Formula 1 News

Marussia not bitter over Sauber's Russian deal

The team has been making moves to strengthen his competitive position by signing to use Ferrari engines in 2014, while making the most out of partnership with McLaren.
Monday, July 22, 2013

July 22nd (F1plus).- Andy Webb, the Marussia team chief executive, insists he is not disappointed F1 rival Sauber landed the major Russian sponsor deal.

Reports on Sunday indicated the value of Sauber's new Russian investment could top an incredible half a billion dollars.

But, already flying Russia's flag on the grid, might Marussia - the team with the smallest budget in formula one - have expected to secure the deal?

"First of all," Webb told Russia's Championat, "I don't think the deal with Sauber is actually finalised. Some aspects are yet to be completed.

"In any case, in my view, the higher the interest in formula one in Russia, the better.

"I don't think the agreement between the Russians and Sauber will be the last thing like that we will see (in F1).

"I think Russia is more and more interested in formula one and supports it more and more. I can only welcome that," Marussia's Webb added.

Sauber's Russian tie-up will also bring a Russian driver - the teen rookie Sergey Sirotkin - to the grid.

Webb admitted Marussia is also open to signing a Russian driver.

"We've been aware of him (Sirotkin), of course," he told the Ria Novosti news agency.

"We want a Russian driver, but we want a Russian driver there on merit. There's the obvious one, (Vitaly) Petrov. But it's very difficult to find the next one coming through," Webb added.

The team has improved this year, eventhough they still well behind the top group. Points might be out of reach at this moment, but surely management has been active enough to fight for those next year.

Marussia has been working in a partnership with McLaren for aerodynamics, but the most important move as it pertains greatly to the challenge of next year's turbo is the contract with Ferrari to provide the power unit.

2014 will partly a gamble, and the lower end of the points scale per race will be more open for the grabs, there Marussia might just get some slack.

(GMM)

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