Published: Sun, December 03, 2017
Industry | By Dora Warner

Alfa Romeo Sauber unveil slick F1 vehicle and young driver

Alfa Romeo Sauber unveil slick F1 vehicle and young driver

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.

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

Giovinazzi's chances seemed to have been raised by news of the Alfa Romeo deal, with speculation Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne was keen to make it a fully-fledged junior team. 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.

Giovinazzi made his F1 bow this year subbing for an unwell Pascal Wehrlein in the first two races of the season.

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Ferrari-backed Leclerc, from Monaco, had been expected to get the drive.

Marchionne, who is also the chairman of Sauber's engine suppliers Ferrari, is attempting to reshape the Alfa Romeo brand and the title sponsorship of Sauber is part of that.

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

Fiat Chrysler (FCA) 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.

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"The motor we use will be the same one Ferrari use", Marchionne said.

"I think obviously we're starting from quite far behind because we had a hard season, but I think we have the potential to take a good step forward".

Leclerc had always been tipped for one of the Sauber seats after storming to the Formula 2 title, finishing 72 points ahead of Artem Markelov.

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