Jul 14, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT
Sauber’s financial struggles have been well documented in the media lately, but it appears that the situation could be more dire than first thought with German publication Spiegel today reporting that the team requires $20m to even finish the season, let alone make it to the grid next year.
Star driver Nico Hulkenberg has reportedly been released from his contract due to Sauber’s failure to maitain payments, having also failed to pay suppliers in the last few weeks. The German driver is now in talks with Lotus, although the nature of any deal is yet to be confirmed.
Spiegel also claims that the team has as many as two dozen creditors waiting for payments, which if true means that the team faces an uphill struggle to make it to the final race at Interlagos in November.
In terms of investment, the options for Sauber appear to be few and far between. Nicolas Todt, son of FIA president Jean, was rumored to be in the running to buy a stake in the Swiss team but he recently ruled out doing so. Russian billionaire and owner of Chelsea Football Club Roman Abramovich is thought to be an option, with Chelsea’s crest appearing on the Sauber C32 car as part of a commercial agreement between the two parties.