Sauber and Ferrari to discuss 2018 driver options in coming days

Sauber and Ferrari to discuss 2018 driver options. Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

The Sauber F1 Team will hold talks with Scuderia Ferrari over the next few days to discuss the possibility of Ferrari academy drivers Charles Leclerc and Antonio Giovinazzi driving for the Swiss squad in 2018.

Team Principal Fred Vasseur told Auto Motor und Sport recently, that to make such arrangements at the time of striking the engine deal with Ferrari, would not have been appropriate, but now they have time to sit down and discuss the options out there.

“We will discuss this with Ferrari in the coming days.

“For us, the engine choice had priority and we did not want to mix that with the driver question. It would have taken too much time. There is now the opportunity to do that in peace.”

The Frenchman has also not ruled out the chance of current driver Pascal Wehrlein retaining his seat with the squad, after speculation predicted the German would be the one to step down for the arrival of a Ferrari junior, following the engine deal, due to Marcus Ericsson’s strong connections to Sauber’s financial backers.

However, Vasseur ruled that notion out, stating a team needs drivers who are quick and can push progress forward, not just be lucky enough to know the right people.

“It would be a mistake to build a team around a driver just because he has a connection to the owner.

“Rebuilding Sauber will require patience, while drivers normally want results in the next race.

“So if he wants to sit in a podium car next year, he will have a problem with Sauber. We will talk with the owners about what is best for Marcus and the team.”

“Pascal knows our situation, and I know his skills because we worked together in the DTM.

“If you want to rebuild a team, you need not only fast drivers, but those who are willing to work with the team and push it in the right direction.”