JUNE 28, 2003
Barrichello and Sauber
The Formula 1 "Silly Season" is up and running. At the European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring there were stories suggesting that Ferrari is going to have a reshuffle for next year and the result will be that Rubens Barrichello is traded to Sauber. This would give Barrichello number one status in a Ferrari supported team and while it might not provide him with the opportunity to win races it might help him to get a little of the limelight rather than remaining in Michael Schumacher's shadow. This would allow Ferrari to put Felipe Massa into the second car and begin the process of training him up so that he will be ready to replace Michael as number one at the end of 2006. The deal makes sense for Sauber as it will give him a topline driver and also will open up more possibilities for sponsorship.
This would however mean that one of the current Sauber drivers will have to go and as Nick Heidfeld's contract is up at the end of the year (although he remains under a separate contract to Mercedes-Benz) so that he could end up driving for the team which will use Mercedes-Benz customer engines. This is expected to be Jordan. This would mean that one of the Jordan drivers would have to go and with Giancarlo Fisichella not having any real options at the moment he is the man most likely to stay.
There has also been speculation that a Mercedes-Benz deal with Jordan could be a chance for McLaren test driver Alexander Wurz to get back into racing, although his name is also still being mentioned in relation to a drive at Jaguar Racing. The team is also talking to a number of young drivers, including British Formula 3 Champion Robbie Kerr, who visited the team at the Nurburgring.
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