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AUGUST 29, 2000

Sauber announce Heidfeld signing for 2001

SAUBER announced on Monday that young Prost driver Nick Heidfeld has agreed a three-year deal and will drive for the Swiss team from 2001 in the Formula One World Championship.

German Heidfeld has disappointed in his debut season in Formula One with French team Prost and the 23-year-old, who lifted the Formula 3000 title in 1999 with McLaren's junior team, has agreed to join Sauber.

"I am happy about the contract and the possibility to work with Sauber," Heidfeld said. "I believe that the team has the potential to make further progress and I will give my best to make a significant contribution."

Team principal Peter Sauber was delighted to tie up a deal for Heidfeld after admitting he missed out on a deal for the German for the 2000 season.

"I am very pleased that we were able to conclude an agreement with Nick Heidfeld," Sauber said. "We now have the chance to build a long-term relationship with a young driver.

"Nick has shown so much potential in his career that we would have liked to sign him a year ago and are now happy with this three-year contract."

Heidfeld is expected to replace Pedro Diniz at Sauber after sources at the Swiss team revealed at the Belgian Grand Prix that Brazilian Diniz is set to join Prost.

The sources insist that an announcement will be made this week to confirm the swap deal.