F1: Antonio Giovinazzi to partner Kimi Raikkonen at Sauber next year
Marcus Ericsson becomes the Swiss team’s third driver
Alfa Romeo Sauber will have an all-new driver line-up next season after the Formula 1 team announced today that Antonio Giovinazzi will partner Kimi Raikkonen.
Giovinazzi, who is Italian, replaces Marcus Ericsson, while Raikkonen takes the seat of Charles Leclerc, who will join Ferrari.
Giovinazzi is a “Ferrari protege”, Autosport reports. The 24-year-old has been working with the Sauber team for the past two years.
In a statement, Sauber team principal Frederic Vasseur said: “We are very pleased to reveal the complete driver line-up for the 2019 season. We first signed Kimi Raikkonen, an extremely experienced driver who will contribute to the development of our car and will accelerate the progress of our team as a whole.
“Together with Alfa Romeo, we are delighted to welcome Antonio Giovinazzi. We have already had the opportunity to work with him in the past and he has proven to have great potential. We are very determined and motivated. Our target is to continue progressing and fighting together for positions that count.”
After the deal was confirmed, Giovinazzi said he was thrilled to be joining the Sauber F1 team next year. “This is a dream come true and it is a great pleasure to have the chance to race for this team,” he said.
“As an Italian, it is a huge honour for me to represent a brand as iconic and successful as Alfa Romeo in our sport,” he added. “I am very motivated and cannot wait to start working towards achieving great results together.”
On Twitter Sauber thanked Ericsson for his work and confirmed he will stay on with the team as the third driver and brand ambassador.
Ericsson, who is 28 and Swedish, has driven for four seasons in F1 for Sauber.