Top Sauber engineer set to follow Hulkernberg to Force India 29 November, 2013 Tom McCullough Nico Hulkenberg is expected to move to Force India from Sauber, and it has now emerged that the Swiss outfit is also losing its chief engineer to the Silverstone based team. Blick reports that Tom McCullough, whose official title at Sauber was “Head of Track Engineering”, is heading to Force India for 2014 and beyond. Amid reports that the Hinwil-based team’s Russian rescue deal may have collapsed, veteran correspondent Roger Benoit said that Sauber has not yet responded to reports of a merger with the Russian-owned Formula 1 backmarker, Marussia. Blick said that if Marussia’s Andrey Cheglakov does push ahead with the deal, the newly-merged team would keep formerly BMW-owned Sauber’s Hinwil factory. Benoit added that there have also been reports of possible mergers surrounding Lotus and Caterham, amid suggestions that Formula 1 may have to revive the concept of three-car teams or customer cars in order to sustain a healthy grid. “I’m not in favour of customer cars,” said Caterham boss Cyril Abiteboul recently. “Having said that, I think the situation [which] we have is not necessarily sustainable. Clearly an analysis must be made regarding what to do.” Elsewhere, it is reported that Williams – set to welcome Felipe Massa’s race engineer Rob Smedley to Grove – is losing chief engineer Xevi Pujolar to Toro Rosso. Yet another report indicated that the road for Pastor Maldonado’s impending move to Lotus has now been cleared. Heikki Kulta, the correspondent for Finland’s Turun Sanomat, said that a deal between Maldonado’s backer PDVSA, and the French oil multinational Total, will allow branding by both sponsors to adorn next year’s black and gold Lotus. The PDVSA-Total deal was reportedly finalised early this week in Caracas, Kulta added. (GMM) Subbed by AJN. Related NewsSmallest teams write explosive letter to F1 power brokersSutil manager says there are two options on the table for 2014Silly Season Latest: Hulkenberg and Perez to Force India and Sutil to SauberHulkenberg in frame for 2014 race seat at Lotus, Force India or SauberPerez in a very difficult position to secure F1 drive for 2014Angry Force India points to Pirelli for down turn in fortunesSutil plays down Sauber switch specualtionHulkenberg leaving options open for 2014Hulkenberg totally committed to Force India in battle with SauberSauber 2013 driver line-up appears confirmed TACHELES Sauber team seems to be in real trouble. Hopefully, they will be still in the grid 2014… Peter Sauber, please come back and take over the team top management again!