Honda website
Honda website

JULY 14, 1997

Wurz for Sauber?

THE Sauber team ran Norberto Fontana again at the British Grand Prix after British racer Martin Brundle turned down a last-minute offer to be Johnny Herbert's partner. Brundle - who has been out of an F1 drive since being dropped by Jordan at the end of last year - said he did not want to do a one-off race, particularly having not tested the car in advance.

The Swiss team is now waiting to see what happens with Gerhard Berger and is hoping that it can take on Wurz for the next few races, while Gianni Morbidelli recovers from a badly broken left arm.

Morbidelli visited the team at the British GP but it looks likely that he will be out of action for some time as the breaks he suffered are a lot more serious than originally thought, requiring pins in both bones in the arm. The bones will have to heal and then Gianni will need more time to build up his strength again.

Wurz says he intends to return to being Benetton's test and reserve driver but would not talk about the details of his agreement with the Enstone team. "I don't want to explain anything more," he said. "It is forbidden to do so in the contract."

Wurz's recent performances have greatly impressed the team but there are no shortage of options available for FlavioƊBriatore for next year. While Gerhard Berger's future remains unclear, Jean Alesi wants to stay on. The team also has Wurz, Jarno Trulli and Giancarlo Fisichella under contract.

The Jordan team is worried that Fisichella is on his way to Benetton next year and feel that this may be what has affected the Italian's concentration in recent events. Trulli is believed to have a deal with the Benetton Family which runs for another eight seasons, although rival teams reckon that such a contract would not stand up in a European court.