JUNE 9, 2002
Whispers on the driver market
Nick Heidfeld has also been mentioned as a possible Toyota driver but it seems that Heidfeld is not as free as some people believed, as the Sauber team has an option on his services and thus he cannot simple move elsewhere without some kind of deal being agreed. Felipe Massa is expected to stay for a second season with the Swiss team. British American Racing is expected to retain its existing driver line-up unless Jacques Villeneuve decides that he wants to move somewhere else. With the drivers' salaries likely to come down dramatically because of the recession Villeneuve is not going to be able to get anything like his current salary elsewhere although BAR is committed to paying him the same kind of money as has been the case this year.
There is currently no word on what will happen with Jordan although there seem to be attempts being made to see if another deal can be struck with Benson & Hedges. The problem is that B&H wants to have a British driver and also wants to have a longer deal than is available because of the deal which the FIA has agreed with the World Health Organization to stop all tobacco sponsorship at the end of 2006.
But for the moment at least things are rather quiet.