The drivers to be racing for Sauber Junior Team in 2019 has been revealed with names like Callum Ilott, Juan Manuel Correa and Lirim Zendeli featuring in the list.
The Sauber Junior Team was formed last year when the Swiss outfit joined hands with Czech team Charouz Racing System. Sauber’s Frederic Vassuer explained the ideology behind the formation when asked by FormulaRapida.net.
Between then and now, Sauber has undergone a change with the F1 outfit being renamed to Alfa Romeo Racing while the head name remains as Sauber Motorsport AG. It looks like the junior team will also keep the ‘Sauber’ tag.
However, it is unclear if they compete under that name or under Chazrouz in the FIA Formula 2 Championship, FIA Formula 3 Championship or the two Formula 4 series (Germany and Italy) – where it races in partnership with US Racing.
The F2 team will feature Ferrari junior Ilott as the British racer graduates from GP3 Series for his rookie year after finishing third with ART Grand Prix. He will be joined by Correa, who also competed in GP3 with Jenzer in 2018, finishing 12th overall.
Sauber’s 2018 development driver Tatiana Calderon doesn’t finds a place in the set-up but could still compete in F2 with a different team. On the other hand, the three F3 racers will be German F4 champion Zendeli, F3 Asia champion Raoul Hyman and Fabio Scherer.
While the German is graduating to F3 level, Swiss racer Scherer is moving from European F3 to the new F3 series after racing for Motopark in the championship in 2018. Hyman comes in with extensive experience in junior single-seaters.
Alfa Romeo Racing Team principal, Frederic Vasseur said: “The Sauber Junior Team is heading into the 2019 season with a strong line-up in the FIA single-seater categories – F2, F3 and F4.
“Our project was launched with the goal of passing on our experience to young drivers and providing a platform where they can successfully develop their skills and come closer to their dream of racing at the pinnacle of motorsport one day.
“We look forward to our collaboration and will follow the progress of these young talents closely.” Charouz’s owner, Antonin Charouz added: “It’s clear that the Sauber Junior Team by Charouz programme provides a unique opportunity for young drivers and I think we’ve brought together an extremely talented and determined line-up for 2019.
“This is the beginning of an exciting new chapter in our team’s history and we’re looking forward to building on our recent race and championship-winning form in the F2 and F4 categories, as well as showing or strengths in F3, as part of our partnership with Sauber Motorsport.”
F2 driver Callum said: “Charouz impressed me in 2018, so when [Charouz managing director] Bob Vavřík approached me, outlining the plans he and Fred had, it felt like the right place.
“Their technical strength, passion and integration with Sauber is something different, it’s great to have earned the chance to be part of it. I’m in a unique position; benefitting from the Ferrari Academy’s expertise with the added advantage of being in the Sauber Junior Team environment, to strengthen me as a driver.
“There’s a lot to learn, but I’m aiming to repay the FDA’s faith in me by delivering strong performances in the fight for the F2 Championship.” Teammate Correa added: “This season is an incredible opportunity for my career not only because of the high-quality team that is Charouz Racing System, but also because it opens up a clear potential door to F1 through the Sauber Junior Team.
“A programme like this is what many drivers dream of, and I am very honoured to have been selected to be a part of it. I am confident that with the added contributions and knowledge from Sauber, I will be able to continue enhancing myself as a driver and have a successful rookie campaign.”
Meanwhile, F3 driver Scherer said: “Joining the Sauber Junior Team is a big moment in my career and I’m determined to take my chance. I had a solid rookie season in F3 last year and I feel ready for this opportunity.
“I’m hugely proud to be Swiss and it’s an honour to represent Sauber in 2019. My target is to be the first driver from Switzerland to run in F1 with a team that is based in my homeland. I will give everything I can to try and achieve this dream.”
Zendeli said: “Joining the Sauber Junior Team programme is a big honour. There are so many junior drivers in motorsport but many of them don’t get the chance to progress to the next level – like F3 – for many reasons.
“To have the chance to race at the top level of F3 in 2019, and to be affiliated to an F1 team at the same moment, is incredible. I’m thankful to everyone that has helped to bring this opportunity together.”
Hyman added: “I’m excited to join the Sauber Junior Team in the new FIA F3 Championship and build on my title-winning success in the FIA F3 Asia series last year. The Charouz team performed extremely well in their first year of F2 during 2018, and also has a great record in other championships.
“With their technical and engineering skill, I am confident the team will be strong in FIA F3. I can’t wait to start testing and prepare for what promises to be an exciting season.”
Finally, the two F4 racers to be part of the Sauber Junior Team were also confirmed with 2018 F4 South East Asia champion Alessandro Ghiretti joining in a single-seater graduate Roman Stanek and French F4 champion Theo Pourchaire in the US Racing-run squad.
2019 F2 line-up so far:
ART Grand Prix – Nyck de Vries & Nikita Mazepin
Prema – Mick Schumacher & Sean Gelael
Carlin – Nobuharu Matsushita & Louis Deletraz
UNI-Virtuosi – Guanyu Zhou & Luca Ghiotto
Trident – Giuliano Alesi
DAMS – Nicholas Latifi & Sergio Sette Camara
Campos Racing – Jack Aitken
BWT Arden – Anthoine Hubert
Charouz Racing System – Callum Ilott & Juan Manuel Correa
2019 F3 line-up so far:
Prema – Marcus Armstrong, Jehan Daruvala & Robert Shwartzman
Jenzer – Yuki Tsunoda
HitechGP – Juri Vips, Leonardo Pulcini
ART – David Beckmann, Christian Lundgaard & Max Fewtrell
Campos Racing – Sebastian Fernandez, Alex Peroni
Carlin – Teppei Natori, Felipe Drugovich & Logan Sargeant
HWA Racelab: Keyvan Andres, Bent Viscaal
Charouz Racing System – Fabio Schrer, Lirim Zendeli & Raoul Hyman