Sauber F1 team to compete in Chinese GP despite salary delays

The Sauber Formula 1 team has secured a sponsorship advance from its Swedish backers to pay March staff salaries and is certain it will compete in China, Autosport has learned

Sauber F1 team to compete in Chinese GP despite salary delays

It is believed the money will be transferred on Friday, with all staff expected to have salaries in their accounts by Monday at the very latest.

The Swiss team did not pay its staff on time in February because of cashflow problems and the situation repeated itself in March.

But Autosport understands Marcus Ericsson's Swedish sponsors have stepped in with an early payment to ensure staff are paid.

Sauber's financial situation is precarious with team principal Monisha Kaltenborn working around the clock to find more backers.

Kaltenborn was not in Bahrain as she held talks with several parties, but as yet no new deals have been agreed.

It has yet to be decided whether she will travel to the Chinese Grand Prix as it may be that her time is better spent at the team's basis in Hinwil to continue negotiations.

Unless further sponsorship is found in the next few weeks, the team will likely have to rely on its backers from Sweden and also from Felipe Nasr's supporters from Brazil, to pay salaries for April.

When asked by Autosport last weekend whether he was confident the team would be in China for the third race of the season, Ericsson said: "100 per cent."

Sauber is preparing for the Shanghai race as normal with the first wave of staff flying out on Saturday before the rest follow over the subsequent three days.

Sauber was one of three teams to ask F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone for an advance on their championship payments last year to help liquidity.

Technical director Mark Smith left the team last month, after just nine months, citing personal reasons.

The team has been unable to develop the car because of a lack of funding and has consequently been left off the pace.

Ericsson added: "It's always tight on money, we're a small team so we cannot develop like the big guys.

"I'm here to do my job and maximise my material every time I'm out on track and that's all I can do as a driver.

"Of course I push the guys and say what I want from the car, but at the end of the day I just need to do my job on track."

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