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Alfa Romeo Sauber confirms Leclerc and Ericsson

Alfa Romeo Sauber confirms Leclerc and Ericsson

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.

The Monegasque driver steps up into Formula 1 as the 2017 FIA Formula 2 Champion, having become the first driver to win both that championship and the GP3 Series, which he did in 2016, and he moves up with the support of Scuderia Ferrari as part of their young driver programme. The Italian auto manufacturer is making a return to the sport after 30-years to sponsor the team.

That speculation ended on Saturday at an event in Italy where Ericsson - who had been up against Ferrari junior Antonio Giovinazzi for the seat - was confirmed for a third season with the team.

The vehicle is predominantly white with red accents, and large Alfa Romeo logos after the Swiss team confirmed a deal with the manufacturer.




Ferrari-backed Leclerc, from Monaco, had been expected to get the drive. The final piece of the puzzle fell into place during Abu Dhabi's post-season tests, when it confirmed a title partnership deal with Alfa Romeo - bringing the legendary Italian marquee back to F1 after a 33-year absence.

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

With Sauber teaming up with Alfa Romeo ahead of the 2018 championship, Leclerc was widely tipped to take one of the two Sauber race-seats.

Marchionne added that the partnership would also strengthen his hand in talks with Formula One about the sport's future and warned that the deal could end in 2021 if Ferrari made a decision to walk away as they have threatened.


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