There’s perhaps no better indication of the Sauber F1 Team’s current financial plight than its announcement over the weekend that it is offering private test drives in one of its two-year-old F1 cars to two little-known feeder series drivers.
The Swiss team has announced that Adderly Fong and Roy Nissany will each spend a day behind the wheel of a 2012-spec Sauber C31 Ferrari at Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo circuit on October 22 and 23.
Twenty-four-year-old Hong Kong driver Fong (pictured left) has spent much of this year racing in the Audi R8 LMS Cup after a number of unconvincing years in junior open-wheelers. He’s proved far more successful in closed-cockpit racing, claiming three victories in the LMS Cup at Shanghai, Zhuhai and Macau.
The Nissany surname will be familiar to true anoraks, for Roy, 19, is the son of former Minardi test driver Chanoch Nissany. Nissany Sr had made a tidy fortune in the construction industry in both Hungary and his Israeli homeland, and bought himself a few drives in Formula 3000 in 2004 – aged 41! – before stumping up the funds to drive as Minardi’s Friday practice driver at the 2005 Hungarian Grand Prix (pictured right). He lapped a mammoth 13 seconds off the pace before spinning into the gravel trap.
Nissany Jr’s racing career has been equally undistinguished, although he has claimed a race win in the ADAC Formel Masters Championship. This year’s he’s raced in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship with Mücke Motorsports, claiming five top-ten finishes en route to finishing a lowly seventeenth overall in the Drivers’ Championship standings.
The pair will take over the C31 previously driven by Sauber affiliate driver and ex-IndyCar Series podium winner Simona de Silvestro, who lost further test outings due to financial troubles. Sauber had hoped to use the test outings – where she reportedly proved very competitive – as a stepping stone to a potential full-time F1 drive in 2015.
Images via GP3 Media Service, Sutton Images and XPB Images