Callum Ilott and Juan Manuel Correa’s anticipated moves to Formula 2 with Charouz Racing System have been confirmed as part of the new Sauber Junior Team operation.
Both drivers raced in GP3 last season, with ART Grand Prix driver Ilott securing two wins en route to third in the standings – his first year in the category having made a switch from European Formula 3, where he made his single-seater debut in 2015.
Ilott, a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, drove for Charouz and Trident in the post-season F2 test in Abu Dhabi at the end of last year.
“Charouz impressed me in 2018, so when [managing director] Bob Vavrik approached me, outlining the plans he and Fred [Vasseur, Sauber boss] had, it felt like the right place,” said 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.”
Former Prema Formula 4 racer Correa drove for Jenzer Motorsport in GP3 last year, and ended up 12th in the standings with three top five finishes.
The Ecuadorian-American impressed during his first appearance in F2 machinery at the Abu Dhabi test, topping the times on day two.
?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,” said 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.”
Charouz enters its second season in F2 in 2019. In its debut campaign, the team finished sixth in the standings, with Antonio Fuoco securing two wins including a sprint race victory at Monaco.
The team’s FDA affiliation has now been swapped for a Sauber link-up, with the Formula 1 team (now known as Alfa Romeo Racing) revealing the partnership at the end of last year as it starts its own young driver programme to rival the likes of Red Bull and McLaren.