Marcus Ericsson has left Formula 1 by saying the category is "a bit artificial."

The Swede drove in F1 for Caterham and Sauber, but is switching to IndyCar with Schmidt-Peterson Motorsports next season.

Ericsson, 28, got his first taste of Indycar with a test at Sebring International Speedway on Tuesday.

"This sort of gets me back to why I fell in love with racing," Ericsson said after his first few hours of track time in his new Honda. "F1 is always going to be F1, you know? But it’s sort of a bit artificial in some ways. You always go to these perfect places, and that’s not racing, I would say. This takes me back to the passion of racing."

He says he feels more responsible for the results in an Indy car compared to the hyper-advanced and overly-engineered F1 machine.

"As a driver, you have to work this car a lot more," Ericsson said. "F1 always starts from perfection, whereas here you have to deal with the car you have and then sort of perfect it. It’s a lot more work from the driver. That’s the biggest difference."

SPM general manager Taylor Kiel expounded on the experience and tried to explain why his new driver feels that way.

"To the layman, this car looks similar to an F1 car, but it’s such a different animal," Kiel told IndyCar’s website. "There’s no power steering, there’s way less downforce and the brakes coupled with the downforce are not as good in an Indy car. So there are a lot of things that he needs to get used to and that he’s working on doing today. So far, so good. The learning curve is going to be steep, but he’s very well-prepared mentally to attack that right now."

Kiel said Ericsson will test again after the first of the year in preparation for the 2019 season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 10 at St. Petersburg, Florida.

Bernie Ecclestone doesn’t believe Liberty Media has what it takes to deliver a second United States Grand Prix on the Streets of Miami.

Plans for the Miami race have fallen through for now, but the leaders of the sport insists it has not given up.

"It will never happen," former Formula 1 boss Ecclestone told Speed Week.

The 88-year-old said street circuits are notoriously hard to organize, and the plans for Miami were too ambitious.

"I think the Americans always want a guarantee not to lose money," Ecclestone opined.

Ecclestone added that Liberty is in too much a hurry to finalize new events.

"When they came in, they said 'We'll have 25 races, six of them in America'. But they don't know how to do it," he insisted.

Liberty has delivered a new race in Vietnam, but Ecclestone said he decided against that race because of the competing hosts in Singapore and Japan.

"So I let it go," the Briton said. "If you tell people about Formula 1 there, they don't have a clue what you're talking about. Whether it's right or wrong, I don't know. Everywhere is the right place, as long as people come to the track or turn on the TV."

He also scoffed at the latest reports about Liberty eyeing a race in London.

"We looked at it years ago," he said. "It's too complicated, too many restrictions.

"We had so many meetings and in the end the difference was three million pounds. I said 'That's the cost of the bottled water at the meetings we still need to have. So let's just forget the whole thing'."

Source: Autoweek

December 6, 2018