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Sauber secures future with Russian backing
Sauber has announced a new partnership with three Russian companies that looks set to secure its long-term future in the sport.
The Swiss team has made no secret of its financial struggle this year but has remained adamant it would secure enough backing to continue racing next year. The new deal is with the Investment Cooperation International Fund, The State Fund of Development of North-West Russian Federation and the National Institute of Aviation Technologies.
The partnership comes ahead of the first Russian Grand Prix in 2014 and as part of the deal the team will develop 17-year-old Russian driver Sergey Sirotkin with the goal of promoting him to a race seat next season. Sirotkin is currently in his first full season in Formula Renault 3.5, with a second place at Motorland Aragon the best result of a patchy season so far.
In a statement the team said it "will benefit from the advanced know-how of the front-end Russian scientists and engineers" by working alongside the National Institute of Aviation Technologies. Sauber, which has one of the most advanced wind tunnels in the sport, is also hoping to open new revenue streams by developing new technologies with its partners.
"This extensive co-operation will showcase Russian innovation at the pinnacle of motorsport," read the statement. "At the same time, the Sauber F1 Team will have a solid foundation to increase its competitiveness on a long-term basis."