De Silvestro's F1 career in jeopardy as Sauber deal hits trouble

Simona de Silvestro's Formula 1 career hangs in the balance after negotiations to resolve a contractual dispute between her management and the Sauber team broke down, AUTOSPORT can reveal

De Silvestro's F1 career in jeopardy as Sauber deal hits trouble

The dispute means de Silvestro will no longer drive for the Hinwil team with which she was hoping to graduate to F1 in 2015, though AUTOSPORT understands she will retain her status as an affiliated driver.

The 25-year-old Swiss racer joined Sauber in February, after spending four years racing in IndyCar in the United States.

She completed two tests in a two-year-old car, at Fiorano and Valencia, with the aim of securing a superlicence.

De Silvestro then planned to work towards securing a race seat with Sauber for 2015, but the 90-day period in which her superlicence could be secured following her testing programme has now expired.

The contractual problems have also scuppered plans for Sauber to give de Silvestro her first taste of contemporary F1 machinery during free practice for next month's US Grand Prix at Austin, but the team says it still hopes to find a way to give the Swiss racer opportunities to drive again in the future.

A team spokesman told AUTOSPORT: "Simona's driving programme is not being continued due to financial reasons on her side.

"Everybody in the team who worked with her during the last six months is very disappointed it came to this point, because they liked working with her.

"We are now looking at other possibilities for Simona to continue working with the team, but that will take time."

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