed out of the Indy 500 on the first lap by Meyer Shank Racing’s Tom Blomqvist.


Mired in his worst championship position in ages, Ericsson has decided the best way forward is to treat Detroit like it’s the first race in a 12-race championship.

“That’s exactly the mindset,” Ericsson told RACER. “Me and my group are going into this race and onwards where we’re not gonna look at the championship points. I don’t care where we’re at so far, because we can’t change any of that, so now we’re gonna look at maximizing our performance, and if that goes good for us and means we can be in the mix towards the end, who knows what’s possible then.

“Going away after Sunday, it was obviously disappointing, and it’s frustrating. We’re all competitors, and I want to win and fight in the front. I truly believe we can do that. I am a tough competitor and I’ve got great support in the team as well. The team really believes in me.”

Ericsson — quick on Friday until he broke his suspension against the Detroit walls, preventing him from participating in the faster closing session — looks to his teammates as a reminder of what’s possible when things start to fall in his favor.

“Colton’s had a very solid season, and Kyle as well,” he said. “I think the consistency from them, too, it’s been good to see because that’s something we talked about a lot going into the season…about being consistent from weekend to weekend. My teammates are showing that they can be consistently in the mix and we need to have that. Obviously, we would like to have a bit more highs than just consistency.

“It’s a new team still for me; I worked with the same people at Ganassi for four years and it was like I didn’t even have to say anything when I came in; they knew what I needed for the next run, next session, and so on. My race engineer Olivier [Boisson], I really, really like working with him; he’s a great engineer, a great person, and we work really well together. But it’s still early for us… We need to get to know each other more on the racetrack — as a process — so he knows what to do with the car for me and to get the most out of me and my driving.

“You know, we’re still working on that and getting better on that all the time. We had to dig really deep the qualifying week and everything we went through there at Indy. When you go through that together, you cannot have a better bonding exercise than what we had [in] the month of May. I really feel like we we’re so strong together after all that as a crew, and I think it’s gonna pay off a lot going forward.”

Story originally appeared on Racer