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Frenzten stays at Sauber

GERMAN rising star Heinz-Harald Frentzen has decided to stay with the Red Bull Sauber Ford team in 1996, despite having been courted by several other F1 teams. It will be Frentzen's third full season with the Swiss team.

Frentzen has done an impressive job this year and scored his first podium finish at Monza yesterday, lifting himself to seventh in the World Championship. He has scored points in seven of the 12 races.

It was initially thought that Williams was interested in the German - which is why they allowed the team test driver Jean-Christophe Boullion to join Sauber to act as a yardstick. Williams offered Frentzen a drive after Ayrton Senna was killed in 1994, but "HH" turned down the chance because he had a contract with Sauber. For reasons which are not at all apparent Williams decided not to ask Frentzen to join them next year and picked F1 novice Jacques Villeneuve instead. In recent weeks Heinz-Harald has had talks with both Benetton and Jordan but both baulked at having to pay $2m to Sauber to release him from his contract. Sauber and Ford are believed to have given Frentzen assurances that the new V10 engine will have the necessary financial backing to be developed effectively and that the new Sauber chassis will be a big improvement on this year's model. The team has been searching for a new technical director to replace Andre de Cortanze for some time, but with Ferrari and Benetton stock-piling top engineers at the moment, that is not as easy task. There have, however, been a couple of key recruitment's, notably the arrival of aerodynamicist Rene Hilorst from Minardi.

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