Reports that Sauber’s Russian rescue deal is teetering on the verge of collapse are persisting.
Last week, despite Formula 1’s August slumber, the Swiss team was forced to reject reports that the millions in crucial backing might never materialise.
“We are astounded at the heedlessness with which some media are prepared to spread false reports and rumours,” said the team in an official statement.
In the same statement, the Hinwil based team said that a contract with teenage Russian driver Sergey Sirotkin, whose father is a key figure in the entire deal, “is in place”.
But the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported on Sunday that it has “documents that prove the opposite”.
Indeed, Sirotkin’s father Oleg has told Izvestia, a Russian daily, that he will only travel to Switzerland this week to sign the deal.
“I guess it is not so different from other, similar [pay-driver] contracts, which are usually € 20 to 30 million,” he is quoted.
Welt am Sonntag correspondent Burkhard Nuppeney reported, therefore, that Sauber’s short-term survival depends on the actual signing of those sponsor deals.
Engine supplier Ferrari is reportedly demanding about half of a long overdue € 18 million bill be paid immediately.
“Welt am Sonntag has learned that only three of the required eight million have actually been paid,” wrote Nuppeney, who said that the situation could come to a head this weekend in Belgium. (GMM.)
Subbed by AJN.