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Sauber set for driver and Alfa Romeo announcements

  • Published on 23 Nov 2017 10:42
  • comments 7
  • By: Rob Veenstra

Sauber is shaping up to make announcements this week in Abu Dhabi. It is expected that Pascal Wehrlein will leave the Swiss team after Sunday's 2017 finale in Abu Dhabi, to be replaced for next year by Ferrari junior Charles Leclerc.

But Sauber's ties to Ferrari could be getting even stronger. We reported recently that Sauber is under pressure to also evacuate the other seat, even though it is currently occupied by Marcus Ericsson, who is very close to the team's owners.

But Ferrari wants its other junior, Antonio Giovinazzi, to also drive for Sauber in 2018. "We will do the (driver) announcement, I hope, in Abu Dhabi," Sauber team boss Frederic Vasseur said.

And media reports including Speed Week and the Swiss daily Blick say there could be another announcement in Abu Dhabi. For months, it has been rumoured that Sauber's engines next year could be rebranded as Alfa Romeo, the Ferrari-linked luxury car brand. Italian sources say that deal is now effectively done. (GMM)

Replies (7)

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  • Looks like Ferrari has decided to treat both it's concubines equally.

    • + 0
    • Nov 23 2017 - 13:01
  • mbmwe36

    Posts: 533

    Yay, more ridiculous badge-tuning...

    I don't really get what the deal is with Giovinazzi. He's not looked very impressive in F1 thus far, he's 24 in a few weeks and they already have a seat for super impressive Leclerc. Unless he'd wipe the floor with Leclerc next year, he wouldn't be in consideration for Kimi's seat anyway. And even if Vettel should leave next year as well, there is no way they are not going after high profile driver. So I don't really get the sense of urgency here. Unless it's meant more as a powerplay by Ferrari.

    • + 0
    • Nov 23 2017 - 13:15
    • Well, we've hardly seen him in F1, so IMO its a bit too early to say. We'll see.

      • + 0
      • Nov 23 2017 - 15:42
    • mbmwe36

      Posts: 533

      Right, but where do you see him fitting in in the grand scheme of things? Granted, he's Italian, and had it not been for Leclerc his future would probably been brighter, but it is what it is.

      • + 0
      • Nov 23 2017 - 18:00
    • Thats the thing though, we dont really see where he fit in the grand scheme of things, since we havent really seen much of him yet. It was the same for me with Ocon last year, and look how that turned out (this far at least, time will tell if he'll actually improve). I say give him a go, lets see what he really is made of.

      • + 0
      • Nov 23 2017 - 19:43
    • mbmwe36

      Posts: 533

      Sure, I'd be nice to see what he can do, especially since Ericsson is just.. there. I'm just surprised how adamant Ferrari is about the whole thing, all things considered.

      • + 0
      • Nov 23 2017 - 20:35
    • I was actually quite surprised to see Ferrari dropping it so easily this season. I was sure they'd fight harder to let Gio have more race sessions.

      • + 0
      • Nov 24 2017 - 06:23

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  • Team Sauber
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