Team boss Peter Sauber has flatly denied that the heavy investment of Mexican sponsorship for the 2011 season – particularly from Telmex – indicates that he would be prepared to sell his F1 team.
The Swiss team announced that the Central American telco – owned by the world’s richest man, Carlo Slim – would have a “significant presence” on its 2011 car, as part of a deal set to last several seasons.
The deal also sees 20-year-old Mexican GP2 driver Sergio Pérez joining the squad as Kamui Kobayashi’s team-mate for next season, with the outfit having recently signed Pérez’s compatriot and GP3 champion, Esteban Gutierrez, on a long-term deal.
Switzerland’s Blick newspaper – typically on the money when reporting rumours about the Sauber squad – claims the deal to be worth in the region of €15 million per season, and speculated that it could wind up becoming a shareholder in the outfit.
The Sauber team was also linked with rumours regarding a possible buy-out by the Nicolas Todt-backed ART consortium, in the wake of persistent rumours about its financial viability after Herr Sauber bought back the team after BMW suddenly decided to withdraw from F1.
However, Sauber has insisted that he is not going to put the team up for sale just yet.
“I own 100 per cent of the shares, and I have no plans to sell the team or part of it,” he told the Daily Telegraph.
[Original image via LAT]