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AUGUST 2, 2000

Diniz wants to stay with Sauber despite BAR offer

BRAZILIAN Pedro Diniz is prioritizing new contract negotiations with Sauber even though he has offered his services and an £8 million (pounds) purse to British American Racing.

Diniz, who brings financial backing to the sport from father Abilio - he has financed Diniz's career by paying £45 million (pounds) in five years - and sponsors Parmalat, offered BAR £8 million (pounds) to partner Jacques Villeneuve in 2001 but now has hopes of remaining with Sauber.

"The priority is to stay with Sauber for another year as they are probably the best option for me," Diniz said.

"I've had a run of bad luck in the races recently and I haven't been able to impress the top teams in the way I wanted to."

The 30-year-old's seat with the Swiss-based team has been put in doubt following a so far pointless season, and test driver and compatriot Enrique Bernoldi is tipped to replace him if he leaves.

Diniz has also been linked with moves to Arrows, where he spent the 1997 and 1998 seasons, and Prost.