AUGUST 3, 2002
Massa and Sauber
Speculation has been flying throughout the day since the announcement that Heinz-Harald Frentzen had left Arrows. The suggestion that appears to be emerging is that Felipe Massa is to be dropped at Sauber to make way for Heinz-Harald Frentzen, the German going back to the team where he started his F1 career for the rest of the year and for next year as well. In some respects these rumors make sense as the team has not been entirely happy with Massa, despite his obvious ability and with the battle for fourth place in the Constructors' Championship finely balanced between Renault (15 points) and Sauber (11pts) the need to get points on the board is clear. There were several occasions this year when the team felt that Massa and Nick Heidfeld did not score when they ought to have done. Sauber is also reportedly less than happy about Massa's remarks about team orders after the German Grand Prix, when the Brazilian moved over to help Heidfeld on his way to sixth place.
At the moment the team is not saying anything but Massa was fairly outspoken after Hockenheim.
"It's very hard to swallow a thing like this, but Peter Sauber is the boss and is the one who pulls the strings," Massa said. "We argued 10 times, until he ordered we changed our positions on track. I could understand his decision if Nick was able to catch the guys ahead, but he didn't. In fact, he wasn't quicker than me. It would make no difference for the team if I was the guy to pick up the point. So, why didn't he ask us to change places again?"
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