Sauber driver decision due before end of 2014 F1 season


Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn has said that a decision about the team’s driver line-up for the 2015 Formula 1 season will be made before the end of the current campaign.

The Swiss team has endured a miserable season in 2014, which is poised to be its worst ever in Formula 1 unless it can improve on its current rank of P10 in the constructors’ championship with zero points.

There have been some concerns about the team’s future amid talk of three-car teams in 2015, but Kaltenborn seems confident that Sauber will be on the grid next season, and told the official F1 website that a decision on its driver line-up will come in the next couple of months.

“We do have several options and we plan to announce our driver line-up towards the end of the season,” she said. “We will not speculate with any names.”

The list of names being linked to a seat at Sauber is the longest on the grid. From within the team, you have current drivers Esteban Gutierrez and Adrian Sutil, reserve drivers Giedo van der Garde and Sergey Sirotkin, and affiliate driver Simona de Silvestro, formerly of IndyCar.

Outside of Sauber, Williams test driver Felipe Nasr is known to be angling for a seat at the team after Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas were confirmed at the British team. Marussia’s Jules Bianchi could also be in the running if Ferrari (his parent team) looked to secure him a seat further up the grid.

In a wide-ranging interview, Kaltenborn expressed her belief that 2014’s struggle is only a temporary one for Sauber ahead of a revival next year.

“We have not forgotten how to make good cars,” she said. “This year’s challenger is not one of our good cars, but it’s also not the worst car.

“We know why this all is happening. We know where we went wrong, but we also see that the powertrain plays an important role this year – that has been proven by other powertrains throughout the grid.

“We do not have the most competitive one, which makes it very difficult for a team like ours when you are limited on the resources to try and compensate, but we have to live with that and I am sure that our engine supplier is doing everything because they [Ferrari] are suffering equally. So we both have to go through this.”