DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Formula One team Sauber acknowledged it is going through a "difficult situation" related to its finances but said Friday it will remain in the sport in 2014.
The team, which has been in the sport for two decades, has found itself in the spotlight in the past few weeks over reports that it hasn't paid suppliers and could run out of money before the end of the year. It also has reportedly been struggling to find a deep-pocketed sponsor to ensure it will remain afloat this season.
"Sauber has been in Formula One for more than 20 years," Team spokesman Hanspeter Brack told The Associated Press in an email. "We will overcome this difficult situation, and we will be there in 2014."
Brack declined to give details about the financial situation, but said the Swiss team had not approached F1 for help and is not planning to change drivers to save money. He also would not comment on reports the team was negotiating to bring in new sponsors, including several from Russia.
The team, though, has made no secret of the fact that the financial situation is becoming critical. In an interview with Swiss television, Peter Sauber, the president of the board of directors, called the situation "embarrassing."
"There is really no breathing room ... the situation is really uncomfortable and embarrassing," Sauber said. "Time is our biggest problem. We are getting short of money to drive."
Nico Hulkenberg, one of the team's two drivers, said last week in Germany that the team had advised him it was "working hard toward a solution" while F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone said he couldn't envision the sport without Sauber and that the team "had to be supported."
Sauber has struggled on the track as well this season, sitting eighth out of the 11 teams in the constructors' championship with only seven points. Its best finish was in Malaysia where Hulkenberg finished eighth.