Kaltenborn “convinced” by Sirotkin

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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.

How Hamilton, Mercedes can clinch F1 titles at the United States GP

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Sunday’s United States Grand Prix could go down as a memorable race in Formula 1 history as both Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes bid to clinch their fourth world championships (live on NBC and NBC Sports app from 2pm ET).

Hamilton gave his chances of wrapping up the drivers’ title and re-claiming the crown he lost to Nico Rosberg in 2016 a world of good by charging to pole position on Saturday at the Circuit of The Americas.

However, with chief rival Sebastian Vettel starting second for Ferrari and a 16-point swing required, it seems likely that the title race could continue to next weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix.

Nevertheless, here are the permutations for Lewis Hamilton to win his fourth F1 world title on Sunday in Austin, Texas.

  • If Lewis Hamilton wins the race (25 points) and Sebastian Vettel finishes sixth or lower (maximum eight points), he is world champion.
  • If Hamilton finishes second (18 points), Sebastian Vettel finishes ninth or lower (maximum two points), and Valtteri Bottas does not win the race, he is world champion.

While Hamilton’s coronation seems likely to be postponed until the next race in Mexico, Mercedes looks nailed-on to wrap up its fourth consecutive constructors’ championship in Sunday’s USGP.

The German marque currently leads Ferrari by 145 points in the teams’ standings, and requires a lead of 129 after the race to clinch the crown.

As a result, a double top-four finish from Hamilton and Bottas would be enough for Mercedes to wrap up the title, regardless of how Ferrari fares.

The success would see Mercedes become just the fourth team in F1 history take four straight constructors’ titles, following Red Bull (2010 to 2013), Ferrari (1999 to 2004) and McLaren (1988 to 1991).

The United States Grand Prix is live on NBC and the NBC Sports app from 2pm ET on Sunday.