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Frentzen Helps Buoyant Sauber to a Memorable Day

It was another red-letter day for Ferrari at the US Grand Prix on Sunday but the famous Italian team were not the only ones toasting success.

It was another red-letter day for Ferrari at the US Grand Prix on Sunday but the famous Italian team were not the only ones toasting success.

In relative terms, Sauber's 10-point haul from the race and third place for Heinz-Harald Frentzen was almost as laudable as Michael Schumacher's victory for Ferrari.

While German Frentzen secured his first podium finish since Indianapolis 2000, compatriot and teammate Nick Heidfeld came in fifth as Sauber jumped from ninth to fifth spot in the Constructors' Championship.

"Ten points in a single race, after the sort of season we have been having, it's difficult for me to find the right words," boss Peter Sauber told reporters. "The result is a well-deserved reward for the mechanics, engineers and drivers."

In the 14 previous races this year, Swiss-based Sauber, who made their debut in 1993, had collected nine constructors' points. With weather conditions changeable over Indianapolis on Sunday, their success was all the more sweet.

Fantastic Result

Frentzen's 10-year career in the sport is under question and the 36-year-old made no attempt to deny that the season's last race, in Suzuka, Japan on October 12, could be his last. But it was not a day to agonise over the future.

"It was a fantastic result today, especially in our situation," said Frentzen, who has three career Formula One victories to his credit. "We have had a very difficult season and podium finishes have definitely not been our regular target.

"The team did a great job...it seems our car is more competitive in wet conditions. I just thought of enjoying my position as much as possible, I was not thinking of finishing on the podium.

"But tonight we will have a party. We have a reason to celebrate. My third place gives a lot of motivation to the team...I wish them all the best for the future. At the moment I am just weighing up the (options) for my future."

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