F1: Sauber launches junior team to develop young drivers
By Chris Medland | RACER magazine and RACER.com F1 correspondent
Sauber has launched the Sauber Junior Team in order to develop drivers in Formula 2, Formula 3 and Formula 4 from 2019 onward.
The Swiss outfit has partnered with Charouz Racing System to run Sauber Junior Team drivers in all three categories next year in order to offer a clear path to Formula 1. Racing in the new Formula 3 that will support F1 races, the team will also race in ADAC Formula 4 and Italian Formula 4. Headquartered at Charouz Racing System’s base in the Czech Republic, all cars will sport an identical livery while racing under the Sauber Junior Team name.
“Racing is a vital part of Sauber Motorsport’s DNA and the Sauber Junior Team marks an important milestone in the company history,” Sauber team principal Frederic Vasseur said. “Sauber has a long tradition of helping drivers reach their full potential, having worked with the likes of Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and upcoming star Charles Leclerc.
“With this project, Sauber further extends its racing platform with a complete and dedicated program from the junior series to the pinnacle of motorsport. We are delighted to partner with Charouz Racing System, a highly professional team that operates with success in all the series.”
Antonio Fuoco, Charouz Racing System F2 car. (Image by Zak Mauger/LAT)
The first tests are scheduled to take place in Abu Dhabi later this month, with F2 set to run in the days following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, while the new F3 car is expected to be unveiled at the same event. Sauber says the junior team will benefit from technical, sporting and commercial support from the F1 team.
“Establishing a Junior Team partnership with Sauber Motorsport is a proud moment in the history of Charouz Racing System and we’re looking forward to taking some exceptional drivers on track in 2019, across three different categories of racing,” Charouz Racing System team owner Antonin Charouz said.
“The Sauber Junior Team program is a very exciting development in international motorsport. It gives drivers the chance to potentially progress all the way from Formula 4 to Formula 1 with a single team. That’s a unique model and an exciting prospect for everyone involved.”
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