Sauber has two drivers this year named Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez. According to the last two announcements by the team in as many weeks, those two names are not being associated with a drive in 2015. This has left one of the drivers a bit perplexed as he says he has a two-year contract.
There is also the matter of an existing third driver or reserve driver in Giedo van der Garde who is nonplussed by the announcement as well as he felt confident that he would have a seat for 2015.
So Sauber seems to have four drivers in play and rumor from the paddock is that Nasr’s supporter, Banco do Brasil, may be footing the bill to pay Sutil not to drive in 2015. That’s a tough situation because without the ride, Sutil’s hopes of remaining in Formula 1 could be limited so the seat is just as critical as the cash at this point from a career standpoint. Sutil told the press:
“There are certain things to talk about, definitely, yes. They’ve confirmed two drivers but it doesn’t mean the drivers are going to drive,” Sutil said.
“There’s no real change from last weekend to this weekend. It’s just an announcement and now, of course, in my situation, I think I have to do some talking…to sort out the things.”
The other rumor circling the paddock is that Sauber may have been in a situation where they either pay Sutil not to drive or the team cannot continue in F1 period. That’s a big claim but I’ve seen it tweeted by reputable F1 journalists. Perhaps conjecture based on the Caterham/Marussia situation but regardless things are tight right now in F1.
Hat Tip: Sky Sports F1