Sauber’s Future is Grim, 2014 May Be Last Chance For Fledging Team

By Michael Guzman
Formula One Grid
Jerome Miron-USA Today Sports

Sauber F1 is on the brink of collapsing with lead driver Nico Hulkenberg about to leave the team. Despite a successful 2012 with Sergio Perez leading the team, a 2013 collapse has left the team on the brink of bankruptcy.

Yet, 2014 has at least provided an opportunity to get the team back on its feet, and thanks to the young driver roster of Esteban Gutierrez and Russian Sergey Sirotkin, there is a slim hope the team may get back to their contending form.

Both Gutierrez and Sirotkin are bought seats, and neither has shown hope for being legitimate Formula One-level talent. Gutierrez has especially been disappointing as a second driver, so the shift to primary driver may prove to be disastrous with regards to technical development.

But, the sponsorship money and industrial support they bring to the table will all presumably now be going towards the 2014 iteration of the Sauber car.

As far as 2013 is concerned, the team presumably cannot get Sirotkin practice time with the team since he has not earned his FIA Super License, and cannot do so until he completes this year’s racing season.

Nico Hulkenberg and Sauber are in the midst of a feud which will presumably last all season, leaving Gutierrez to do a lot of component testing in the final races of the calendar year. Testing driver Robert Frijns will more than likely not be available due to schedule conflicts.

If anything for the Sauber team, to simply hold their current position would be a success considering the vast amount of new ideas which are circulating from engineering in a desperate ploy to attain quality results.

Realistically, if a Sauber car makes it into the third qualifying session or scores a single point this season, the Swiss team will have to rejoice, and hope that small victories this year will lead towards more gains in 2014.

Follow Mike Guzman on Twitter @Mike486

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