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2018 F1

Sauber F1 not ruling out Ferrari-linked driver for 2018

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Sauber is not ready to think about its 2018 driver lineup.

That is the view of the Swiss team’s brand new boss Frederic Vasseur, as he attends his first grand prix in Sauber colours in Hungary.

Vasseur’s first act as boss was to axe the new Sauber-Honda deal, instead signing a new arrangement with Ferrari for fully up-to-date engines in 2018.

However, the Honda-linked driver Nobuharu Matsushita will still test for Sauber next week.

“We made this commitment to Honda a couple of months ago,” said Vasseur, “so we will keep our promise to them and to Matsushita.”

As for the race drivers, Vasseur is more coy.

Currently, Sauber’s drivers are Marcus Ericsson – who is linked with the Sauber owner – and the Mercedes-backed Pascal Wehrlein.

But it is now rumoured that upgrading Sauber’s current year-old engine deal to fully 2018-spec units next year might be an ideal opportunity for Ferrari to get Antonio Giovinazzi or Charles Leclerc into a race seat.

“It’s too early to discuss the drivers,” Vasseur insisted.

“We only signed the (Ferrari) agreement on Thursday, and the drivers are not part of the contract.

“We will talk about the drivers in the next weeks,” he added.

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