Money from new drivers offers 'step in the right direction' - Sauber
Monisha Kaltenborn admits Sauber's driver line-up for 2015 is based on financial considerations after it announced Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr as its drivers.
The decision leaves Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez looking elsewhere, but with very few options left both could face 2015 on the sidelines. Both Ericsson and Nasr will bring funding to the team from personal sponsors and with Sauber making no secret of its financial difficulties this year, Kaltenborn said money had been a defining factor.
"You have to look at the overall situation in Formula One," she said. "It's very challenging, and when private teams make decisions they have to take financial aspects into consideration. That's the situation, and it's no different for us. It's a step in the right direction."
Sutil maintains he has a contract to race next year and made clear that he plans to talk to the team about his future. Asked if the situation had been handled poorly, Kaltenborn said: "We know what we are doing and we are sure about that.
"If others want to say something, fine, but we will discuss these things internally."
She added: "We have announced our two drivers. I'm not aware next year more than two cars will be used. We've announced our drivers, and that's how it's going to be."
Gutierrez admitted talks with Sauber had fallen through ahead of the 2015 driver announcements this week.
"After long talks with the team and negotiations and everything, we didn't reach an agreement. That's the way it is. It's quite disappointing not to have a seat yet next season, although my priority is still to maintain here in Formula One and to do that we've been working on other things and hopefully that can work out."
Gutierrez said he still had Mexican backers behind him but that Sauber's demands had been unreasonable from their point of view.
"No, actually the sponsors are backing me and I really feel grateful to them because we've been working together through this process. The sponsors are very motivated, some of them have been willing to do different things. They are all together the same as it is or even better but just the deal here didn't work out. Something which is not reasonable you obviously don't go forward with. It's as simple as that."