03 December, 2017
The long-awaited announcement was made by Fiat Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne at a presentation of Alfa Romeo's new partnership with the Swiss team on Saturday. The Italian vehicle manufacturer is making a return to the sport after 30-years to sponsor the team.
Ericsson failed to score a single point in the 2017 F1 season while his team-mate Pascal Wehrlein managed five only to lose his race-seat. During the event, a previous generation F1 vehicle was unveiled featuring a red and white livery and a prominent Alfa Romeo badge (above, with Leclerc and Ericsson).
Giovinazzi will be the reserve driver instead, taking part in Friday practice sessions. Having used a year-old power unit this season, next year will see Sauber running the latest specification in a deal that has since been extended to the Alfa Romeo partnership.
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"The motor we use will be the same one Ferrari use", Marchionne said. "I think the guns are loaded in a different way".
Alfa Romeo have a strong heritage in Formula One with the first two world championships in 1950 and 1951 won by Italian Giuseppe "Nino" Farina and Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio in their cars.
"I am very happy to be entering Formula 1 in 2018", said Leclerc.