Sauber unveils concept 2018 Alfa Romeo livery

Drivers Marcus Ericsson of Sweden and Charles Leclerc of Monaco unveil the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 team car on the occasion of its official presentation in Arese Italy on Saturday. The Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team will compete in the 2018 Formula One W

They have linked up with Alfa Romeo, who will become their title sponsor, for the 2018 season in a deal that marks a return to F1 for the Italian firm after a 30-year absence.

The 20-year-old from Monaco, a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, will take Pascal Wehrlein's place behind the wheel next season as Sauber team up with Alfa Romeo.

Ericsson retains his seat despite failing to score a point in 2017. Instead, the Italian will be Sauber's third driver, effectively meaning he is in a reserve role.

"Formula One is the natural reference point for a marque like this", he said. He was speaking in Milan at an event marking the launch of Sauber's new partnership with Alfa Romeo.

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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 made a decision to walk away as they have threatened. "I think the guns are loaded in a different way".

Formula One chairman Chase Carey and former Ferrari boss Jean Todt, president of the governing FIA, both attended Saturday's presentation.

Sauber finished last in the constructors' championship for the first time in their history in 2017. Ferrari celebrated the 70th anniversary of his first vehicle this year.

Marchionne is betting on the sporty Alfa Romeo because he believes it can deliver the global profile that the mass-market Fiat brand cannot and far greater sales volumes than top-end Maseratis.

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