Marcus Ericsson stated that he understands Sauber's decision to replace him for the 2019 season, while admitting that he wanted to stay on as one of its drivers next year.
Sauber confirmed on Tuesday that Ferrari junior Antonio Giovinazzi would line-up alongside Kimi Raikkonen next season, while Ericsson would stay on as its third driver. Ericsson joined the team in 2015, and has raced 75 Grands Prix so far for the Swiss squad.
"I am thankful for the past five years of my career which I have spent racing in Formula 1," 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 will now look at other racing options outside of F1 to keep himself busy and achieve further success: "Regarding today's news, I'm proud of what I've achieved in these last years in F1," he wrote on social media.
"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."