Honda F1 website

AUGUST 24, 2003

After Fisichella's signature

It was no surprise when yesterday Giancarlo Fisichella signed a two-year deal with Sauber. What was surprising was that the Swiss team did not announce its second driver as well. At the moment it is clear that the team intends to sign Felipe Massa but there are still issues to be resolved between Ferrari, Sauber and Petronas over the deal. Presumably this is about the financial details of the deal more than anything as Ferrari wants to retain Massa in the long term but is keen that he should race and so may have to give Sauber a deal on engines and related technology. Whatever the case, that deal is still being stitched together. It is hard to imagine that Nick Heidfeld would stay on as a third driver but there is little doubt that Sauber is keen to get a driver of a more technical nature as both Fisichella and Massa may be fast but neither has a reputation as a good car developer. This would be a role that Heinz-Harald Frentzen would be willing to take.

That means that Heidfeld is looking for work and with McLaren having done its deals there is not much hope for Nick beyond a deal with Jaguar or Jordan.