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

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

During the event, a previous generation F1 auto was unveiled featuring a red and white livery and a prominent Alfa Romeo badge (above, with Leclerc and Ericsson).

Sauber has confirmed Formula 2 champion Charles Leclerc will race alongside Marcus Ericsson next year, while also unveiling the new livery for its partnership with Alfa Romeo.

As for Ericsson, the Swede was in a battle with Antonio Giovinazzi for the second seat before Sauber opted to stick with what they know.

Meanwhile, Sweden's Marcus Ericcson stays in the lineup despite failing to score a point in 2017.

Ferrari-backed Leclerc, from Monaco, had been expected to get the drive. Instead, the Italian will be Sauber's third driver, effectively meaning he is in a reserve role. He was speaking in Milan at an event marking the launch of Sauber's new partnership with Alfa Romeo.

"The motor we use will be the same one Ferrari use", Marchionne said.

"Now there is the additional benefit that when we sit down at the table to discuss the future of Formula One, we're playing two marques", he told reporters.

The news was announced Saturday as the team's Formula One auto was also unveiled with it's slick red and white colouring with a prominent Alfa Romeo logo.

Formula One chairman Chase Carey and former Ferrari boss Jean Todt, president of the governing FIA, both attended Saturday's presentation. Ferrari celebrated the 70th anniversary of his first auto this year.

"For now I'm a Ferrari fan, but if Alfa Romeo Sauber do well that would of course be very welcome", Marchionne said.

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