MOSCOW, August 23 (R-Sport) - Seventeen-year-old Russian whiz kid Sergei Sirotkin stayed on course to be the youngest-ever Formula One driver Friday by signing a deal with Swiss team Sauber, according to a report in Germany.
Sirotkin is yet to acquire a superlicense to enter auto sport’s most prestigious series next year - to coincide with the first Russian Grand Prix in Sochi - but the considerable backing of his father may yet see him on the grid come March.
His arrival is a condition of a tie-up between the financially-troubled Sauber team and three Russian organizations, including an aviation technology institute headed by Oleg Sirotkin. The agreement is reportedly valued at $500 million.
In June Sauber announcement a tie-up with Sergei Sirotkin that sees him get a drive at some point in the future. Friday's report in Der Spiegel seems to bring him a step closer to realizing the dream next season.
Sirotkin signed a contract with team bosses ahead of this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, the newspaper cited Sauber chief Monisha Kaltenborn as saying. The length and terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Sirotkin is to put a Sauber car through its paces at a September 27 demo show in Sochi, where he is to appear alongside Russia's first F1 pilot Vitaly Petrov. Petrov is also hunting a drive for next season but currently lacks a sponsor.
Headline clarified at 17:01