Peter Sauber has urged Robin Frijns, the Swiss F1 team’s new reserve driver, to find a race cockpit in another series for 2013.
Recently, Dutchman Frijns – the new Formula Renault 3.5 champion – was interpreted as having criticised the Hinwil based team for not giving him “much to do” in 2013 as he prepares to serve as reserve driver.
Team co-owner and founder Peter Sauber reacted: “As far as I understand, some quotes were taken out of context.
“From our side,” he insisted, “it was clear from the outset that he will not be driving on Fridays. But at the same time, it is absolutely in our interest that he races in 2013, simply to stay fresh as a race driver.
“This is being worked on,” Sauber told Speed Week. “I really like Robin,” the 69-year-old continued. “He has won in every series in which he has competed. He is a great talent and I am happy that we have him with us.”
Sauber team boss Monisha Kaltenborn hinted recently that Frijns is seeking to combine his new F1 role with a seat in GP2.
Sauber team boss Monisha Kaltenborn has hinted that new reserve driver Robin Frijns will get a Friday practice outing this season.
Earlier this week, 21-year-old reigning Formula Renault 3.5 champion and Dutchman Frijns complained that he will “not have much to do” in 2013. He had told Dutch magazine Formule1 that he is not required by his new Swiss employer for the forthcoming winter test period, and it “looks unlikely I will be used during the Friday practice sessions”.
“And Sauber has no simulator so I can’t gain experience in that way,” added Frijns.
Kaltenborn reacted to Frijn’s comments by excusing his implied criticism.
“Robin is still young,” she told the Swiss newspaper Blick, “so we should not place his every word on golden scales.
“He said what he said, but he is also irritated because he has not yet found a place in GP2 for this season. The development (programmes) for the young drivers is a real problem,” Kaltenborn continued. “The best thing for each team would be to give every reserve driver at least one go on a Friday (practice session).”
Robin Frijns has admitted he is disappointed with his schedule for 2013.
The new Formula Renault 3.5 champion, 21-year-old Frijns was signed up for this year by the Swiss team Sauber, replacing 2012 reserve Esteban Gutierrez.
Sauber team boss Monisha Kaltenborn said late last year: “We will now carefully guide him to Formula One.”
But the Dutch magazine Formule1 reports that Frijns was disappointed ten days ago when Sauber called to inform the young Dutchman that his services will not be required for the forthcoming winter test period.
“I think this year I will not have much to do,” he is quoted as saying. “On January 30 I am going to the factory and I hope I will get more clarity,” added Frijns.
“It’s not only the winter tests I will not be doing, it also looks unlikely I will be used during the Friday practice sessions,” he lamented.
Frijns continued: “And Sauber has no simulator so I can’t gain experience in that way.”
Moreover, Frijns revealed he had “heard nothing” from Mercedes following his DTM test late last year.
“I have few other possibilities,” he said. “I fear it is going to be a difficult year.”
A Sauber spokesman commented: “Robin will get the opportunity to be present at the technical meetings, to engage with the engineers, and participate in our fitness programmes.
“It will provide a good basis for the future.”
A 21-year-old Dutchman could be a regular in the F1 paddock next year.
Last Friday, we reported the rumour from the Singapore paddock that Renault World Series driver Robin Frijns has lined up a F1 reserve driver role for 2013. De Telegraaf newspaper reports that the possible destination teams are Sauber and Williams. The report said Sauber could give him a cockpit for the Abu Dhabi young driver test, before announcing him as a full-time test driver for 2013.
But De Telegraaf said Williams has now joined the negotiations, which are being led by Frijn’s manager Werner Heinz.
“Heinz was in Singapore last weekend,” said the report.
The teams did not comment, while Frijns said: “I cannot say anything definite yet. We are still working on it.”