Russia’s Sergey Sirotkin is to be prepared as a 2014 race driver for Sauber as part of new partnership with three Russian organisations which the team say will provide a solid foundation for them to increase their competitiveness on a long-term basis.
As well as a development programme for Sirotkin, the partnership includes further activities for the promotion of the planned inaugural Russian Grand Prix in Sochi in 2014 and attracting talented young Russians to motorsport. The extensive co-operation will also showcase Russian innovation at the pinnacle of motor racing.
The Russian organisations involved are the Investment Cooperation International Fund, the State Fund of Development of North-West Russian Federation and the National Institute of Aviation Technologies.
With the National Institute of Aviation Technologies, one of the leading scientific research institutions in Russia, Sauber will benefit from the advanced know-how of the front-end Russian scientists and engineers. The objective of the partnership is to open up new perspectives and revenue streams by commercializing jointly developed technologies.
Moscow-born Sirotkin, 17, is currently competing in Formula Renault 3.5, having taken his maiden podium in the series earlier this year, and has previously secured two victories in the Auto GP World Series as well as the 2011 Formula Abarth Euro title. The only Russian F1 driver to date has been Vitaly Petrov, who raced for Renault/Lotus and Caterham in 2010-12.
After finishing sixth in last year’s constructors’ championship with 126 points, Sauber have scored just seven so far in 2013. The Swiss team will announce further details of the Russian cooperation at a later stage.