The Sauber Junior Team have announced that Callum Ilott and Juan Manuel Correa will be its drivers in the FIA Formula 2 Championship during 2019.
Sauber Motorsport, which runs the Alfa Romeo Racing entry in Formula 1, partnered with Charouz Racing System in November to launch the Sauber Junior Team programme. The programme mission is to support and develop the skills of a carefully-selected group of young drivers from 2019 onwards. It will compete in the F2, F3 and F4 categories.
The Sauber Junior Team initiative is unique in international motorsport as it gives talented youngsters a clear pathway to potentially progress from the FIA's entry-level single-seater category to the verge of Formula 1 with a single team.
Callum Ilott, who is a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy and finished P3 in last year’s GP3 Series, will partner American GP3 graduate Juan Manuel Correa in the Sauber Junior Team’s F2 line up. Both drivers impressed Charouz Racing System when they took part in the post-season F2 test with the Czech-based team at Abu Dhabi in November.
F2 driver Callum Ilott 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.”
F2 driver Juan Manuel Correa said: “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."
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing and CEO Sauber Motorsport AG 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.”
Antonin Charouz, Charouz Racing System owner, said: “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.”