Sci-tech

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

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

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.

With his ties to Ferrari through the Ferrari Driver Academy in addition to his confirmed role as a full-time driver for Sauber, the team that signed a technical partnership with Ferrari for 2018, in his rookie Formula One season, Leclerc is among the lead candidates to replace Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari in the 2019 season.

The line-up was announced at a special press event in Milan, Italy on Saturday, where the team revealed further details of their new title sponsorship deal with Alfa Romeo, including a revised red and white livery concept for next season's auto and a new logo. The 27-year-old Swede has scored nine points with the Swiss team in that time.

Sauber, meanwhile, had Marcus Ericsson angling for a seat despite not scoring any points in either of the last two seasons, relying heavily on his links to the team's owners.

More news: Disney Finds Lead for Live-Action 'Mulan'

Since the departure of former team principal Monisha Kaltenborn, Sauber has increasingly positioned itself as a Ferrari satellite team.

Ferrari's late founder Enzo also started out racing and managing a team for Alfa Romeo, before setting up on his own in the late 1930s. The deal is understood to include an agreement for it to take at least one of Ferrari's young drivers next season.

Sauber has unveiled its concept livery for the 2018 Formula 1 season, in the wake of its collaboration with FCA brand Alfa Romeo. "[Alfa] will return to Formula 1 after an absence of more than 30 years", said Marchionne.


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