Published: Sun, December 03, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Sauber: F2 champion Charles Leclerc to drive alongside Marcus Ericsson

Sauber: F2 champion Charles Leclerc to drive alongside Marcus Ericsson

The driver line-up was confirmed by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne during a launch event of the new Alfa Romeo Sauber partnership - announced earlier this week - in Milan.

Meanwhile, in terms of drivers, the Swiss team are retaining the services of Marcus Ericsson, but are replacing Pascal Wehrlein with the services of Charles Leclerc.

Ferrari reserve Antonio Giovinazzi is the back-up driver.

Leclerc made four free practice sessions with Sauber in 2017 having done likewise with the Haas F1 Team in 2016, and he is looking to gain even more experience in his rookie campaign in Formula 1 next season.

The white-and-red scheme, reflecting Alfa Romeo's colours, marks a move away from the predominantly blue livery which Sauber has run since 2015. Having used a year-old power unit this season, next year will see Sauber running the latest specification in a deal that has since been extended to the Alfa Romeo partnership.

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

It's been a busy year for Sauber.

Alfa Romeo have a strong heritage in Formula One with the first two world championships in 1950 and 1951 won by Italian Giuseppe "Nino" Farina and Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio in their cars.

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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