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Massa: Sauber Looking Good

Felipe Massa believes his Sauber team will show immediate improvements in performance and says the outfit's future looks bright

BMW announced earlier this week that it had bought the Sauber Formula One team in a progressive deal that begins in 2006. At the same time, the team continued testing at the Spanish Jerez track, where Brazilian Massa set the fourth fastest time in yesterday's session.

"We made some improvements on the car and we tested the tyres for the French Grand Prix," Massa told Autosport-Atlas. "We did short runs and long runs, and it was good.

"I was pleasantly surprised by the pace I could do on the long runs, compared to the Renaults and the McLarens. I could do come competitive times. So hopefully we can have a good race at Magny-Cours."

Massa said BMW's announcement means Sauber can begin investing in development for the 2006 car immediately and stated the team will no longer have an excuse if it failed to perform.

"The BMW news is good for the future," Massa said, "so for once Sauber will have no excuse. The team has been very tight with money, so even this year we can benefit from it. Knowing there will be a budget next year, we can start investing in some development, which would be the base of 2006. It could only be good for us."

Asked if he expects to stay at the team next year, Massa was coy, only responding: "I am sure I will be driving... driving somewhere."

Massa also commented on the US Grand Prix debacle, which saw his team, along with the other Michelin-shod teams, withdraw from the race after the formation lap.

"It was a shame, a real shame a decision could have been reached a lot earlier," the Brazilian said.

But he ruled out the possibility of French tyre maker Michelin facing similar problems in Magny-Cours, stating: "They cannot go wrong in France; and if necessary, they can always bring the entire factory there..."

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