Sauber F1 Sponsor Telmex Calls For Esteban Gutierrez over Kobayashi UPDATE
Monisha Kaltenborn has denied that Kamui Kobayashi needs sponsorship in order to retain his Sauber race-seat.
At present, Sauber have confirmed only one driver for next season with Nico Hulkenberg replacing the McLaren-bound Sergio Perez.
However, the team has several drivers wanting their second seat including Mexico's Esteban Gutierrez who has the support of Sauber sponsor Carlos Slim.
This prompted some speculation that Kobayashi required financial backing in order to save his seat, something the Japanese spoke of at length.
Sauber, though, insist this is not the situation.
Asked whether Kobayashi needed sponsorship, Kaltenborn said: "No.
"We didn't even do that at the end of 2010 when, with regards to running the team, we were starting from scratch again.
"At that time we took him for his pure skills and he brought no sponsor along. We got nothing.
"So I don't think it's right to now suddenly make it an issue, and there is no pressure on him. It's about what he does on the track."
The new Sauber team boss added that Kobayashi would be judged on his three years with the team and not on his performance in the final two races of this season.
"We're not going to take the last two races and see if he is good or bad, whether it's a plus or a minus point. That's not fair to him.
"He's been with us three years now and we know him very well.
"When he came into Formula One we gave him the trust required - without any baggage - to show he is a very talented driver.
"From that perspective he should know the teams knows him well and trusts him." Planet F1
11/08/12 Telecom company Telmex's sponsorship deal with the Sauber F1 Team "is dependent on the team's decision of whether or not to promote Mexican driver Esteban Gutierrez as the team's second permanent driver in '13," according to Sven Haidinger of Motorsport-Total.com. Sauber still has to set up its driver lineup for '13. The team "has to decide if it wants to stick with Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi or promote its current test driver Gutierrez to become Nico Hulkenberg's teammate for '13."
Mexican media reports indicate that the 21-year-old Gutierrez "will get the spot." Telmex board member Carlos Slim Domit, who is the son of the richest man in the world Carlos Slim Helu, said in an interview, "We are in talks with Sauber about next season. We want to continue our partnership -- obviously with a Mexican driver named Esteban Gutierrez." Slim Domit added, "We will have talks with the team in the upcoming weeks, but I have no doubt that we will have two Mexican drivers in F1 next year. Should this not be the case, we would have to rethink our F1 involvement."
In addition to Telmex, a majority of the team's sponsors are from Mexico. Sauber is in a financially difficult situation and has already signed talented Force India driver Hulkenberg, who is supposed to rack up top finishes for the team even after the departure of Sergio Perez to McLaren at the end of the season. Therefore, it is understandable that above all "sponsorship deals will decide what driver gets the second spot." Motorsport-Total.com