Czech Republic-based Charouz Racing System has joined hands with Sauber F1 Team to create a ‘Sauber Junior Team’ from 2019 season onward.
The team which was created in 1985 by Antonin Charouz has competed in various championships – be it single-seater or endurance racing including the Le Mans 24 Hours with Lola-Judd partnership.
Most recently, it competed in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series until 2015 and World Series Formula V8 3.5 until 2017 after which it moved to FIA Formula 2 Championship this year with Louis Deletraz and Antonio Fuoco.
It also races in the ADAC F4 series in partnership with US Racing. From 2019 onward, the team will run as the ‘Sauber Junior Team’ in four of the junior single-seater championships using the colours of the Sauber F1 Team.
It will continue to race in the F2 and ADAC F4 championships, while it will make its debut in the new FIA Formula 3 Championship and also the Italian F4 Series as it will create a path for the drivers wanting to race in F1.
F1 team boss Frederic Vassuer said: “Racing is a vital part of Sauber Motorsport’s DNA and the Sauber Junior Team marks an important milestone in the company history. 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 programme 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.”
Charouz’s team owner said: “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.
“The Sauber Junior Team programme is a very exciting development in international motorsport. It gives drivers the chance to potentially progress all the way from Formula 4 to the verge of F1 with a single team. That’s a unique model and an exciting prospect for everyone involved.”
Charouz’s MD Bob Vavrik added: “This is an exciting step for us because we’ll be working closely with Sauber to thoroughly develop the skills of the drivers we recruit so they are capable of graduating from category-to-category and being successful.
“This is a programme we’re taking very seriously and the ambition is to attract the best driver talent to ensure the right level of competition and continuity. Our driver selection process is already underway and we expect to test and evaluate some candidates across the F2 and F3 programmes in Abu Dhabi later this month.”