17-year-old Sergey Sirotkin is set to make his first visit to Sauber’s headquarters as the young Russian prepares to step up to Formula One next season with the Swiss team.
Sauber had been suffering from some financial difficulties earlier on this season, with rumors suggesting that suppliers and team personnel had not been paid. However, a rescue package was secured with three Russian companies involved, but one of the stipulations was that Sirotkin is to race for the team next season. This sparked outcry from critics of pay drivers, given that Sirotkin has never completed a single lap in an F1 car before and is currently lying 9th in the Formula Renault 3.5 championship.
However, the deal is rumored to be dependent on Sirotkin gaining the seat, putting extra pressure on Sauber to give him enough track time to secure a superlicense ahead of the 2014 season. As part of his preparation, the young Russian will visit Sauber’s headquarters next week, as confirmed by his management.
“During the visit scheduled for August 20-22, Sergey will get acquainted with the team’s personnel, its technical equipment and F1 car,” the statement reads.
Sirotkin’s manager also tweeted about the visit earlier this week.
— Nikolay Vetrov (@NVetroff) August 15, 2013
Now, it remains to be seen just whether or not Sirotkin becomes the youngest F1 driver of all time next season.