Sauber have promised that it will not stop Nico Hulkenberg leaving the money-strapped team at the end of the season.
The German made the sideways step from Force India to Sauber for 2013 and seems to have made the wrong decision as Sauber struggle towards the back while Force India mingle with the front runners.
Rumours suggest that Hulkenberg has enacted a contract-termination following contractual failings on Sauber’s side, namely failing to pay Hulkenberg since May.
Sauber’s team principal Monisha Kaltenborn told Autosport that the 25-year-old is free to leave the team: “Nico is very important for the team, because he is the more experienced driver and we expect that guidance from him. He has been doing a fantastic job so far. But we never stand in anybody’s way. We will announce our drivers season-by-season and we are not going to change that. He is our driver for this season, and there is no more to add to that.”
Hulkenberg’s management has reportedly been in talks with Lotus officials this week regarding a possible opening at the team next year.