Leclerc to use number 16 in Formula 1
4 December 2017 – Ferrari-backed Charles Leclerc will use 16 as his permanent number when he graduates to Formula 1 with Alfa Romeo Sauber in 2018, the outfit has confirmed.
Leclerc had long been tipped to make the step up to Formula 1 after storming to the Formula 2 title as a rookie, taking eight pole positions and seven victories along the way.
Following runs with Haas in 2016, Leclerc made several practice and test outings with Sauber over the second half of the 2017 season, most recently in Abu Dhabi last week.
He was subsequently announced as a driver during a launch at the Alfa Romeo museum.
Under Formula 1 regulations introduced in 2014, drivers are free to choose a number between 2 and 99 to carry throughout their career, with 1 reserved for the reigning champion.
Leclerc will use 16, Sauber has confirmed to GPUpdate.net.
"I remember watching Formula 1 being younger and dreaming of one day being part of it," said Leclerc in a post on Instagram after confirmation of his promotion.
"I can't believe this day has arrived and that I will be racing with Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team for the 2018 Formula 1 World Championship.
"I am hugely thankful to all the people who have been involved in my path to Formula 1.
"A special thought to my father that did absolutely everything for me to get there and to Jules that also helped me massively. I wish you two were here to see that, but I'm sure you will follow me from up there.
"Also a special thank you to the Ferrari Driver Academy/Scuderia Ferrari, my sponsors/partners, Nicolas Todt/All Road Management, my family, all the people close to me during all these years & obviously Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team for giving me this opportunity.
"Still a long way to go to my second dream... so back to work and see you in Melbourne."
Leclerc will link up with Marcus Ericsson, who joined Sauber from Caterham at the end of 2014, and has connections with the outfit's owners, Longbow Finance.