Focus - Sauber awaits new driver line-up 30 Sep 2003
After his team achieved its best finish of the year at Indianapolis on Sunday, Peter Sauber confirmed to reporters what has been accepted wisdom in the paddock for some time now - that both Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Nick Heidfeld will leave the Swiss squad at the end of the season.
After what is likely to be the final podium of his Formula One career, Frentzen said, "I wish it (the team) all the best for the future." Meanwhile, Heidfeld, whose fifth at Indy helped lift the team to the same place in the constructors' standings, told his official web site: "In my last race for Sauber at Suzuka I plan to give it my all."
Sauber has already announced one half of his driver line-up for 2004. Italian Giancarlo Fisichella has signed a two-year deal with the team and will make the switch from Jordan after next month's season finale in Japan.
The second seat is widely predicted to go to Ferrari test driver Felipe Massa, who raced for the team alongside Heidfeld in 2002. "We know that Massa will come and it's just a matter of time before we announce it," Sauber was reported as saying by news agency Reuters.
Until Sunday's United States Grand Prix, Sauber had been having a difficult season and had looked unlikely to match their fifth-placed championship finish of 2002. However, its ten-point haul from Indianapolis vaulted the team from ninth to fifth in the constructors' standings, one point ahead of rivals BAR and Jaguar.