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Kaltenborn 'relieved' at Sauber deal
Monisha Kaltenborn says she was "relieved" to agree a deal with Russian investors which appears to secure Sauber's future.
It was announced last week that Sauber had agreed a deal with three Russian companies - two of which have close ties to the government - with part of the agreement seeing Russian driver Sergey Sirotkin being prepared for a race seat in 2014. With Sauber having been open about its financial problems before the deal was announced, Kaltenborn said how the deal will be implemented is yet to be decided but said it was a relief to get the partnerships agreed.
"The very first thing that has already taken place now that we have our contracts in place is that we were very happy and relieved," Kaltenborn said. "We are now focusing on starting the implementation of this co-operation because it's a very complex and comprehensive deal. The major part of it is focusing on technology and we know from our previous experience which we had with Petronas in the past that you really have to go in to a lot of detail and you have to set out long-term plans because this is something that is a long-term co-operation. That's what we're doing right now."
With the team's future uncertain prior to the announcement, Kaltenborn was reluctant to say Sauber's survival hinged on the deal.
"It wouldn't be right for us to think in the way that 'If we don't get this deal done we cannot survive or not'. We're in here, we've gone through tough times before and we know that we can survive. It's just a question of do you want to survive or do you really want to stably stay here and hopefully again at some point in time - the sooner the better - make the step ahead.
"That was our focus and we knew that if this deal comes through in this way we have that basis on the long term to really make our way up again. That's what is going to happen now, step-by-step."
Kaltenborn added she is confident the new partners will deliver what they have promised.
"I certainly have no reasons to believe that [the deal won't happen] … we know what we are talking about and we have good reasons to believe in it."