Kaltenborn confirms talks with Petrov regarding 2014 seat

Vitaly Petrov

Vitaly Petrov

Sauber team boss Monisha Kaltenborn has admitted that she recently met with Vitaly Petrov, Russia’s first F1 driver.

It emerged on Thursday that Russian Petrov, reportedly with €30 million in Gazprom sponsorship in his pocket, could return to Formula 1 next year in the place of Sauber’s intended 2014 race driver Sergey Sirotkin.

Kaltenborn told the Russian website Formula 1news.ru: “We saw Vitaly in Sochi (for a Formula 1 demonstration) in September and, as [you] know, we talked.

“No more than that,” she insisted.

However, Sauber’s rhetoric about Sirotkin appears to have changed. While recently the team was obviously pushing hard to ready the 18-year-old for his 2014 debut, Kaltenborn now sounds open to the idea of a change of plans.

“Of course, no one will put pressure on him if something does not add up,” she said.

“But we still believe in Sergey, even if it is true that if our plans for him cannot be achieved, then there are other elements of the cooperation.”

Asked if a more experienced driver could race in 2014 while Sirotkin learns the ropes in a reserve role, Kaltenborn answered: “We have thought about that, and we have a number of options associated with different drivers.”

She insisted, however, that her talks with Petrov last month were not serious.

“We didn’t talk about the extent to which he is available,” Kaltenborn smiled. “I asked him what he’s doing now, and Vitaly told me about his ascent of Mount Everest!”

Team founder Peter Sauber, meanwhile, sounded happy to simply keep Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez at the wheel in 2014.

“We are pleased with both drivers,” he is quoted by Blick newspaper. “I would actually like to keep them.” (GMM)

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  • MightyK

    Please, Sauber, not Petrov !

  • The Pessimist

    It’s all about Money, Honey!!

  • Morpheus89

    Money, money, money…wait for it….MONEY!!

  • Do a barrel roll at 1MPH

    Better Petrov got the seat over that kid.