Sauber/Russian F1 rescue deal to collapse (2nd Update) UPDATE #2 Due to erroneous reports and rumors circulating in certain media, we feel compelled to make the following statement: The collaboration with Russian partners, as announced by us, is progressing well. The contract with driver Sergey Sirotkin is in place. Preparations for his involvement in the team, as likewise announced, will start next week following the end of the customary holiday period in the sector. Beyond this, initial payments to the team have already been made, as per contract.
A financial involvement on the part of NIAT (National Institute of Aviation Technologies) was never mooted. The plan envisaged a purely technical partnership. We are astounded at the heedlessness with which some media are prepared to spread false reports and rumors. Sauber F1
08/14/13 (GMM) Sauber has hit back at reports its Russian rescue deal has collapsed.
German-language reports had said the release of millions in crucial backing for the almost insolvent Swiss team had been voted down this week by Russia's National Institute of Aviation Technologies (NIAT).
And the DPA news agency even quoted NIAT chief Oleg Sirotkin, whose son Sergey is scheduled to race for Sauber in 2014, as saying the entity cannot afford to fund a formula one team.
But in a statement to German-language media outlets, Sauber hit back by insisting that NIAT's "contribution" to the Russian rescue deal was "never intended" to be "financial".
Sauber explained that NIAT's contribution is, instead, "a technical cooperation".
"We are surprised how readily some media put rumors and false reports into the world," the Swiss team added.
Sauber said a contract with 17-year-old Sergey Sirotkin for 2014 remains on track, and that a media statement outlining his preparation for the seat will be released as soon as the August shutdown period is over.
As for suggestions not a single Russian ruble has flowed to the team amid the increasing impatience of unpaid suppliers like Ferrari and Pirelli, Sauber insisted: "The first contractually-guaranteed payments have already been made".
08/13/13 (GMM) After all the 'Russian rescue deal' talk, the news about Sauber is now back into a backwards slide.
A week ago, amid reports Russian entities have saved the Swiss team with promised millions, boss Monisha Kaltenborn admitted there was a delay.
That holdup could now run Sauber off the road, with Die Welt newspaper saying Ferrari has threatened to cut off the supply of customer engines unless part of an unpaid bill is paid imminently.
And the latest news is that, with F1 tire supplier Pirelli also not paid in 2013, "The time bomb is ticking", according to Bild correspondents Helmut Uhl and Frank Schneider.
The newspaper claimed on Sunday that the entire Russian deal could now collapse, due to the uncertain job prospects of Oleg Sirotkin.
Sirotkin, who heads up Russia's National Institute of Aviation Technologies (NIAT), is vital to the deal, with his 17-year-old son Sergey also scheduled to make his Sauber debut in 2014.
Bild newspaper reported on Monday that Sauber's worsening situation has taken yet another "dramatic" turn, with potential "insolvency" now looming.
"The Russian sponsor rescue could fail," the latest media report read.
"According to our information, the NIAT board has voted by large majority against the EUR 400 million investment," added Bild.