Sauber rules out GP practice runs for new F1 protege Sergey Sirotkin

Sauber has ruled out any Friday practice outings for its future prospect Sergey Sirotkin this year

Sauber rules out GP practice runs for new F1 protege Sergey Sirotkin

The young Russian driver is being lined up for a Sauber Formula 1 seat in 2014, thanks to a new partnership deal the Swiss team announced earlier this month.

Sirotkin's management reckoned that one possibility could be for him to get some running on Fridays this year, but this idea has been dismissed by the team because he does not have the necessary superlicence.

Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn said: "We have to see what kind of possibilities we have [for Sirotkin's development].

"I know it was mentioned about Fridays, but that is not going to be an option because he doesn't have the superlicence as well.

"We will find other ways which are certainly there to get him that mileage, and [make sure] that he is ready next year to race for us."

Although there have been questions over whether Sirotkin, who will be 18 later this month, is old enough to make the move to F1, Kaltenborn insists Sauber will do what it thinks is right for his career.

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"We know what responsibility we have," she said. "We have been in similar situations before, although maybe not with such a young driver.

"We take the responsibility very seriously and we would like to do our best to prepare him. Now he, of course, has to fulfil certain criteria and we will do our best to make sure he can do that.

"I think the most important thing [to say] is that we are not here to harm him. We will see how things go, and the people on the other side are equally aware of risk and responsibilities."

KALTENBORN TO STAY IN CHARGE

Kaltenborn reiterated that there was no prospect of her moving aside as part of the new Russian tie-up.

"I am here and I plan to stay here," she said. "It has never been an issue in our talks, so we don't know where this is coming from."

She added that there were no plans for the Russians to take any shares in the team, and insisted there were no doubts that the deal was genuine and would deliver the promised finance.

"We know what we are talking about and we have good reasons to believe in it," she said.

"Clearly with this deal we will put on a stable basis and we have to then take it step by step.

"It will take a while to be back to where we want to be and back on the development cycle that we want to be on, but we are getting there. That is the most important thing - to have that perspective and know it is going up again."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Sergey Sirotkin
Teams Sauber
Author Jonathan Noble
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