Sci-tech

With Sauber's confirmation, just one F1 seat remains for 2018

With Sauber's confirmation, just one F1 seat remains for 2018

The Swiss Formula One outfit Alfa Romeo Sauber have confirmed that Sweden's Marcus Ericsson and young Frenchman Charles Leclerc will compete for the world title in their rebranded vehicle in 2018.

F2 champion LeClerc had always been expected to make the jump to the pinnacle of motorsport.

Ericsson failed to score a single point in the 2017 F1 season while his team-mate Pascal Wehrlein managed five only to lose his race-seat.

The announcement was made by Fiat Chrysler (FCA) chief executive Sergio Marchionne on Saturday at a presentation of Alfa Romeo's new partnership with the Swiss team at the Italian marque's museum near Milan.

But there had been doubts about Ericsson's roles, despite the fact that his personal sponsors are also involved in Longbow Finance, the group that bought out Sauber in 2016.

His only remaining hope of a seat for next year is at Williams, but this now seems bound to go to Robert Kubica. The team parted company with former team boss Monisha Kaltenborn, who was replaced by Frederic Vasseur, before abandoning a Honda engine deal which had been agreed earlier in the season. The Italian auto manufacturer is making a return to the sport after 30-years to sponsor the team.

Instead, the team will use Ferrari power elements badged with the iconic Alfa Romeo brand.

Sauber will have closer ties with Ferrari next season through the deal with Alfa Romeo.