Sauber’s survival comes with strings attached

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Sauber have established “a solid foundation to increase its competitiveness on a long-term basis” according to a press release issued by the team on Monday.

The Swiss team’s financial situation has been a subject of intense speculation recently, with senior team figures confirming they had “serious” problems and reports that payments to suppliers had been missed.

Today the team announced a collaboration with Russia’s National Institute of Aviation Technologies, a scientific research institutions, and two investment funds to “showcase Russian innovation at the pinnacle of motorsport”.

Sauber also confirmed it will welcome Russian racer Sergey Sirotkin as a development driver as part of a plan to “attract the talented young Russian generation towards motorsport”. Sirotkin’s father Oleg is the general director of NIAT.

The team raised the possibility of the 17-year-old driving for them as soon as next year: “A development program will be set up for the Russian driver Sergey Sirotkin to prepare him as a racing driver for the team in 2014.”

Sirotkin currently races in the Formula Renault 3.5 series against McLaren development drivers Stoffel Vandoorne and Kevin Magnussen, and Red Bull’s Antonio Felix da Costa. Sirotkin managed a best finish of second so far this year and lies eighth in the points standings.

F1 Paddock Pass: United States Grand Prix post-race (VIDEO)

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As Lewis Hamilton took another step towards his fourth Formula 1 World Championship Sunday at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas, plenty of other topics of discussion emerged in the wake of Round 17 of the season from Austin.

Hamilton’s win came as his Mercedes AMG Petronas team claimed its fourth consecutive Constructor’s Championship, Scuderia Ferrari came up short once again despite a valiant effort in second and third, and Max Verstappen’s penalty after the race was the major talking point.

Elsewhere Valtteri Bottas struggled again, the Sahara Force India twins continued to pick up points, Carlos Sainz Jr. made a major positive impact in his first start with Renault, Brendon Hartley impressed on debut at Toro Rosso and Romain Grosjean and Haas F1 Team endured a tough weekend on Haas’ home soil.

Check out all the recap from the latest USGP in the latest post-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass with NBCSN pit reporter and insider Will Buxton, below.