AUGUST 26, 2002

Sauber offers Massa a third driver role

Peter Sauber has offered Felipe Massa the job of being the Swiss team's test and development driver. The young Brazilian has yet to decide what to do now that he has lost his seat for 2003. Sauber says that it was not an easy decision to drop Massa in favour of Heinz-Harald Frentzen but that the German driver's performances with Arrows had been so impressive that the team could not ignore the fact that he was free for 2003.

"He is not only one of the fastest drivers in Formula 1," Sauber said. "He also knows how to move a team forward."

Frentzen will partner Nick Heidfeld, making it an all-German driver line-up - which may result in the team being able to attract more sponsorship.

Massa must now decide if he is satisfied with being a test driver. The signs are that he would prefer to find a race drive elsewhere than stay on in a lesser role with Sauber.