Herbert and Stewart

JOHNNY HERBERT has emerged as one of the top names on Jackie Stewart's F1 shopping list for 1997. Stewart was expected to sign up Danish youngster Jan Magnussen but the McLaren test driver is tipped to have signed a deal - to be announced in October - to drive next year for the Penske Indycar team, having impressed the team in the two races he has done recently, standing in for the injured Emerson Fittipaldi and Paul Tracy.

Stewart needs a driver with experience, particularly if the regulation changes being discussed actually occur, cutting back testing and reducing the practice at race meetings. Keeping Herbert would be useful for continuity with Ford's engine development program with the new V10 engine. As a former Grand Prix winner Herbert also has a certain status which will appeal to Stewart.

There are also strong links between the two parties through the International Management Group which manages Herbert's career and is working closely with Stewart to find sponsors.

Herbert will want a long-term contract, however, as there s no point in him giving away his experience and then being replaced when the package begins to come good.

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