LeClerc and Ericsson earn Sauber seats

Sauber unveils concept 2018 Alfa Romeo livery

The announcement was made by Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne on Saturday.

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.

Drivers Marcus Ericsson of Sweden left and Charles Leclerc of Monaco unveil the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team on the occasion of its official presentation in Arese Italy Saturday Dec. 2 2017. The Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team will compete in the 2018 For

While Ferrari was weighing up whether it wanted to place Antonio Giovinazzi at Sauber, the team has opted to only secure a Formula 1 race seat for Leclerc, with Ericsson being retained for what will be his fourth season at the team and Pascal Wehrlein losing his seat. However, Ericsson's close ties to Sauber owners Longbow Finance appear to have edged it.

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.

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

Fiat Chrysler have invested billions of euros since 2014 to develop new Alfa Romeo models that would stand up against German premium rivals and shed a reputation for poor quality and service that has hit sales in the past decade.

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"This agreement with the Sauber F1 team is a significant step in the reshaping of the Alfa Romeo brand", Marchionne said earlier this week. "First and foremost, I would like to thank Ferrari for their support".

Fiat bought Alfa, whose iconic red Spider 1600 was driven by Dustin Hoffman in the 1967 cult film "The Graduate", in 1986, but several previous attempts at reviving the brand have stalled.

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