Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson to race for Sauber in F1 2018

Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne has announced that Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc will race for Sauber in Formula 1 next season

Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson to race for Sauber in F1 2018

Ericsson had been in a fight with Antonio Giovinazzi for the second seat at Sauber, which will have closer ties with Ferrari next season thanks to a partnership with Alfa Romeo.

Although the initial idea of an Alfa Romeo team was triggered because Marchionne wanted a proving ground for young Italian racers, Ericsson's close ties with Sauber's owners eventually won out.

Watch the Autosport Awards live on Sunday night

The announcement was made at the launch of the new Alfa Romeo partnership in Italy on Saturday, when Marchionne confirmed the expected news that Leclerc will be stepping up to F1 after a dominant campaign in F2.

Team principal Frederic Vasseur said: "With Marcus and Charles, we have a strong driver duo for the debut season of the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team.

"Marcus is an experienced Formula 1 driver, who knows the procedures and the team well, after having worked together for the past three years. He is a team player, and has a very positive attitude.

"Charles has proven his talent in several racing series, most recently winning the Formula 2 title.

"He had the chance to drive in four FP1 sessions and two tyre tests for us this season, and convinced the team with his professionalism and charisma.

"I look forward to going into 2018 with this driver pairing, and I am convinced that they will complement each other very well."

Sauber has undergone a dramatic change of direction this year after former team principal Monisha Kaltenborn was moved aside in favour of Vasseur.

A plan to run Honda engines in 2018 was abandoned swiftly, as Vasseur believed that the future of the team was best served by getting much closer to Ferrari.

A customer engine deal was believed to include an agreement for it to take one of Ferrari's young drivers, with Leclerc's speed this year making it clear he was the preferred option to take the first seat.

And although Giovinazzi was in contention for much of the year to step up to a full-time F1 seat, Sauber confirmed on Saturday the Italian will be its third driver next year.

shares
comments
Red Bull 'desperately' needs F1 engines to close up in 2018
Previous article

Red Bull 'desperately' needs F1 engines to close up in 2018

Next article

Special LAT Photographic documentary to air on Motorsport tv

Special LAT Photographic documentary to air on Motorsport tv
Load comments
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2021
How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021