Sauber confirms Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson as 2018 race line-up

Sauber unveils concept 2018 Alfa Romeo livery

Alfa Romeo Sauber has confirmed Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson will race for the team in the 2018 season, as well as showing off an initial team livery.

The 20-year-old, a member of Ferrari's young driver academy, won this year's Formula 2 championship with seven wins and 282 points, 72 ahead of Artem Markelov. The Italian vehicle manufacturer is making a return to the sport after 30-years to sponsor the team.

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

The white-and-red scheme, reflecting Alfa Romeo's colours, marks a move away from the predominantly blue livery which Sauber has run since 2015.

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.

Marchionne, who is also chairman of Sauber's engine suppliers Ferrari, has made the title sponsorship of Sauber part of his reshaping of the FCA-owned Alfa Romeo brand.

Marchionne added that the partnership would also strengthen his hand in talks with Formula One about the sport's future and warned that the deal could end in 2021 if Ferrari chose to walk away as they have threatened. "First and foremost, I would like to thank Ferrari for their support".

"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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