Formula 1 - Sauber secures its long-term future

Sauber has announced a major partnership with a trio of Russian companies that will secure the team's long-term future in Formula 1.

AutoSport

The companies involved are the Investment Corporation International Fund, the State Fund of Development of Northwest Russian Federation and the International Institute of Aviation Technologies.

AUTOSPORT understands there will be no change either to the shareholding of the team or the management.

"We are pleased to announce a partnership between the Investment Corporation International Fund, the State Fund of Development of North-West Russian Federation and the National Institute of Aviation Technologies with Sauber Motorsport AG, incorporating the promotion of the sport Formula 1 in Russia and jointly developing high-technological solutions," said a Sauber statement.

"With the National Institute of Aviation Technologies, one of the leading scientific research institutions in Russia, the Sauber F1 team will benefit from the advanced know-how of the front-end Russian scientists and engineers.

"The objective of the partnership is to open up new perspectives and revenue streams by commercialising jointly developed technologies."

The deal, which several rival teams are believed to have chased, will give Sauber a technological as well as financial boost.

As part of the deal, 17-year-old Formula Renault 3.5 racer Sergey Sirotkin will be placed onto a development programme that it is hoped will lead to him racing in F1 in the future - potentially as early as next year.

This is part of a desire to develop F1 in Russia with the country's first race in Sochi due to take place in 2014.

Sirotkin will not appear in this week's young driver test at Silverstone, with the squad sticking to its original plan to run Robin Frijns and Kimya Sato as well as race driver Nico Hulkenberg.

Sirotkin is the son of Oleg Sirotkin, who heads up the International Institute of Aviation Technologies.

"The partnership includes further activities for the promotion of the inaugural Formula 1 Grand Prix in Sochi in 2014 and attracting the talented young Russian generation towards motorsport," added the statement.

"In particular, a development programme will be set up for the Russian driver Sergey Sirotkin to prepare him as a racing driver for the team in 2014.

"This extensive co-operation will showcase Russian innovation at the pinnacle of motorsport. At the same time the Sauber F1 team will have a solid foundation to increase its competitiveness on a long-term basis."

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