Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn has said that she is “convinced” by Russian youngster Sergey Sirotkin who is poised to claim a seat with the team next season.
Sirotkin has joined Sauber as part of a financial rescue package brokered with a group of Russian investors who are keen on having a native driver competing at the inaugural Russian Grand Prix in 2014. At the age of eighteen, he is set to become the youngest driver in the history of the sport, breaking Jaime Alguersuari’s existing record. Despite his relative inexperience compared to the majority of drivers available, Kaltenborn is confident that Sirotkin can hold his own.
“We have Sergey Sirotkin under contract and it is our intention that in 2014 he will be one of our drivers,” Kaltenborn told the official Formula One website. “We are convinced by him: he is a young and talented driver. Of course, to say now how he will really do on the track would be mere speculation, but we feel that from the ingredients he brings – and from what everybody could see in Monza – the basis is good.”
Sirotkin is yet to claim his FIA superlicense, which is mandatory for all Formula One drivers. However, Kaltenborn is sure that he will be able to secure this with no problems.
“With all this we have a good feeling about preparing him for his super license and then to get him in,” she explained.
Yesterday, Sirotkin enjoyed his first run-out in a Formula One car, getting behind the wheel of a Sauber C31 to complete a show run on part of the circuit at Sochi which will host the Russian Grand Prix next October.