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.
Now, it remains to be seen just whether or not Sirotkin becomes the youngest F1 driver of all time next season.
Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.
The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.
“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.
“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.
“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”
The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.
Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.
Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.
McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.