May 10 (GMM/Inautonews.com) The Crimean crisis has thwarted sponsor talks between Russian companies and Sauber, the Swiss formula one team admitted.
Sauber’s well-known financial troubles eased last year when a ‘Russian rescue deal’ was put together, featuring test driver Sergey Sirotkin.
But team boss Monisha Kaltenborn has admitted ahead of the Spanish grand prix that talks with Russian sponsors have now “come to a standstill” amid the threat of a Ukrainian war and US and European sanctions.
“A lot of talks which are very advanced have virtually come to standstill,” she said.
“People are waiting and seeing what’s going to happen and nobody really knows the entire impact it can have because the sanctions that have now been imposed are really biting some of them.
“We really hope that the situation can be clarified soon and all our deals can be sorted out,” Kaltenborn said in Barcelona.
Also affected with regard to sponsor negotiations is Toro Rosso, whose new driver for the 2014 season is Daniil Kvyat, a talented young Russian.
“I just hope that it will end up in a positive way and we will go to Sochi because that’s very, very important,” team boss Franz Tost also said.
Tost is referring to the Russian grand prix, scheduled to take place for the first time this October.
A superbike round in Russia has already been cancelled, and the German touring car championship DTM is not ruling out axing its Moscow race.
But Marussia team boss John Booth said the current plan is for F1 to race in Sochi.
“As with Bahrain over the last couple of years, we’ll follow our government guidelines on whether it’s safe to travel or not,” he said.