Salo to join Tom?

TOM WALKINSHAW and Mika Salo have been in heavy negotiation in the last few days as it has become clear that Damon Hill is not likely to be staying at Arrows next season. Salo is just finishing a three-year contract with Tyrrell and needs to move on. He was hoping to get the second Ferrari drive but the Italians decided not to upset the status quo and keep Eddie Irvine for another season. We understand that Ferrari boss Jean Todt has asked Sauber to consider taking Salo - the Swiss team using Ferrari engines.

Salo, however, may consider the offer from Walkinshaw to be a better deal as he will be undisputed number one in the team and will have a John Barnard designed chassis and Bridgestone tires. The only weak point in the Arrows package is the engine and there is still a possibility that Walkinshaw might shock the whole of F1 by getting his hands on a supply of Mecachrome V10 engines. This is unlikely but there is no doubt that Tom is still chasing after the deal. If it fails he appears to have a parallel policy of using the new Brian Hart V10 engine badged as a Yamaha.

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