Sauber has confirmed it will run Formula 2 champion and Ferrari protégé Charles Leclerc during this week's post-Abu Dhabi Grand Prix test, alongside team regular Marcus Ericsson.
Leclerc dominated this year's F2 championship, claiming seven wins and eight pole positions on his way to his second title triumph in as many seasons. The Ferrari academy driver will get behind the wheel of Sauber's C36 on the second day of Pirelli's 2018 tyre test on Wednesday, after Ericsson has completed the team's first day of running on Tuesday.
The 19-year-old already has experience of driving Sauber's 2017 challenger, having contested four practice outings in Sepang, Austin, Mexico and Brazil. Leclerc is understood to be in the frame to graduate to one of Sauber's F1 seats on a full-time basis for 2018, casting doubts over the futures of Ericsson and Mercedes junior Pascal Wehrlein.
During last weekend's season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Ericsson admitted he has been left sweating over his F1 future in the wake of Ferrari's new partnership with the Swiss outfit. The Scuderia is keen to find spots on the grid for rising Maranello prospects Leclerc and Antonio Giovinazzi -- who made his F1 race debut earlier this campaign with Sauber.
Abu Dhabi test line-ups
Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton (Tuesday), TBC (Wednesday)
Ferrari: TBC (Tuesday), TBC (Wednesday)
Red Bull: Daniel Ricciardo (Tuesday), Max Verstappen (Wednesday)
Force India: Nikita Mazepin (Tuesday), Sergio Perez/Esteban Ocon (Wednesday)
Williams: Robert Kubica/Lance Stroll (Tuesday), Sergey Sirotkin/Robert Kubica (Wednesday)
Renault: Nico Hulkenberg (Tuesday), Carlos Sainz (Wednesday)
Toro Rosso: Sean Gelael (Tuesday), Brendon Hartley/Pierre Gasly (Wednesday)
Haas: TBC (Tuesday), TBC (Wednesday)
McLaren: Fernando Alonso/Oliver Turvey (Tuesday), Stoffel Vandoorne/Lando Norris (Wednesday)
Sauber: Marcus Ericsson (Tuesday), Charles Leclerc (Wednesday)