Leclerc 'very happy' to get Alfa Romeo Sauber race seat in 2018

Leclerc 'very happy' to get Alfa Romeo Sauber race seat in 2018

Leclerc 'very happy' to get Alfa Romeo Sauber race seat in 2018

Ferrari was known to be keen on placing both its outstanding junior drivers, Charles Leclerc and Antonio Giovinazzi, at Sauber for 2018 as part of an expanded technical partnership with the team.

The long-awaited announcement was made by Fiat Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne at a presentation of Alfa Romeo's new partnership with the Swiss team on Saturday.

Giovinazzi, who served as Ferrari's third driver in 2017, has two Sauber race outings to his name, the Italian having stood in for the injured Wehrlein at this season's two opening rounds, with a best finish of 12th in Australia.

The covers were then pulled off a showcar, revealing a red and white livery, with a large Alfa Romeo logo on the engine cover.

The 20-year-old, a member of Ferrari's young driver academy, won this year's Formula 2 championship with seven wins and 282 points, 72 ahead of Artem Markelov.

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"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.

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 chose to walk away as they have threatened. "I think the guns are loaded in a different way". "First and foremost, I would like to thank Ferrari for their support".

During a press conference held at Alfa Romeo's museum on Saturday, Leclerc and Ericsson took the wraps off the squad's proposed 2018 livery, which was presented on one of the team's showcars.

Alfa Romeo supplied engines in the 1960s and 1970s and returned as a constructor in 1979 before again withdrawing at the end of 1985.

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