Friday, 15 December, 2017

Sauber: F2 champion Charles Leclerc to drive alongside Marcus Ericsson

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne delivers his speech on the occasion of the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team official presentation in Arese Italy Saturday Dec. 2 2017. The Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team will compete in the 2018 Formula 1 World Championship Sauber unveils concept 2018 Alfa Romeo livery
Garry Little | 03 December, 2017, 00:54

Sauber has confirmed Formula 2 champion Charles Leclerc will race alongside Marcus Ericsson next year, while also unveiling the new livery for its partnership with Alfa Romeo.

The announcement was made by Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne on Saturday.

The auto is predominantly white with red accents, and large Alfa Romeo logos after the Swiss team confirmed a deal with the manufacturer. Even before he put his teenage years behind him back in October, he had always been the favorite to get this ride, and now it's official. Instead, the Italian will be Sauber's third driver, effectively meaning he is in a reserve role.

Wehrlein, who won five points in 2017, is left without a seat, with Williams the only team left with an opening following Felipe Massa's retirement. He was speaking in Milan at an event marking the launch of Sauber's new partnership with Alfa Romeo. He is clearly deserving of a shot in Formula One.

"The motor we use will be the same one Ferrari use", Marchionne said. That was promptly followed by a deal with Ferrari for 2018. "First and foremost, I would like to thank Ferrari for their support".

"I think obviously we're starting from quite far behind because we had a hard season, but I think we have the potential to take a good step forward".

Charles Leclerc, 20, will make his Formula One debut as a full-time driver in the 2018 season driving for Sauber.

Alfa Romeo supplied engines in the 1960s and 1970s and returned as a constructor in 1979 before again withdrawing at the end of 1985.

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