Super-licence problems stall Sauber

Problems over Finnish hotshoe Kimi Raikkonen's Formula 1 super-licence could force Sauber to give its second 2001 race seat to test driver Enrique Bernoldi

Super-licence problems stall Sauber

Team principal Peter Sauber wants British Formula Renault champion Raikkonen to partner Nick Heidfeld after he impressed the Hinwil-based squad in two test outings last month. But sources at the FIA, motorsport's governing body, suggest his super-licence application will be thrown out when the Formula 1 Commission meets in Monaco on December 7.

Raikkonen does not meet the criteria for a super-licence based on race results, but could be granted one at the FIA's discretion. However, FIA president Max Mosley is believed to be against granting the 21-year-old veteran of just 23 car races a licence without any Formula 3 or Formula 3000 experience first.

"We very much hope Raikkonen is given a licence," said a Sauber team spokeswoman. "If not, I think it will be a real problem. We must wait and see."

If, as expected, Raikkonen's application is refused, this year's Sauber tester and Red Bull Junior Formula 3000 driver Enrique Bernoldi is hotly tipped to step in as his replacement. A straight swap could see Raikkonen gaining F3000 experience with the Red Bull team - which has links to the Sauber F1 squad - before making the jump to F1 in 2002.

Bernoldi has spent two relatively unsuccessful years with the Red Bull team and was outshone by Raikkonen when the pair tested together for Sauber, but the Brazilian has dominated both recent official F3000 tests and could yet be granted a second chance.

Pedro Diniz, who drove for Sauber this season, is still expected to move over to the Prost team, where substantial backing from the Brazilian's father could help pay for the French team's supply of customer Ferrari engines for next year.

shares
comments
Raikkonen's Sauber Move in Doubt

Previous article

Raikkonen's Sauber Move in Doubt

Next article

Webber seals Benetton test contract

Webber seals Benetton test contract
Load comments
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Plus

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Plus

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Plus

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

Formula 1
Jul 28, 2021
How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but 
flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Plus

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't Plus

How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says OLEG KARPOV, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Plus

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says MARK GALLAGHER, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021