Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thoughts about Sauber and the Austrian GP

For change I write about Formula One this time. The financial problems of Sauber are a sad thing for me as they are one of my favourite teams. They are a privateer team and one of the few teams competing still with their original name. But unfortunately it's financially hard for smaller teams to compete in F1 these days.

A good thing is that Sauber has secured sponsorship from Russian companies. And it was great to hear there won't be ownership changes. But Swiss SonntagsZeitung reports the Russian companies will pay 470 million Swiss francs (i.e. €380 million). That's a lot of money from sponsorship, and probably gives those Russian companies a lot of power at Sauber. They have already announced Sergey Sirotkin, whose father is leading one of those companies, will drive for Sauber next year. And SonntagsZeitung reported the CEO Monisha Kaltenborn will be replaced. Hopefully this isn't a start of a Russian invasion at Sauber. We remember Renault and Virgin switching their licence's country because of their partners, hopefully Sauber won't switch to a Russian licence. And even if there were some ownership changes in the future, hopefully the team will remain as Sauber. Yeah, that's quite unlikely in case of a takeover but the team would lose much of its identity if it became Force Russia or something like that.

Then some words about the return of the Austrian Grand Prix. It's great to get one more European race as Europe is the cradle of F1 but the number of races in Europe has decreased in the last years. Red Bull Ring isn't really my favourite track but I can find one good thing in its return to calendar. Most new circuits are quite similar with each other but Red Bull Ring would be quite unique. Maybe a different nature of a circuit would enable some surprising results.

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