Leclerc joins Ericsson at Sauber for 2018

Leclerc joins Ericsson at Sauber for 2018

Leclerc joins Ericsson at Sauber for 2018

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.

There was always a doubt as to whether Ericsson would hold on to his seat, however, with Antonio Giovinazzi waiting in the wings, but they have opted to give the Swede another chance.

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.

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

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Charles Leclerc will make his Formula 1 debut next season after being confirmed alongside Marcus Ericsson in Sauber's line-up. Instead, the Italian will be Sauber's third driver, effectively meaning he is in a reserve role.

"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". The deal is understood to include an agreement for it to take at least one of Ferrari's young drivers next season.

The news leaves Pascal Wehrlein's hopes of securing another F1 drive with Williams, though Robert Kubica remains favourite to be Lance Stroll's teammate, which is the only remaining slot on the grid for next season.

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

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