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Featured Leclerc, Ericcsson Confirmed at Alfa Romeo Sauber for 2018

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Paul Jeffrey, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

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    Sauber Alfa Romeo 2.jpg
    Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson will race for the newly named Alfa Romeo Sauber in 2018, with Antonio Giovinazzi taking on third driver duties for the new season.

    It has long been expected that Sauber will reveal at least one new driver for the year ahead, however it was with perhaps no little surprise that the Swiss team have retained the thoroughly unimpressive Marcus Ericsson for another season, demoting 2016 GP2 runner up and Ferrari young drive Antonio Giovinazzi to a reserve role and potentially bringing to an end the short Grand Prix career of Mercedes protégé Pascal Wehrlein .

    Sauber Alfa Romeo 1.jpg

    Alongside the confirmation of the teams 2018 driving strength would be a very first livery reveal containing the newly secured Alfa Romeo partnership, with the team showcasing a brand new visual concept of what the latest Sauber Formula One colour design could look like in the coming season.

    Thanks to further strengthening of the Ferrari / Alfa Romeo partnership with the struggling team, the new partnership with the iconic Italian brand (reported here) means that highly rated Ferrari junior and 2017 FIA Formula Two Champion Charles Leclerc will make his full time debut next season, stepping up from his ultra successful F2 campaign into a full time ride alongside Ericsson next season, a role the young 20-year-old Monaco native is plainly relishing ahead of the new year;

    “I am very happy to be entering Formula One in 2018,” said Leclerc. “First and foremost, I would like to thank Ferrari for their support. 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.

    “It was a great experience to drive a few FP1 sessions and tyre tests for the Sauber F1 Team in 2017, during which the team welcomed me straight away. 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 One, and to bring as much value to the team as possible in return.”

    Although on face value it would appear all change at Sauber for 2018, the team have decided to keep some level of continuity in the driving strength by retaining Swede Marcus Ericsson for a fifth consecutive season in 2018, surprising many following what has been a somewhat sub standard season for the 27-year-old driver in 2017. With such a highly regarded teammate as Leclerc alongside him next year and with increased funding and attention thanks to the Alfa Romeo link, 2018 really must be a make or break season for Ericsson, something the Swede is all to aware of heading into the Christmas break;

    “First of all, I would like to congratulate the team on the new partnership with Alfa Romeo,” commented Ericsson. “It is a great honour for me to be driving for this team in 2018, and I am excited and proud to be part of this promising journey. I am confident that I can add to the knowledge and experience of the team.

    “This winter is going to be very busy, and it will be important to push the development of the car in order to have a good start to the season. I am optimistic, that 2018 can be a big step and a good chance for us to move up in the field.”

    2018 could well be the beginning of a return to form for one of the longest established active teams in Formula One racing.

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    Have Sauber made the right decision to promote Leclerc and retain Ericcsson next year? Who would you like to see in the Swiss / Italian outfit? Will Sauber make inroads into the midfield next season in your opinion? Let us know in the comments section below!
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  2. Jan Larsen

    Jan Larsen
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    First off, the livery needs more red, otherwise it looks good.

    I'm looking forward to see if Leclerc can switch from being a frontrunner to a backmarker. Its a culture shock, together with entering the F1 world all together, and it can hit his self-confidence. At least he only has one goal. Constantly improve and start beating his teammate in the 2nd part of the year. If not the 1st part, but noone is asking that of him.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
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  3. kedy89

    kedy89
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    Looking forward to how Leclerc will do.

    Also, it says a lot about the current state of F1 if someone like Ericsson goes into his 5th season already.
     
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  4. T.L

    T.L
    +Dyrkan+ Premium

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    Dam thats a nice looking car! :thumbsup:

    and what do you mean by that?
     
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  5. formidable

    formidable
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    Ericsson? Really?

    I think that the perfect match is Leclerc and Wehrlein.
     
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  6. kedy89

    kedy89
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    Lower ranked teams needing money that much that they don't dump a paydriver after a season even if his results are not even close to being decent.
     
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  7. pafe

    pafe

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    I had hoped to see a second season for Wehrlein.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  8. shimon.ifraimov

    shimon.ifraimov

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    wtf is Ericsson still doing in f1? come on, sack him and bring new talent in!
     
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  9. Rob

    Rob
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    Where's the halo? Too embarrassed to bolt it on? :laugh:
     
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  10. Omer Said

    Omer Said
    Weresloth Staff

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    This is just an older car with the new livery. Looks like the 2013 Sauber.
     
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  11. MoerasGrizzly

    MoerasGrizzly
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    They need some way to tell it apart from the Ferraris :p
     
  12. Helmut Skrdla

    Helmut Skrdla
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    Sadly it's not a Sauber - Alfa Romeo.
     
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  13. Matt

    Matt
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    Ericsson must have bags and bags and bags.....................and bags and bags and bags....................and bags and bags and bags....................and bags and bags and bags....................and bags and bags and bags....................and bags and bags and bags....................and bags and bags and bags....................and bags and bags and bags....................and bags and bags and bags....................and bags and bags and bags....................and bags and bags and bags....................and bags and bags and bags....................and bags and bags and bags....................and bags and bags and bags....................and bags and bags and bags of cash flowing into the team.

    He really is the worst driver on the grid by a long margin.
     
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  14. T04STY

    T04STY

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    Obviously that a "great talent" like ericsson can survive 5 years in F1. With other words, it's sad, that you can drive in the top tier class of motorsport with pretty much money alone.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Dirk Steffen

    Dirk Steffen
    Porsche Factory Jackass Premium

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    Too bad they pulled a McLaren with the livery :-(
     
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  16. Benutzername

    Benutzername
    I breathe a lot. I guess i just really like air. Premium

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    third
     
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  17. Rinax89

    Rinax89

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    The real surprise here isn't Alfa Romeo returning to F1, but Ericsson returning for another season in F1.
     
    • Agree Agree x 6
  18. Leonardo Chaves

    Leonardo Chaves

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    I like the livery and Leclerc, not Ericsson however.
     
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  19. rubaru

    rubaru

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    This begs the question...where will Pascal go? Will he take a reserve/test driver role at Mercedes? Would he even want that? I think the only unconfirmed seats left are 1) Red Bull, but I can't imagine Ricciardo walking away from that, and 2) Williams, which seems likely to go to Kubica. Williams might be an option with the Mercedes engine, but that, too, might be another reserve driver role.
     
  20. Jolero02

    Jolero02

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    I just hope he stays in F1, what a wasted talent- says something about current state of F1 when drivers are chosen for pay rather than promise