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Panis stays on...

ONLY a day after Ligier announced that Flavio Briatore had bought all the remaining shares in the team, it was announced that Olivier Panis will stay on as team leader for the 1997 season. It will be Olivier's fourth season with the team - for which he won at Monaco in May.

The news came as a surprise as Panis had been strongly tipped to join Eddie Jordan next year. The speed of the agreement suggests that Briatore was keen to ensure that he had a leading French driver in the team. This will certainly help him as he searches for sponsorship for next season.

"It is true that I had other offers," explained Panis, "but you have to weigh up the pros and cons and staying at Ligier stood out as the best possible option for me. I am in F1 to win races."

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