AUGUST 30, 1999

Salo and Diniz at Sauber

AS we exclusively predicted two weeks ago Mika Salo has been confirmed as Pedro Diniz's partner at RedÊBullÊSauberÊPetronas. The Finn signed a two-year deal with the Swiss team which is believed to be worth around $4m a year. Peter Sauber also confirmed that Diniz will be staying with the team.

While the supply of Sauber Petronas-badged Ferrari engines is already secured the team is still trying to find engineers to strengthen its technical team, following a difficult year during which the Sauber chassis has been a big disappointment. To date the team has not been able to lure any top engineers from England, despite the high salaries being offered.

There appears to be a battle going on at the moment for the control of the team between Peter Sauber - who controls the voting shares but owns only 24.5% of the team - and commercial director Fritz Kaiser, who also owns 24.5% . We have heard suggestions that Kaiser wants to buy out Peter Sauber or wants to sell his shares. The remaining 51% of the shares are owned by Kaiser's ally Dietrich Mateschitz of Red Bull. We believe that Kaiser and Mateschitz want control of the team so that they can sell it.