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Sirotkin lined up for 2014 drive with Sauber

ESPN Staff
July 15, 2013 « Sauber secures future with Russian backing | Wolff, Juncadella and Maldonado to test for Williams »
Sergey Sirotkin is being prepared for a Sauber race drive in 2014 © Renault
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Sergey Sirotkin, a 17-year-old Russian, is set to be fast-tracked into Formula One with Sauber next year after the team secured a deal with Russians partners.

Sirotkin is currently eighth in the Formula Renault 3.5 standings and has three full years of single-seater experience behind him. As part of the new deal Sauber will set up a development programme "to prepare him as a racing driver for the team in 2014".

Sirotkin's credentials include winning the Formula Abarth Euroseries in 2011, two wins and third place overall in Auto GP (formerly F3000) in 2012 and a single podium in Formula Renault 3.5 this year. If he does get the promotion next year he will likely become the youngest F1 race driver in the history of the sport at 18, nearly a whole year younger than current record holder Jaime Alguersuari who was 19 when he made his race debut at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2009.

However, despite the tight timeframe to get him up and running at Sauber he was not listed as one of its drivers at the Young Driver Test, with current development driver Robin Frijns and Kimiya Sato set to share the car with race driver Nico Hulkenberg later this week.

The only other Russian to drive in Formula One is Vitaly Petrov, who scored one podium during his three seasons in the sport from 2010 to 2012.