Sauber Junior Team has announced their full line-up for the 2019 FIA Formula 2 championship with British driver Callum Ilott and American Juan Manuel Correa.
For the first time, Sauber will be involved in the F2 championship, agreeing a collaboration partnership with Charouz Racing System, forming Sauber Junior Team By Charouz.
Charouz entered F2 in 2018 and captured two wins from Antonio Fuoco over the course of their debut season. Podiums from both Fuoco and Louis Deletraz saw the team end the season sixth overall in the teams’ championship.
Sauber have also collaborate with Charouz in the new FIA Formula 3 championship, replacing the GP3 Series, as well as multiple Formula 4 programmes.
Alfa Romeo Racing team principal and CEO of Sauber Motorsports, Frédéric Vasseur commented on the strong junior roster the Swiss team has for the upcoming season.
“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,” said Vassuer.
“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.”
Ahead of their first season, Sauber have signed two drivers who competed in the 2018 GP3 Series. Callum Ilott will make the step up and joins the F2 grid, having been a title contender throughout the year with ART Grand Prix.
Ilott becomes the second Brit confirmed on the grid, with Jack Aitken securing a seat with Campos Racing.
Having tested with Charouz at the end of the 2018 season in Abu Dhabi, Ilott said he was impressed with how the team operated and believes he is in a unique position to be supported by the Ferrari Drivers’ Academy and now, the Sauber Junior Team.
“Charouz impressed me in 2018, so when Bob Vavřík [Charouz managing director] approached me, outlining the plans he and Fred had, it felt like the right place,” commented Ilott.
“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.”
The Ecuadorian-American Juan Manuel Correa will partner alongside Ilott for the 2019 season, having spend 2018 in GP3 with Jenzer Motorsport.
He compiled impressive and consistent results over the course of the season to earn a twelfth place finish in the drivers’ championship.
“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,” added Correa.
“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.”
Sauber have also announced signings for the FIA Formula 3 championship squad with the likes of reigning German F4 Champion Lirim Zendeli, Fabio Scherer and Raoul Hyman.
Antonin Charouz, Charouz Racing System owner added that the partnership with Sauber creates a unique opportunity for young drivers in their racing careers.
“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.”