Sauber seeking $30m to make it to Interlagos

0 Comments

Sauber’s financial struggles have been well documented in the media lately, but it appears that the situation could be more dire than first thought with German publication Spiegel today reporting that the team requires $20m to even finish the season, let alone make it to the grid next year.

Star driver Nico Hulkenberg has reportedly been released from his contract due to Sauber’s failure to maitain payments, having also failed to pay suppliers in the last few weeks. The German driver is now in talks with Lotus, although the nature of any deal is yet to be confirmed.

Spiegel also claims that the team has as many as two dozen creditors waiting for payments, which if true means that the team faces an uphill struggle to make it to the final race at Interlagos in November.

In terms of investment, the options for Sauber appear to be few and far between. Nicolas Todt, son of FIA president Jean, was rumored to be in the running to buy a stake in the Swiss team but he recently ruled out doing so. Russian billionaire and owner of Chelsea Football Club Roman Abramovich is thought to be an option, with Chelsea’s crest appearing on the Sauber C32 car as part of a commercial agreement between the two parties.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone spoke out earlier this week over the matter, saying that it would be a shame if Sauber were not on the grid in 2014.

Sergio Perez wins rain-delayed race in Singapore over Leclerc; Verstappen seventh

Sergio Perez Singapore
Clive Rose/Getty Images,
0 Comments

SINGAPORE — Max Verstappen’s Formula One title celebrations were put on hold after the Red Bull driver placed seventh at a chaotic Singapore Grand Prix, won by his teammate Sergio Perez on Sunday.

Perez’s second win of the season saw him finish 7.6 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. in third place.

Perez was investigated for a potential safety car infringement but still kept the win after a 5-second time penalty for dropping too far back after being warned.

Verstappen had won the past five races but needed to win here and finish 22 points ahead of Leclerc to be crowned champion for a second straight season. That could happen next weekend at the Japanese GP.

Verstappen made a mistake after the second safety car restart, following AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda’s crash on Lap 36. When Verstappen tried to overtake Lando Norris’ McLaren, he locked his tires and needed to pit again.

Leclerc started from pole position with Verstappen going from eighth after a team blunder in qualifying.

The race start was delayed by more than an hour to clear water off the Marina Bay Circuit track following heavy rainfall. Drivers had to finish the 61-lap race within a two-hour window; 59 laps were completed.

Tricky conditions saw the virtual safety car deployed three times and DRS was allowed with about 30 minutes remaining.

Perez made a good start and jumped past Leclerc while Verstappen dropped several places. The first safety car was on Lap 8 when Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo was cut off by Nicholas Latifi’s Williams.

Perez got away cleanly at the restart, while Verstappen climbed into seventh behind Fernando Alonso – whose 350th F1 race ended disappointingly when his engine failed on Lap 21, bringing out the first VSC.

With the track still damp, drivers decided against changing to quicker tires – apart from Mercedes’ George Russell, who struggled for grip.

Hamilton made a rare mistake on Lap 33 and thudded into the crash barrier. Soon after, the leading drivers changed tires in a flurry of stops. They did so just before the safety car was deployed again following Tsunoda’s error.

Verstappen overtook Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin right at the end for seventh place.