Sirotkin joins Sauber as team develops Russian link

2013 F1 season

Sergey SirotkinFormula Renault 3.5 driver Sergey Sirotkin has joined Sauber as a development driver as the team announced a new collaboration with a Russian research institute.

The 17-year-old will participate in a development programme “to prepare him as a racing driver for the team in 2014″ said Sauber in a statement on Monday.

Sauber has also confirmed details of a new partnership with Russia’s National Institute of Aviation Technologies to “open up new perspectives and revenue streams by commercialising jointly developed technologies”. Sirotkin is the son of Oleg Sirotkin who is the director general of NIAT.

“At the same time, the Sauber F1 Team will have a solid foundation to increase its competitiveness on a long-term basis,” it added. Sauber’s financial problems have been widely reported recently.

Two Russian technology development programmes, the Investment Cooperation International Fund and the State Fund of Development of North-West Russian Federation, are also involved in the plan.

“The partnership includes further activities for the promotion of the inaugural Formula One Grand Prix in Sochi in 2014 and attracting the talented young Russian generation towards motorsport,” Sauber added.

Sirotkin finished third in the Auto GP World Series last year. He lies eighth in this year’s Formula Renault 3.5 series with a best finish of second at Motorland Aragon in Spain.

Last year’s Formula Renault 3.5 champion Robin Frijns is also a development driver for Sauber. The team previously announced Frijns and Kimiya Sato will drive for them at the Young Drivers’ Test.

2013 F1 season


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95 comments on Sirotkin joins Sauber as team develops Russian link

  1. karter22 (@karter22) said on 15th July 2013, 11:35

    What´s next? This maybe?

  2. Ivan B (@njoydesign) said on 15th July 2013, 15:11

    fantastic news! Sauber is saved, and as a bonus they get a very fast driver, who has already impressed many with his driving.

    Is asking for Petrov’s return to F1 going to be too much now?

  3. Postreader said on 15th July 2013, 15:52

    Man, look at these russian companies. A quick search over the net and it’ clear at least two of them are most likely mere façades for something else. This and a pubescent kid to drive next year with the new Turbo V6’s, enough to make Grosjean and Perez look like reasonable, careful racers. Never thought Sauber would sink that low after what they delivered in the last couple of years.

  4. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 15th July 2013, 16:42

    On the one hand, this is very good news for Sauber, as it looked like we would lose them. Also, given that they probably had little say in which Russian driver would end up in the seat, they could probably have done a lot worse than Sirotkin, who surely must have some talent to do what’s done at that young age.

    On the other hand, it must be a bitter pill for practically all those other talented young drivers out there (Sam Bird, anyone?), fighting for results year in, year out, scraping together sponsorship money and never knowing whether a deal can be put together for another season, to see a 17-year old kid buy his way into a plum (at least in previous season, hopefully again next season) F1 seat.

    • Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 15th July 2013, 18:50

      On the other hand, it must be a bitter pill for practically all those other talented young drivers out there (Sam Bird, anyone?), fighting for results year in, year out, scraping together sponsorship money and never knowing whether a deal can be put together for another season, to see a 17-year old kid buy his way into a plum (at least in previous season, hopefully again next season) F1 seat.

      @adrianmorse – if Sam Bird was good enough and marketable enough, he’d have a seat in F1! Likewise, if Sirotkin is good enough and marketable enough, he will get a seat in F1. And if Sirotkin gets a seat that Sam Bird can’t get, it’s b/c Sirotkin deserved it and Sam Bird didnt!

  5. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 15th July 2013, 16:45

    Peter Sauber must be really ****** off at his debtors going to the press. If they’d shut up for one week, the average fan wouldn’t know how close Sauber was to the abbyss.

  6. R.J. O'Connell (@rjoconnell) said on 15th July 2013, 16:58

    I’m just glad to hear Sauber has a lifeline to stay around in the sport.

  7. DaveF1 (@davef1) said on 15th July 2013, 17:32

    Its going to be quiet weird seeing a driver that’s only 2 months younger than me racing in F1 next season.

  8. BJ (@beejis60) said on 16th July 2013, 0:50

    Wonder if this guy and Max are friends?

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