Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has expressed an eagerness to strike a new deal with Sauber, which would see the Hinwil-based outfit remain powered by the Scuderia. Although there has been no rumours linking Sauber to any other supplier, their current financial situation has cast doubts over their continuation in the sport.
During the Belgian Grand Prix weekend, rumours regarding Sauber’s future in Formula 1 chopped and changed daily, with initial reports suggesting that the new Russian sponsors hadn’t managed to pay up. Allegedly Russian youngster Sergey Sirotkin had brought with him only €3million of sponsorship, with the remaining €19million from the Investment Corporation Fund, State Fund of Development of North-West Russian Federation and the National Institute of Aviation Technologies yet to appear.
However, with Stefano Domenicali expressing a strong desire to have a deal with Sauber for next season confirmed before the Italian Grand Prix in two weeks time, the money could at last be flowing for the Hinwil-based outfit. Only several weeks ago reports emerged that Sauber had been unable to pay for their current Ferrari engines, and would need a staggering £20million just to reach the end of the season. The Scuderia is clearly unperturbed by Sauber’s current status, and seems more than happy to continue supplying engines to the Swiss outfit.
“As you know, we want to continue to supply our engines to Sauber,” explained Stefano Domenicali. “So I hope that very soon we will settle all the formalities.”
The Formula 1 fraternity will reconvene in two weeks at the legendary Autodromo Nazionale Monza for the Italian Grand Prix, a race attended by Ferrari’s fanatical Tifosi following. When asked whether he would prefer to secure the deal between the Scuderia and Sauber before the next race weekend, Stefano Domenicali replied: “I hope so.”
The Swiss outfit has been powered by Ferrari since it parted company with BMW at the end of the 2009 season, when the team was resold to original founder Peter Sauber. This rekindled a partnership which had flourished prior to the team’s association with BMW, when Sauber used Ferrari-branded Petronas engines. The lengthy partnership looks likely to continue beyond the current season, with Sauber’s financial situation seemingly improving as the sport prepares for the final race in Europe.
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