Monisha Kaltenborn is optimistic that Sergey Sirotkin will secure the superlicense he needs to compete in Formula One next season with the Sauber team principal saying the young Russian’s preparation to make the step up to a full-time race drive was progressing well.
The 18-year-old Sirotkin will become the youngest ever Formula One driver when he makes his debut next season as Sauber keep up their end of the bargain as part of a deal the Swiss squad struck with a group of Russian investors who threw the outfit a financial lifeline.
However, Sirotkin will need to secure a superlicense before he is allowed to drive on a Grand Prix weekend and has been working with Sauber to that end amid questions surrounding the wisdom of putting a driver with limited single-seater experience in a Formula One race seat.
He has already visited the team’s Hinwil headquarters for a seat fitting and also spent time interacting with the team’s engineers and learning about how a Formula One steering wheel works ahead of his first outing in a Formula One car at a demo run in Sochi next week.
“Yes, I think if you’ve met him you see how focused he is, how mature he is, despite just being eighteen,” Kaltenborn told reporters in Singapore when asked if she was optimistic that Sirotkin would get his superlicense.
“And he shows he clearly has the talent and he’ll definitely work hard on himself.”
Kaltenborn also said that the team has lined up some test sessions for Sirotkin – currently competing in the Formula Renault 3.5 series – in Italy at the end of next month, with the Russian possibly driving an old Ferrari.
“I don’t think it’s going to be a Sauber car. I think we felt it was easier not to take the Sauber car,” Kaltenborn said.
“It’s really a question of practicalities. It’s the people you need, you have to put more from your company into it and when our people are somewhere in the world travelling – we also have Sochi coming up in between where people have to go — so it gets quite a lot…”
Images courtesy of Sauber Motorsport AG