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Sauber dismisses Mercedes engine switch talk

Sauber has played down suggestions that it may be poised to reunite with Mercedes ahead of the new 2014 engine regulations.
Sauber has dismissed claims that it will ditch its Ferrari engines and return to Mercedes power when the new F1 regulations come into force for the 2014 season.

French commentator Jean-Louis Moncet's Auto Plus column claimed that the switch was all but inked, with the move freeing up a Ferrari supply for Force India, which would then take on French driver Jules Bianchi to appease the Prancing Horse. Force India is currently powered by Mercedes engines.

Sauber, however, insists that there is no truth in the rumour, despite having historical links with the Three Pointed Star, which not only forged a strong partnership with it in sportscars, but also provided the engines for the early Sauber F1 machines.

“We do not have an engine partner for 2014, not least because several aspects with regards to the costs are still unclear,” a team spokesman told Switzerland's Speed Week magazine, “However, it is a fact that we have worked with Ferrari for more than ten years, and so the Scuderia is naturally our first point of contact.”

Ironically, should Sauber switch allegiance, Nico Hulkenberg could yet find himself headed towards McLaren, having been rumoured as a future Ferrari target following the Woking team's decision to pass him over in favour of Sergio Perez for 2013. The German was connected to both front-running teams during last season, only to sign for Sauber when the vacancies were filled by Perez and Felipe Massa.

Tagged as: Ferrari , Mercedes , engine , Sauber , 2014

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Mark - Unregistered

January 16, 2013 4:06 PM

I'm sorry but why does all this talk of drivers being linked with teams that have the same engine always come up. I don't think Ferrari or McLaren would care what engines a driver had in a previous team when they decide which driver they want to sign. Eg. Perez to McLaren, Alonso to Ferrari after having used Renault and Mercedes engines previously. Just because force India may switch to Ferrari engines will not mean that Bianchi will have a better chance of driving for ferrari one day, and neither will it mean hulkenburg will have a better chance of driving for McLaren or merc if sauber switch to merc engines.

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