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Zanardi for Sauber?

THE Sauber Petronas Formula 1 team is already looking at its driver line-up for next season in an effort to have another established star alongside Johnny Herbert.

One possibility is Mika Hakkinen if the Finn decides to move on from McLaren but we hear that the most likely candidate is actually CART racer Alessandro Zanardi.

Zanardi has been racing for Target Chip Ganassi Racing in the United States since the start of 1996. He was the revelation of the year, winning three races and finishing third in the championship. Last weekend he won his first race of 1997 at Long Beach.

The 30-year-old Italian raced in F1 between 1991 - when he made his debut with Jordan - and 1994. During that time he raced for Minardi and Lotus and tested for Benetton. It was during his time with Lotus that he worked alongside Johnny Herbert, the two proving to be very effective team mates, each egging the other on to better performances.

Eddie Jordan spoke to Zanardi during the winter months, trying to convince Alex to join Jordan, alongside Ralf Schumacher but Zanardi was under contract in America. That contract runs out at the end of this year and Zanardi may decide to return to F1, particularly if he has won the CART title.

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