Marcus Ericsson will remain with Sauber for the 2017 Formula 1 World Championship season, it has been confirmed.
Revealed ahead of this weekend's 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix season finale, the new deal will see Ericsson enter into his third season with the Sauber team having made his F1 debut with Caterham in 2014.
Though Ericsson remains pointless in 2016 in a year that has seen Sauber struggle for form amidst financial instability, the Swede nonetheless says he has good reason to be encouraged for 2017 following the team's buyout by the Longbow Finance company.
“It is great news that I will be racing for another year for the Sauber F1 Team. I have spent two years with Sauber now, and I really feel at home. A big thanks to everyone within the team for trusting in me again. From a personal point of view, I have developed a lot as a driver during my time at Sauber. We have had ups and downs, but we always stick together and work as hard as we can.
“Since the new ownership, there has been a positive push in the team, so it will also be exciting to go into this new era. Many motorsport experts are becoming part of Sauber, which is a good sign for the future.
“For 2017 my aim is to build on my performance from the second half of this season, and to continue working hard with the team. I cannot wait for the 2017 season, so that we can make our way up to the midfield with the objective to score points on a regular basis.”
With its future secured, Sauber has shown an upturn in form recently on the back of much-needed investment from its new owners, with Felipe Nasr scoring the team's first points of the year last time out in Brazil.
With this in mind, team principal Monisha Kaltenborn says the re-signing of Ericsson was important to retain some continuity ahead of what she believes will be a more competitive season for the team.
“We are very pleased to announce that Marcus will remain our race driver for the Sauber F1 Team in 2017. During the current season Marcus has again showed he is willing to go that extra mile in order to make progress.
“He went through very difficult times with us, but managed those very well. In the last two years, he has made significant steps in regards to his personal development, proving his skills on as well as off track, especially when circumstances are not easy.
“He is not only a good driver, but also an important team player who understands how to work with the team and how to motivate everyone with his positive attitude. Formula One goes into a new era in 2017, and I am confident that we can count on Marcus to bring the team back into the competition.”
Sauber says it will reveal its second driver 'in due course', with Nasr, Esteban Gutierrez, Antonio Giovinazzi and Pascal Wehrlein all being linked in recent weeks.
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