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Sauber's new drivers: What about Sutil?

2014-11-07 12:29

WHAT ABOUT SUTIL? Adrian Sutil's future at Sauber may be in doubt as the team confirms two new drivers for 2015. Image: AP / Andre Penner

ALAN BALDWN

SAO PAULO, Brazil  - Unhappy driver Adrian Sutil cast doubt on Sauber's Formula 1 future on Thursday (Nov 6 2014), the day after the team threw his career into question by announcing new drivers for 2015.

Hhe told reporters ahead of Sunday's (Nov 9) 2014 Brazilian GP: "There are certain things to talk about. I mean, they have confirmed two drivers but it doesn't mean the drivers are going to drive and it doesn't mean the team is going to drive."

Sutil, whose contract was understood to cover 2015, added: "So, there's no real change from last weekend to this weekend. It's just an announcement and now I think I have to do some talking to sort out things."

SAUBER'S NEW DRIVERS

Sauber has confirmed Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr for 2015, each a driver with substantial financial backing, in place of Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez.

After Caterham and Marussia went under administration, missing the US GP and to absent at the Brazilian race, the focus has been on Sauber, Force India and Lotus as other privately owned teams facing financial squeeze.

Sutil, who joined the Sauber team this season, did not deny he had originally signed a two-year contract but said F1 was now "a different business".

Sutil said: "I am not frustrated but that's just how it is in F1 since many years."

There was speculation in the Interlagos paddock that lawyers might become involved.

SAUBER RESPONDS

Sauber principal Monisha Kaltenborn, who has a Masters degree in international business law from the London School of Economics and once ran Sauber's legal department, told journalists that the situation would be dealt with internally.

Kaltenborn said: "We've announced our two drivers. I am not aware that next year more than two cars would be used," she said, making the point repeatedly and firmly as reporters persisted.

She added: "We've announced our drivers and that's how it's going to be. If there are any other points related to it, these are internal matters which we will discuss internally."

Asked about Sutil's comments regarding the team's future, Kaltenborn replied: "What I have to say to him, I will also tell him first. I don't know why he said that. You'll have to ask him. The views I have on it I will tell him."

F1 BACKERS LOST

Kaltenborn confirmed that a plan to bring Russian teenager Sergey Sirotkin into F1 had foundered. The Mexican sponsors behind the team while Gutierrez was there are also expected to leave.

"Since we don't have Esteban on board, it is not there," Kaltenborn said of that backing.

Sauber has already announced that Banco do Brasil is coming in with Nasr while Ericsson brings other backers and Kaltenborn recognised that that  was an important part of both signings.

Kaltenborn said: "You have to look at the overall situation in F1. It's very challenging... when private teams make decisions they have to take financial aspects into consideration. That's the situation and it's no different for us."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Brazilian F1 GP weekend.
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