Top Sauber engineer set to follow Hulkernberg to Force India
29 November, 2013
Nico Hulkenberg is expected to move to Force India from Sauber, and it has now emerged that the Swiss outfit is also losing its chief engineer to the Silverstone based team.
Blick reports that Tom McCullough, whose official title at Sauber was “Head of Track Engineering”, is heading to Force India for 2014 and beyond.
Amid reports that the Hinwil-based team’s Russian rescue deal may have collapsed, veteran correspondent Roger Benoit said that Sauber has not yet responded to reports of a merger with the Russian-owned Formula 1 backmarker, Marussia.
Blick said that if Marussia’s Andrey Cheglakov does push ahead with the deal, the newly-merged team would keep formerly BMW-owned Sauber’s Hinwil factory.
Benoit added that there have also been reports of possible mergers surrounding Lotus and Caterham, amid suggestions that Formula 1 may have to revive the concept of three-car teams or customer cars in order to sustain a healthy grid.
“I’m not in favour of customer cars,” said Caterham boss Cyril Abiteboul recently.
“Having said that, I think the situation [which] we have is not necessarily sustainable. Clearly an analysis must be made regarding what to do.”
Elsewhere, it is reported that Williams – set to welcome Felipe Massa’s race engineer Rob Smedley to Grove – is losing chief engineer Xevi Pujolar to Toro Rosso.
Yet another report indicated that the road for Pastor Maldonado’s impending move to Lotus has now been cleared.
Heikki Kulta, the correspondent for Finland’s Turun Sanomat, said that a deal between Maldonado’s backer PDVSA, and the French oil multinational Total, will allow branding by both sponsors to adorn next year’s black and gold Lotus.
The PDVSA-Total deal was reportedly finalised early this week in Caracas, Kulta added. (GMM)
Subbed by AJN.