Sauber reveals Alfa Romeo livery design

LeClerc and Ericsson earn Sauber seats

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 auto in 2018. The Italian vehicle manufacturer is making a return to the sport after 30-years to sponsor the team.

The lineup leaves Pascal Wehrlein, Ericsson's German team mate, facing an uncertain future with former champions Williams the only remaining team with a vacancy but Poland's Robert Kubica favourite to fill it.

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

Despite the stronger links to Ferrari, the Italian manufacturer was unable to get its way, with Sauber confirming Leclerc and Ericsson at its launch on Saturday.

The Monegasque driver steps up into Formula 1 as the 2017 FIA Formula 2 Champion, having become the first driver to win both that championship and the GP3 Series, which he did in 2016, and he moves up with the support of Scuderia Ferrari as part of their young driver programme. Instead, the Italian will be Sauber's third driver, effectively meaning he is in a reserve role.

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

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

"I think obviously we're starting from quite far behind because we had a hard season, but I think we have the potential to take a good step forward".

During a press conference held at Alfa Romeo's museum on Saturday, Leclerc and Ericsson took the wraps off the squad's proposed 2018 livery, which was presented on one of the team's showcars.

"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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