Sauber: F2 champion Charles Leclerc to drive alongside Marcus Ericsson

Sweden's Marcus Ericsson and young Frenchman Charles Leclerc will compete for Alfa Romeo Sauber

Despite scoring all five of the team's points for Sauber this season, Wehrlein now only has Williams as an option in F1 for 2018, with the Mercedes youngster facing a potential return to DTM.

The Swiss Formula One outfit Alfa Romeo Sauber have confirmed that Sweden's Marcus Ericsson and young Frenchman Charles Leclerc will compete for the world title in their rebranded vehicle in 2018.

Giovinazzi's chances seemed to have been raised by news of the Alfa Romeo deal, with speculation Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne was keen to make it a fully-fledged junior team.

Leclerc has already participated in eight F1 free practice sessions - four with Haas previous year, and four with Sauber this season. A plan to run Honda engines in 2018 was cancelled by new boss Frederic Vasseur.

Ferrari's late founder Enzo started out racing and managing a team for Alfa Romeo, before setting up on his own in the late 1930s. The deal is understood to include an agreement for it to take at least one of Ferrari's young drivers next season.

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.

While the 2018 Formula 1 driver market has been nowhere near as volatile as expected given the extensions for Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel, some questions were left unanswered following the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi last Sunday.

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