Sauber played its hand in the 2016 driver market today by announcing contract extensions with both Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr.
This comes after intense speculation over Nasr’s 2016 seat.
The Brazilian had been rumored for a ride at Williams to replace the seemingly Ferrari bound Valtteri Bottas. It also seeks to bring much needed stability to Sauber after several seasons where they had a revolving door of drivers coming and going – culminating in the controversial lawsuit brought to the team by former driver Geido Van der Garde earlier this year.
“We are pleased about the extension of the contracts with Marcus and Felipe,” said team principal Monisha Kaltenborn. “This early point in time shows that the drivers and the team are sure they are heading in the right direction.
“We have full confidence in the talents and skills of Marcus and Felipe. Both have shown solid performances, gained experience and learnt quickly. We enjoy having them in the team and they give it a positive boost. Despite their young ages, they work very professionally – on as well as off the track. Marcus and Felipe are already involved in a very dedicated way with the development of next year’s Sauber C35.”
Despite falling back from a stellar start to the season, all members involved with the Sauber deal seem very happy to continue their working relationship. It is precisely the kind of cohesion the team has needed to move forward.
The silly season and 2016 driver market is now well and truly open. Sauber has made the first move by securing their two young drivers for another season. Where this leaves the rest of the field is yet to be determined.