Peter Sauber insists he has no plans to sell any part of his F1 team despite the fact that Mexican communications giant Carlos Slim will be involved in the teams programme from 2011.
Slim's company Telmex will back Sergio Perez for his debut season having long been linked with a move into F1 – most notably when he was mentioned as a possible buyer for the Honda team before it was rescued by Ross Brawn.
The announcement of a partnership with Telmex has led to talk that Sauber could sell a stake in his team to Slim but the team boss has denied that such a move is in the pipeline.
“I own 100 per cent of the team and there are at present no plans to sell the team or any part of it,” he said. “Our partnership with Telmex, which will come into force on 1st January 2011, does not include any kind of stakeholding and is purely a sponsoring agreement.
“A year ago I said that I didn't want to remain on the pit wall when I turned 70. That's still the case, and I'm now 67. The critical thing for me is to ensure that we bring even greater stability to the team and that we have a financial basis on which to move forward from a sporting point of view. When that is in place, the time will have come for me to take a step back.”
Having regained control of the team from BMW last winter, Sauber suffered a tough start to the year before the arrival of James Key as technical director led to a noticeable upturn in fortunes – with Kamui Kobayashi in particular impressing towards the latter end of the year.
Despite the mixed campaign, Sauber said he had no regrets over his decision and was proud of the way his team had performed during 2010.
“No, never,” he replied when asked if he had ever regretted buying the team back, “and I never will, although I knew that keeping the team alive would be a very difficult task. But if I hadn't taken the plunge, every day I'd have been asking myself why.
“We've cleared one obstacle after another from our path; when I compare the situation a year ago to where we are today, everybody in the team can be proud of what we've achieved.”