Today saw the Alfa Romeo Sauber team take the wraps off their 2018 car, despite the 2017 season barely being over. Alfa Romeo Sauber are already motoring ahead with their plans for next year, hosting a livery launch in Milan that announced their driver lineup for 2018 as well as showed off a significantly revised colour scheme.
The car is predominantly white with red accents, and large Alfa Romeo logos after the Swiss team confirmed a deal with the Italian carmaker. The title sponsorship deal means the team will be called Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 and the multi year partnership comes with technical and commercial benefits. An important aspect of the agreement will see the team running a Ferrari engine that is no longer a year old but a current power unit instead.
Meanwhile, in terms of drivers, the Formula 1 team are retaining the services of Marcus Ericsson, but are replacing Pascal Wehrlein with the services of Charles LeClerc. Antonio Giovinazzi is the reserve driver.
Charles LeClerc steps up into Formula 1 as the 2017 FIA Formula 2 Champion, having become the first driver to win both that championship and the GP3 Series, which he did in 2016, and he moves up with the support of Scuderia Ferrari as part of their young driver programme.
“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.”
LeClerc made four free practice sessions with Sauber in 2017 having done likewise with the Haas F1 Team in 2016, and he is looking to gain even more experience in his rookie campaign in Formula 1 next season.
“It was a great experience to drivee in a few FP1 sessions and tyre tests for the Sauber F1 team in 2017, during which the team welcomed me straight away,” said LeClerc. “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 1, and to bring as much value to the tea, as possible in return.”