SEPTEMBER 17, 2017

Sauber, Williams light up 2018 silly season

Robert Kubica still has a good chance of returning to formula one next year.

Robert Kubica still has a good chance of returning to formula one next year.

With Carlos Sainz now joining Renault, the Pole - now backed by co-manager and reigning world champion Nico Rosberg - asked to be released from his agreement so he could pursue opportunities elsewhere in pitlane.

His best chance appears to be Williams, where he has now tested on the British team's simulator at Grove.

Williams is considering replacing Felipe Massa, but needs an older-than-25 year old to satisfy alcohol sponsor Martini.

Other possibilities are Jolyon Palmer and even Sauber's Marcus Ericsson.

Perez could be on the move from Force India, with rumours linking his seat with Charles Leclerc.

And even though Swede Ericsson is strongly tied to Sauber's owners, it is believed Ferrari is pushing hard to accommodate its junior drivers Leclerc as well as Antonio Giovinazzi.

Both Maurizio Arrivabene and Sergio Marchionne - Ferrari's top brass - visited Sauber's Hinwil factory last week, according to Auto Motor und Sport.

A Ferrari spokesman confirmed: "It is true that Marchionne and Arrivabene were in Hinwil.

"Marchionne had never seen the factory. It is also correct that Ferrari wants to see its junior drivers Leclerc and Giovinazzi in the races as soon as possible."

Ericsson, whose seat is now in doubt, told the Swedish publication Expressen: "There are many rumours.

"I know that my managers are in touch with Sauber and several other teams, including Williams.

"We will see what will happen in the coming weeks, but it's an exciting time," he added.