Sauber cleared to escape Massa penalty

Sauber have been given the all clear to replace Felipe Massa for the US Grand Prix without penalty by the FIA. Massa was given the demotion punishment after Monza, which meant he would start at Indianapolis ten places further down the grid from...

Sauber have been given the all clear to replace Felipe Massa for the US Grand Prix without penalty by the FIA. Massa was given the demotion punishment after Monza, which meant he would start at Indianapolis ten places further down the grid from his qualifying position. Sauber are testing Heinz-Harald Frentzen at Silverstone tomorrow in the hope of replacing Massa and escaping the penalty.

The FIA have confirmed the team is permitted to do this, as the grid demotion was against Massa himself, not Sauber: "The sanction was taken against the individual driver and not the team," a spokesman told Reuters. "If the team wishes to impose what amounts to a race suspension on its driver then that is a matter for the team."

Sauber are considering the action as it fears Massa's ten place set-back will lose the team points in the Championship standings. The only problem would appear to be Frentzen's height: the German is somewhat taller than Massa and the decision for him to race depends on how comfortable he is in the car. Frentzen replaces Massa full time in 2003.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Felipe Massa
Teams Sauber