Following on from the news in Hungary this weekend that Sauber have agreed an engine deal with Ferrari, Sergio Marchionne has also admitted the Swiss F1 team could become “a kind of junior team” for Ferrari.
Whilst everyone was looking forward to another Ferrari Mercedes battle on track, off track Sauber announced they had axed their Honda deal and signed up for current-specification Ferrari engines for 2018. Sauber have of course run Ferrari engines in the past.
Speaking on a visit to the paddock, Ferrari president Marchionne was quoted in Hungary as saying “The engines for Sauber are also a way to create a kind of junior team for our young drivers.
“We have two great young talents, but to secure the future of Ferrari, we need the chance to train them somewhere.
“We need space for them, so it’s a great idea and we’re working on it,” Marchionne added.
“Maurizio Arrivabene has worked hard on this project, and I want to say also that in agreement with Liberty Media we will also increase the number of customers for our engines.”
While Monaco-born Leclerc is dominating Formula 2 so far this year, first in line for a Sauber vacancy would actually be Italian Giovinazzi.
“They tell me Giovinazzi did a great job for us, driving here (for Haas) on Friday and then on Friday night returning to be in the simulator,” said Marchionne.
“He worked late to make sure there was no mistake in balancing the car. He’s back here (in Hungary) with us now and I see that quite rightly he is tired,” he smiled.