emfizz.com December 17, 2017

Sauber confirm Leclerc & Ericsson, as Alfa Romeo livery revealed

03 December 2017, 12:22 | Patty Hardy

Credit Sauber F1 Team

Sauber launch 2018 livery alongside driver announcement

Charles Leclerc has admitted his delight at moving up into Formula 1 in 2018 with the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team after being signed alongside Marcus Ericsson.

He'll have a new partner for the season, with Formula 2 champion Charles Leclerc stepping up to make his F1 race début in Melbourne.

Fiat Chrysler have invested billions of euros since 2014 to develop new Alfa Romeo models that would stand up against German premium rivals and shed a reputation for poor quality and service that has hit sales in the past decade.

Leclerc has been testing for Sauber on numerous occasions this season, including four FP1 runs toward the end of the year.

However, Ericsson's future had been in doubt after he ended the season as the only driver to compete in every race without scoring a point. The Italian vehicle manufacturer is making a return to the sport after 30-years to sponsor the team.

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It was a tough campaign for the Swiss-based marque, with Wehrlein taking only five points and Ericsson failing to score even one, but the hope is, with the new engine manufacturer on board, they might be more competitive next year.

As expected, Mercedes protégé Wehrlein is left out of the line-up.

Former champions Williams are the only remaining team with a vacancy.

Instead, the team will use Ferrari power elements badged with the iconic Alfa Romeo brand. That was promptly followed by a deal with Ferrari for 2018.

"It was a great experience to drive a few FP1 sessions and tyre tests for the Sauber F1 Team in 2017, during which the team welcomed me straight away", said Leclerc.

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