(Sauber F1 Team)
Russian driver Sergey Siroktin has claimed that Simona De Silvestro's role at the Sauber F1 Team is just a 'marketing ploy' and he does not see the Swiss driver as major threat for a drive with the Sauber F1 Team next season.
Siroktin was signed by the Swiss team last season along with a new major Russian sponsor with a view to the Russian driver racing for the Swiss team this season but that never materialized and it was believed that he could drive for the team in 2015. However, the Sauber F1 Team have recently signed former IndyCar driver Simona De Silvestro as an affiliated driver.
De Silvestro drove the Sauber C31 at the Valencia circuit yesterday, her second time driving the car. Speaking to Russian website F1news.ru, Siroktin said:
'At Sauber, we have a third driver, Guido van der Garde, a test driver - that's me - and a sponsored racer, the person whom they are helping to reach the level of F1, which I think is more of a marketing move,'
The Russian went on to say:
'At the moment, my priority is World Series by Renault, so I do not plan to give preference to other cases in F1 if they can complicate my task or hinder my performance in this Championship. It may give the impression that there was a lull but, in fact, it is not.
Siroktin has yet to drive for the Sauber F1 Team in an official practice session but is expected to drive the C33 during free practice for the Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi circuit in October.
© Ben Johnston 2014