LeClerc and Ericsson earn Sauber seats

Dec 03, 2017, 00:57
LeClerc and Ericsson earn Sauber seats

They have linked up with Alfa Romeo, who will become their title sponsor, for the 2018 season in a deal that marks a return to F1 for the Italian firm after a 30-year absence.

The Swiss team announced Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc as its 2018 race drivers at a launch event near Milan, with Antonio Giovinazzi as third driver. During the event, a previous generation F1 vehicle was unveiled featuring a red and white livery and a prominent Alfa Romeo badge (above, with Leclerc and Ericsson).

The news leaves Pascal Wehrlein's hopes of securing another F1 drive with Williams, though Robert Kubica remains favourite to be Lance Stroll's teammate, which is the only remaining slot on the grid for next season.

While the 2018 Formula 1 driver market has been nowhere near as volatile as expected given the extensions for Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel, some questions were left unanswered following the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi last Sunday.

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"Formula One is the natural reference point for a marque like this", he said.

"The motor we use will be the same one Ferrari use", Marchionne said. The deal is understood to include an agreement for it to take at least one of Ferrari's young drivers next season. "First and foremost, I would like to thank Ferrari for their support".

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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