Sauber hoping to confirm 2017 F1 line-up by end of season

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Sauber Formula 1 chief Monisha Kaltenborn says the team is aiming to confirm its line-up for the 2017 season before the checkered flag falls on the current campaign in Abu Dhabi on November 27.

Sauber has fielded Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson for the past two seasons, with both drivers bringing significant financial backing to the team that helped keep it afloat during a rough period.

The long-term future of Sauber was secured over the summer when Longbow Finance completed a takeover, ensuring the operation will remain on the F1 grid in 2017.

Ericsson is understood to have links to the team’s new owners, and is likely to stay, although questions still linger about Nasr’s future.

Speaking on Friday ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix, Sauber team principal Kaltenborn gave an update on the progress being made for 2017.

“We are still in the process of analyzing our options but it’s not going to take that long any more,” Kaltenborn said.

“We still have the target that we do want to announce in the season, so there’s not that much time left.

“So that’s all I can tell you now.”

Following a flurry of driver announcements earlier this week, Sauber now holds two of the remaining four free seats on the grid for 2017.

Manor is the only other team yet to firm up its line-up, having lost Esteban Ocon to Force India for 2017 earlier this week, while Esteban Gutierrez is chasing a new drive after losing his seat at Haas to Kevin Magnussen.