Alfa Romeo Sauber unveil slick F1 auto and young driver

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 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. The Ferrari youngster impressed with a dominant Formula 2 campaign, capping his championship-winning year with victory in the final race in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

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

Sauber, meanwhile, had Marcus Ericsson angling for a seat despite not scoring any points in either of the last two seasons, relying heavily on his links to the team's owners. The title sponsorship deal means the team will be called Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 and the multi-year partnership comes with technical and commercial benefits.

More news: Microsoft announces significant extension of its Redmond campus

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.

"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".

Ferrari's late founder Enzo also started out racing and managing a team for Alfa Romeo, before setting up on his own in the late 1930s.

  • Adam Floyd