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Fontana bids for Sauber seat

ARGENTINE rising star Norberto Fontana is to test this week for the Red Bull Sauber Ford team at Mugello in Italy. The 20-year-old is hoping that he can convince Peter Sauber and Ford that he is the best man to partner Heinz-Harald Frentzen in the team in 1996.

Fontana was named as the Swiss team's test driver in January, after an impressive test at Barcelona in November last year. This season, however, he has been kept very busy in Germany, winning the German Formula 3 Championship, although he has done a couple of tests for Sauber, the first being at the Goodyear test track at Mireval in the south of France in May.

Sauber is now trying to decide whether to risk signing up the youngster or trying to find a more experienced driver to run alongside Frentzen. Ford has been pushing hard for a British driver and there have been talks with both Johnny Herbert and Mark Blundell, but neither appear to fit the bill. The team has also had talks with Jos Verstappen.

No decision will be taken, however, until Sauber has tested Karl Wendlinger again, the Austrian still trying to prove to the team that he is now fully fit after his 1994 crash at Monaco.

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