Launch date set for new Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 car

Sauber unveiled an Alfa Romeo concept livery at the announcement of the new sponsorship deal in December 2017. MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images

In preparation for its first season in Alfa Romeo colours, Sauber has set a launch date of February 20 for its 2018 car.

The new Sauber, known as the C37, will be the first launched under Alfa Romeo's title sponsor deal, which will see the car decked out in a new livery for 2018. A concept livery was unveiled when the Alfa Romeo deal was announced in December (pictured), but the final design is expected to change ahead of the launch of the new car next month.

After spending all of the 2017 season using year-old engines, Sauber will upgrade to an up-to-date Ferrari power unit for the start of 2018. New race driver Charles Leclerc is expecting the new engine deal to provide Sauber with a significant step in performance after the team finished last year's constructors' championship in last place with just five points.

Leclerc will be partnered by Marcus Ericsson at Sauber this year, who is embarking on his fourth season with the team.

Alfa Romeo has a rich history in motor sport, winning the first two Formula One world championships in 1950 and 1951 with Nino Farina and Juan Manuel Fangio. The company last withdrew from F1 in 1985.

Confirmed 2018 car launches

February 15 - Williams
February 20 - Sauber
February 22 - Ferrari
February 22 - Mercedes
February 23 - McLaren
February 25 - Toro Rosso