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'Massa and Bianchi in the running for Sauber seat'

  • Published on 28 Aug 2013 11:20
  • comments 0
  • By: Rob Veenstra
Jules Bianchi's manager says Ferrari is pushing for the Frenchman to leave Marussia and join a team in the sport's "middle group". The report by the French-language F1i said the Swiss team Sauber, tipped to renew or possibly deepen its deal with Ferrari in 2014, could field Bianchi alongside young rookie Sergey Sirotkin next year.

Bianchi's manager Nicolas Todt said the 24-year-old has made an impression in 2013 despite racing for the back-of-the-grid Marussia team. "Despite the fact that he is with a small team," he said, "it would be fair to say that Jules has already made a name for himself in formula one. Others have rarely managed to achieve this," said Todt. "Ferrari is closely watching the results as they want him to pursue his career in one of the teams in the middle group, before joining the Scuderia one day," he added.

Nicolas Todt, whose father is the FIA president Jean Todt, also manages Felipe Massa. The Swiss newspaper Blick said the experienced Brazilian could also be in the running to return to Sauber next year, if Ferrari does not extend his contract. Veteran correspondent Roger Benoit said taking on a Ferrari-linked driver could be a way for Sauber to receive a discount on its new 2014 turbo engine bill. According to Speed Week, Nicolas Todt was spotted in conversation with Sauber chiefs at Spa-Francorchamps at the weekend, no doubt triggering the latest rumours.

Ferrari, however, is not commenting. "In the next few races," said team boss Stefano Domenicali, "we will try to improve the car to give Fernando the conditions to fight for the title, and also so that Felipe can deliver performances to help the team. These are our goals," he is quoted by Brazil's Globo. "The rest does not matter now." (GMM)

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