APRIL 13, 1998
Questions over Petronas
The deal runs out at the end of this season and Sauber Petronas Engineering is nowhere near ready to build its own engines and we understand that Ferrari is balking at continuing the deal as it would prefer to use the engineers involved on other projects, unless Sauber Petronas will agree to pay even more money than it currently does. This puts Sauber in a difficult situation and although there is no question that the Petronas sponsorship of the team will continue into the next century, the engine deal with Ferrari may stop, forcing Petronas to look to another manufacturer for a similar deal. We understand that Sauber Petronas has already had lengthy discussions with Peugeot about a similar deal. This would be attractive to the French manufacturer as it would help to spread the costs of F1 but the question of access to secrets remains a big problem.