Sauber open to possibility of surprise 2014 move for Rubens Barrichello
"We know that he'd like to come back. So let's see," says Kaltenborn
By Mike Wise in Yeongam and James Galloway. Last Updated: 04/10/13 10:07am
Rubens Barrichello interviews countryman Felipe Massa in his more recent role as an F1 TV pundit
Sauber Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn has failed to deny that a shock move to bring Rubens Barrichello back to Formula 1 is among the driver options the team are considering for 2014.
The Swiss outfit are one of a number of midfield teams to have held off from confirming either of their drivers for next season as the team, which are struggling for funds, works out the best plan for their future.
Although Kaltenborn has indicated that 18-year-old Formula Renault 3.5 driver Sergey Sirotkin, whose father heads up one of Russian firms which recently struck up a partnership with the team, will be handed a drive provided he obtains a mandatory super licence, a host of names have been linked to the second seat from Felipe Massa and, prior to his Marussia confirmation, Jules Bianchi along with incumbents Esteban Gutierrez and Nico Hulkenberg.
Most surprising of all, however, has been the link in recent days to 41-year-old Barrichello, F1's most experienced ever driver who last competed in the sport with Williams in 2011 and has since raced in IndyCar and Brazilian stock cars while also serving as an F1 TV pundit for Brazilian TV.
Despite his age and fact his F1 career stretched 19 years, Barrichello has never closed the door on a return to the sport and would likely bring a budget with him were he to land the Sauber drive.
And asked directly about the speculation at the Korean GP on Thursday, Kaltenborn hinted she was open to the idea of hiring the 11-times GP winner.
"There are a couple of options out there," she told reporters.
"We know what he [Barrichello] has - his experience, we know that he'd like to come back. So let's see."
However, the team boss made clear that suggestions that Barrichello could even be drafted into one of the C32s for the season finale at his home race of Interlagos were wide of the mark.
"I don't see any possibility there because we have no reason to change our two drivers for that race," Kaltenborn added.