July 15, 2013

From Russia with Cash.

Sauber rescue:  a new low for F1?

Sergey Sirotkin

Let's agree that, as  fans of the sport, having a team like Sauber saved from extinction is a good thing.   Sauber may not be Williams but it has a heck of a lot more history than Marussia Caterham or even, Red Bull.

But at what price? Financially a steep one.  Sauber had huge debts, not least of which a reported 15 M Euro bill for Ferrari engines,  part of an over 100 M Euro debt overall.

More troubling is the image cost of an announced race seat in Formula 1, the pinnacle of motorsport, for the 17 year old son of the head of one of the companies bailing out the Swiss team.   If you object to Pastor Maldonado's fat suitcase, or Max Chilton's seat bought by his dad at Marussia,  then you will not be happy about Sergey Sirotkin.

Felipe Massa and Nicolas Todt
Sirotkin does not meet the requirements for an FIA Superlicense.  No matter,  the man behind this deal is FIA president Jean Todt's son Nicolas.  Todt jr. manager to Felipe Massa and Jules Bianchi and an owner of the ART GP2 team, has ambitions to step up as team manager in F1.   There is little doubt once things are smoothed out with current minority owner Monisha Kaltenborn,  Todt will step in.  

Todt's close ties with Ferrari will assure an engine deal and probably a seat back at Sauber for Felipe Massa should the Scuderia drop him, while his close ties to the FIA will guarantee the "KIMI Clause" is invoked in granting the young russian permission to take the grid in 2014.

Perhaps Sirotkin will prove to have  Kimi levels of talent but I don't know many holding their breaths.


  1. If Monisha gets the boot from Sauber I will be a lifelong enemy of the team. That is utter crap.

  2. She would be bought out, or perhaps keep a stake in the team but be replaced, eventually, with Todt.

  3. Вверх тормашкамиWednesday, July 17, 2013 4:00:00 AM

    Really sad thing is that Sirotkin looks like really talented driver.

  4. Is he, because his results don't show him being especially quick


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