Marcus Ericsson has responded to his demotion by Alfa Romeo Sauber from starting driver to reserve driver with grace, saying that he appreciates the team's decision to acquire Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi, which will ultimately allow him to explore other motorsport disciplines.
On Tuesday afternoon, Sauber announced that their second driver, to partner Raikkonen in 2019, would be Ferrari junior Giovinazzi, meaning that Ericsson would not feature.
The team has confirmed that the Swede will remain as a reserve driver and brand ambassador, and Ericsson has responded to the news.
"I am thankful for the past five years of my career which I have spent racing in Formula One," he said.
"I am proud to have represented Sauber for four of those years, and for having raced for such an iconic brand as Alfa Romeo this season.
"I would have loved to continue on this path, but having a driver like Kimi Raikkonen on board is a great opportunity for the whole team. Going forward, I will continue contributing to the development of the team as I have always done, with full dedication and all of my support."
Ericsson took to Instagram to interact with fans directly, and insisted that this was not the end of his career in motorsport.
A post shared by Marcus Ericsson (@ericsson_marcus) on Sep 25, 2018 at 6:05am PDT
"Regarding today's news, I'm proud of what I've achieved in these last years in F1," he wrote on Instagram.
"I've always given my 100%, putting my heart and soul into it. I will continue in the same spirit, aiming to finish the season on a high! And I'm happy to continue working with Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 team next year in a new role.
"I'm also excited about exploring other racing options. Today is not the end of the story, it's just the start of a new chapter."
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