Leclerc joins Ericsson at Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 team

Leclerc joins Ericsson at Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 team

Leclerc joins Ericsson at Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 team

Alfa Romeo Sauber has confirmed Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson will race for the team in the 2018 season, as well as showing off an initial team livery.

That deal, marking the return of the historic Alfa Romeo name to Formula One after a more than 30-year absence, was announced earlier in the week.

That speculation ended on Saturday at an event in Italy where Ericsson - who had been up against Ferrari junior Antonio Giovinazzi for the seat - was confirmed for a third season with the team.

The white-and-red scheme, reflecting Alfa Romeo's colours, marks a move away from the predominantly blue livery which Sauber has run since 2015. The Ferrari youngster impressed with a dominant Formula 2 campaign, capping his championship-winning year with victory in the final race in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Giovinazzi will be the reserve driver instead, taking part in Friday practice sessions.

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Sauber will have closer ties with Ferrari next season through the deal with Alfa Romeo.

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

"The motor we use will be the same one Ferrari use", Marchionne said. "First and foremost, I would like to thank Ferrari for their support".

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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