Mexican Gutierrez is struggling so far in 2013
Sauber could be on the verge of being sold, according to the well-connected Swiss newspaper Blick.
“At the season opener an old rumour resurfaced,” wrote veteran correspondent Roger Benoit. “Is Sauber being sold?” Benoit said that, in the past, Peter Sauber usually categorically denied such rumours, but new boss Monisha Kaltenborn told Blick: “These rumours have always existed.
Peter Sauber has urged Robin Frijns, the Swiss F1 team’s new reserve driver, to find a race cockpit in another series for 2013.
Recently, Dutchman Frijns – the new Formula Renault 3.5 champion – was interpreted as having criticised the Hinwil based team for not giving him “much to do” in 2013 as he prepares to serve as reserve driver.
The Sauber F1 Team presents the Sauber C32-Ferrari to its partners and the media today, Saturday, 2nd February.
Drivers Nico Hülkenberg (DE, 25) and Esteban Gutiérrez (MX, 21) pulled back the covers on the new car at the team’s base in Hinwil, Switzerland. The roll-out of the Sauber C32 will take place during the first winter test at Jerez de la Frontera on 5th February.
Nick Heidfeld, a former long-time Sauber driver, has backed countryman Nico Hulkenberg’s move from Force India to the Swiss team for 2013.
Some have criticised the 25-year-old’s move on the basis that Sauber might not be seen as a vastly superior team to Silverstone based Force India. Asked if he thinks Hulkenberg’s move makes sense, Heidfeld told Speed Week: “When you’re not going directly to one of the top teams, it is difficult to know whether you’re making the right decision.
Sauber confirms Hulkenberg, no word on Kobayashi
Nico Hülkenberg has been confirmed as one of the two team drivers for the Sauber F1 Team in season 2013. The 25-year-old German won the GP2 Series in 2009, made his Formula One debut in 2010 with the WilliamsF1 Team and managed to capture a pole position in his maiden year.
Sauber appears set for an all-new driver lineup for 2013.
The Swiss team’s current Mexican driver, Sergio Perez, is headed for McLaren after November’s Interlagos finale. It is expected that, with the Telmex sponsorship dollars staying at Sauber in 2013, the team will simply promote Mexican rookie Esteban Gutierrez, 21, to replace him.
Telmex will continue to sponsor Sauber, despite the Swiss team losing Mexican Sergio Perez to McLaren.
Perez made his debut with the Hinwil based team last year with Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s backing, primarily through the telcom Telmex’s branding. So the 22-year-old’s switch to McLaren for 2013 had triggered rumours the British team also wanted Telmex to replace its reportedly flagging title sponsor Vodafone.
Michael Schumacher’s manager has answered speculation about the seven time world champion’s future by saying “Anything is possible”.
Replaced at Mercedes by Lewis Hamilton for 2013, 43-year-old Schumacher is now seriously linked with a switch to Sauber. Schumacher’s current manager is Sabine Kehm, who has been spotted recently in conversation with the Swiss team’s chiefs Peter Sauber and Monisha Kaltenborn. But Schumacher’s well-known former manager, Willi Weber, said that if he was still in charge, “I would get in a car immediately and go and talk to Luca (di Montezemolo) at Maranello.”
Sauber F1 Team’s Oerlikon solar park goes on stream
It is one of the largest solar car ports in Switzerland. The construction, consisting of 1,573 technically advanced and aesthetically appealing thin-film silicon photovoltaic modules, stretches over an area measuring 2,249 square metres. A roof of one of the factory buildings has been fitted with solar modules and large sections of the company’s car park are now covered, which brings a number of benefits.
Peter Sauber insists he is not worried about the future, despite intense speculation surrounding his Swiss team’s 2013 driver lineup.
The impressive Mexican Sergio Perez has been linked with moves to Ferrari or McLaren, while speculation suggests Kamui Kobayashi’s place could be in danger due to the well-funded Charles Pic’s solid debut for struggling Marussia.
The German weekly Sport Bild is reporting that Volkswagen, the carmaker giant, is making plans to enter formula one in 2015.
Sauber team boss Peter Sauber confirmed recently that he met at the Geneva motor show with VW’s chairman Martin Winterkorn. The Swiss team’s chief executive Monisha Kaltenborn denied there is any more to the story.
Sauber has not decided if it will stay with Ferrari power in 2014.
The Swiss team has expressed grave doubts about the increased costs of renting engines for the radical new V6 regulations in 2014. Before and after Sauber’s recent BMW era, the independent Hinwil based team was and is a longstanding Ferrari customer, but the current agreement runs only to the end of the V8 era.
Sauber has set its sights on chasing down Mercedes.
Team boss Peter Sauber, however, admitted the task will be no mean feat. With half of the 2012 season now gone, the Hinwil based team is sixth in the constructors’ standings, a healthy haul at Hockenheim bringing Sauber within 25 points of Mercedes.
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