Sergey Sirotkin will drive for Sauber next year if he obtains his Super Licence
Monisha Kaltenborn tells Sky Sports F1 Russian will drive for team
By William Esler. Last Updated: 09/09/13 3:13pm
Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn has confirmed Russian teenager Sergey Sirotkin will drive for the team next year provided he obtains his mandatory Super Licence.
The 18-year-old's father is one of the team's new investors and part of the deal saw them agree to prepare the driver for a race seat in Formula 1.
Owing to his inexperience, there has still been some debate as to whether Sauber will definitely hand him the drive but asked by Sky Sports F1 if Sirotkin would be one of their 2014 drivers provided he obtains the necessary licence, Kaltenborn replied: "Yes he will."
Sirotkin's results in the junior categories are not currently good enough to allow him to apply for an FIA Super Licence, however, the team are putting a testing plan in place in the hope he qualifies by 'having driven at least 300km in a current Formula One car consistently at racing speeds'.
"We have had him in the factory and he has got to know the people and soon we will start a programme with him," said Kaltenborn.
"He will be working with our physio and we have put a programme in place for him to do some testing - that will be later in the year after his season is over, so all is going well there.
"But the ultimate goal of course is next year and for him to do the mileage to get his Super Licence."
Sirotkin's first official outing for Sauber will come later this month when he takes part in a demonstration run at the venue of the 2014 Russian Grand Prix.
"We're having a demo run the week after Singapore in Sochi - we'll be the first F1 team to drive a car on the first part of the track, which has been completed," Kaltenborn added.
The news casts doubt over the futures of current Sauber incumbents Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez and Kaltenborn would not be drawn on who would partner the Russian.
"We have several options and we announce our drivers on a season-by-season basis and I am not going to change that," she added.