Sirotkin is set to claim a race seat at Sauber next season as part of the investment package to save the team, confirmed last week. At just 17, the possibility of him lining up on the grid in Australia next season has met a great deal of criticism given that he is in his third season of single seater racing; nor does his tag as a pay driver aid the purist opinion. Sirotkin has made no secret of his lack of preparation, but he is confident that he can be ready for next season.
“At the moment, maybe I am a little bit too young, but that doesn’t mean I cannot be ready,” Sirotkin told Autosport.
“I have more than half a year to learn, I am doing a good preparation programme and I can be ready. I don’t think it is going to be a big problem.”
Sirotkin’s concession will douse any hopes the Russian backers of Sauber may have had to get him in the car this season during a free practice session this season. Importantly, Sirotkin is required to have an FIA superlicence to run during a practice session which he is yet to earn. Therefore, it is unlikely that the 17 year old will become the youngest driver to compete in an official session this season.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic.