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Sauber’s survival comes with strings attached

Jul 15, 2013, 9:00 AM EST

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Sauber have established “a solid foundation to increase its competitiveness on a long-term basis” according to a press release issued by the team on Monday.

The Swiss team’s financial situation has been a subject of intense speculation recently, with senior team figures confirming they had “serious” problems and reports that payments to suppliers had been missed.

Today the team announced a collaboration with Russia’s National Institute of Aviation Technologies, a scientific research institutions, and two investment funds to “showcase Russian innovation at the pinnacle of motorsport”.

Sauber also confirmed it will welcome Russian racer Sergey Sirotkin as a development driver as part of a plan to “attract the talented young Russian generation towards motorsport”. Sirotkin’s father Oleg is the general director of NIAT.

The team raised the possibility of the 17-year-old driving for them as soon as next year: “A development program will be set up for the Russian driver Sergey Sirotkin to prepare him as a racing driver for the team in 2014.”

Sirotkin currently races in the Formula Renault 3.5 series against McLaren development drivers Stoffel Vandoorne and Kevin Magnussen, and Red Bull’s Antonio Felix da Costa. Sirotkin managed a best finish of second so far this year and lies eighth in the points standings.

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