At a team event at the Museo Storico Alfa Romeo, where the Italian car manufacturer celebrated their return to Formula One, the Sauber F1 team have announced their driver line-up for 2018. From behind a repainted Sauber in Alfa Romeo colours, Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc were present to confirm their racing seats in 2018.
Marcus Ericsson, who has been driving for the Sauber F1 Team since 2015, will go into his fourth season for the team, and fifth season in Formula One. Charles Leclerc, who completed four FP1 sessions and two tyre tests for the Sauber F1 Team in 2017, will join Ericsson for his first season as a race driver in Formula One.
“We are all delighted about the cooperation with Alfa Romeo", stated Frédéric Vasseur, Sauber Team Principal.
"Today, we created the foundation for our partnership at the Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese, Italy. With Marcus (Ericsson) and Charles (Leclerc), we have a strong driver duo for the debut season of the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team. Marcus is an experienced Formula One driver, who knows the procedures and the team well, after having worked together for the past 3 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 World Championship 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.”
Even though both drivers said to be happy at the event, much will depend on the actual progress that Sauber will be able to make with its car. Sauber switched its focus early towards 2018, but even then, their next car will be powered by year-old power units from Ferrari.
“I would like to congratulate the team on the new partnership with Alfa Romeo", said Marcus Ericsson.
"It is a great honour for me to be driving for this team in 2018, and I am excited and proud to be part of this promising journey. I am confident that I can add to the knowledge and experience of the team. This winter is going to be very busy, and it will be important to push the development of the car in order to have a good start to the season. I am optimistic, that 2018 can be a big step and a good chance for us to move up in the field."
Newcomer Charles Leclerc finally makes it into F1, thanks to Ferrrari, and is grateful for the chance.
“I am very happy to be entering Formula One in 2018. First and foremost, I would like to thank Ferrari for their support. I would also like to thank Sauber for their trust and confidence in me as a driver, and look forward to joining the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team for the upcoming season. 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. It is a great working environment, and I already feel confident and comfortable here. In 2018, my aim will be to gain more experience in Formula One, and to bring as much value to the team as possible in return.”