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Wendlinger gets another F1 chance

FOLLOWING promising testing results with Sauber at Mugello recently, Karl Wendlinger was given another chance to prove that he is fit to race in F1. The Austrian suffered nasty head injuries when he crashed at Monaco in 1994 and spent some weeks in a coma. He returned to F1 at the start of this year - after posting some impressive winter testing times - but failed to live up to the expectations and was dropped just before the Monaco Grand Prix, being replaced by Frenchman Jean-Christophe Boullion.

Wendlinger has been associated with Sauber over five years now - having driven for the team in sportscar racing - and is in a very strong position because his personal sponsor Red Bull is not only the team's title sponsor but is also the majority shareholder in the holding company which owns Sauber.

Wendlinger did not impress in Japan and the team should now be able to concentrate on finding a team mate for Heinz-Harald Frentzen.

Johnny Herbert was the favorite for the drive until recently but Johnny appears to be keen to go to Tyrrell which means that Mark Blundell has become Sauber's first choice. The team is expected to continue with Norberto Fontana as its test driver next year.

On the engineering front, incidentally, Sauber is once again believed to be in negotiation with Ferrari to get Gustav Brunner released from his contract so that he can become technical director at Hinwil. The team's current technical director Andre de Cortanze is to join Ligier next year.

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