Sirotkin: De Silvestro a marketing ploy

Thursday 26-June-2014 14:29

Sergey Sirotkin has dismissed suggestions that Simona de Silvestro is a major threat to a 2015 drive at Sauber.

Russian Sirotkin joined the Hinwil-based squad in 2013 as part of a major sponsorship deal and the team were expected to groom him this year before promoting him to a race seat in 2015.

However, the team have in recent months also signed up De Silvestro as an affiliated driver and the former IndyCar racer has already done some F1 testing.

De Silvestro has admitted that she is hoping to earn a race seat in 2015, but Sirotkin insists she is not a rival.

"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," he told "I do not take this as something to be afraid of. Let's see what will happen next."

Sirotkin is yet to get a taste of official F1 action with Sauber this year, but he is expected to take part in Free Practice at his home race in Sochi.

"Obviously, in terms of marketing, public interest and so on, the logical thing is to do it in Sochi, but we cannot yet say whether this will happen in Sochi or the next track," he said.

He added: "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."

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