Sauber Formula 1 team expects to sign drivers with funding for 2017

Sauber is expecting to sign Formula 1 drivers with financial backing for 2017, according to team principal Monisha Kaltenborn

Sauber Formula 1 team expects to sign drivers with funding for 2017

Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr, whose contracts expire at the end of the season, both bring significant funding to the team.

Despite a cash injection from new owners who came in over the summer, which has allowed development on the car and recruitment of technical staff, Sauber is set to take drivers that bring a financial package in 2017.

Kaltenborn told Autosport it "is certainly beneficial" to have a driver with backing.

She added: "It would help us in implementing our targets quicker and be a big help in the overall plan we have.

"We have to consider that in view of what the environment is like out there.

"We're confident our car will be better next year and we're hoping to have more sponsors onboard, but in the current environment, it is still about finances.

"There is a close link to the more you have, the more you can test and that's what you need to do.

"It would be very beneficial and good the way we are going and help us to do things quicker."

When asked if Sauber could employ two drivers without financial backing, she replied: "I don't think that is going to happen."

Ericsson and Nasr are speaking to other teams as well as Sauber about a seat next season.

Kaltenborn admits there has been interest from others following the team's takeover but she is in no rush to make a final decision.

"I can assure you one thing, we are far more attractive now than we were a few months ago," she said.

"It speaks for the quality of the team as some people tried to reduce this team for two years when we were not strong.

"We had two crappy years, 2014 and this year, but this is not Sauber. There are some people out there who see this.

"There are a couple of [driver] options on the table and we are assessing and seeing what to do.

"I've got no timeline in mind. We have our options, we are assessing them and when we are ready, we will announce.

"It's good to do it quickly, because then you have certainty, but there is no time pressure."

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