Marcus Ericsson wanted to continue as a Sauber race driver next year but says he understands the team's decision to replace him with Kimi Raikkonen.
Ericsson is due to take on a reserve driver and brand ambassador role next year after Sauber confirmed Antonio Giovinazzi would partner Kimi Raikkonen at the team next season. Now in his fifth consecutive season in F1, Ericsson said he would have loved to continue but understands the team's decision to sign Raikkonen.
"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."
In an Instagram post, Ericsson said he would explore other series outside of F1.
"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."