August 15th, 2013 (F1plus/R. Baillie).- Following reports earlier this week, the Hinwil based team were forced to make a statement denying their deal with their Russian partners was in threat.
A statement on the teams website said that the partnership was “progressing well.” and that as agreed, the team had already received their first disbursements.
“Initial payments to the team have already been made, as per contract.” said the statement.
In July the team announced the partnership with the NIAT (National Institute of Aviation), ICIF (Investment Cooperation International Fund) and the State Fund of Development of North-West Russian Federation.
The partnership came at just the right time for Sauber following growing reports that they were in financial difficulty and rumors that Nico Hulkenberg hadn’t been paid and had ended his contract with the team.
Sauber were also forced to deny that the involvement of the NIAT was at risk, following reports in German newspaper Bild that the board on the NIAT had voted against a partnership with the Formula One team.
The team’s statement went on to say that the partnership with the NIAT is “a purely technical partnership.”
Sauber signed off in disbelief that some media were reporting and spreading false news, “We are astounded at the heedlessness with which some media are prepared to spread false reports and rumors.”
The team also said the contract with 17-year-old Sergey Sirotkin for 2014 remains on track, and that a media statement outlining his preparation for the seat will be released as soon as the August shutdown period is over.