Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has said that Sauber will become a Ferrari junior team in light of the newly announced engine deal. In Hungary, Sauber confirmed that it had cancelled its deal to run with Honda engines in 2018 and instead announced a deal with Ferrari.
The deal will also see the Hinwil-based squad run with up-to-date power, as year-old power units are hampering its 2017 season. Giancarlo Minardi said that Haas retaining its current line-up in 2018 was a missed opportunity for Ferrari to push one of its junior drivers into Formula 1.
Charles Leclerc and Antonio Giovinazzi are both waiting in the sidelines, hoping for a racing seat in 2018 with their best opportunity coming with Sauber now that the deal surrounding engines has been announced. Speaking in Hungary, Marchionne said that Sauber would now form into a junior team for its drivers.
"The engines for Sauber are also a way to create a kind of junior team for our young drivers. We have two great young talents, but to secure the future of Ferrari, we need the chance to train them somewhere. We need space for them, so it's a great idea and we're working on it. Maurizio Arrivabene has worked hard on this project, and I want to say also that in agreement with Liberty Media we will also increase the number of customers for our engines.
"They tell me Giovinazzi did a great job for us, driving here (for Haas) on Friday and then on Friday night returning to be in the simulator," continued Marchionne. "He worked late to make sure there was no mistake in balancing the car. He's back here (in Hungary) with us now and I see that quite rightly he is tired."