Financially troubled Formula One team Sauber on Monday announced a new partnership with Russian investors, in part to help promote the sport ahead of the country's inaugural grand prix at Sochi next year.
The Swiss team said in a statement it had signed a deal with the Investment
Cooperation International Fund, the State Fund of Development of North-West Russian Federation and the National Institute of Aviation Technologies.
The tie-up was designed to develop new technology for use both on the track and commercially, and to help "the promotion of the inaugural Formula 1 Grand Prix in Sochi in 2014 and attracting the talented young Russian generation towards motorsport".
In particular, it would set up a development programme for Russian driver Sergey Sirotkin "to prepare him as a racing driver for the team in 2014".
Sirotkin, 17, currently drives in Formula Renault 3.5 for the ISR team.
"This extensive co-operation will showcase Russian innovation at the pinnacle of motorsport," Sauber said on its website sauberf1team.com.
"At the same time, the Sauber F1 Team will have a solid foundation to increase its competitiveness on a long-term basis.
Sauber, lying at the foot of the constructors' championship standings with six points, was founded more than 20 years ago but revealed earlier this month it was in financial trouble.