Sauber welcomes Fisi input

Peter Sauber has said that signing last year's Brazilian Grand Prix winner, the highly-rated Giancarlo Fisichella, will help propel his team up the grand prix grid as it bids to take on the manufacturer-backed teams in 2004

Sauber welcomes Fisi input

On the eve of today's Sauber C23 launch in Salzburg, Austria, team principal Sauber stated his reasoning for signing up Fisichella and Ferrari test driver Felipe Massa. The team finished fourth in the constructors' championship in 2001, and Sauber believes top quality drivers will help its cause

"Signing Giancarlo has made an old wish of mine come true," said Sauber. "For me he is one of the top six drivers in the sport. I am convinced he will help us move forward significantly on the Formula 1 grid."

Sauber also welcomed Massa back into the Sauber fold. He previously raced for the Swiss team in the 2002 season, before taking a year out to test for Ferrari.

"Felipe's skills, particularly his speed, was clearly evident during his first collaboration with our team," said Sauber. "The fact that he wasn't fully able to live up to expectations was mainly due to his age at that time. The added year of training with Ferrari will prove to be a big help to both himself and us as a team."

The Ferrari-powered (but Petronas-badged) C23 will be launched in Austria later today. Stay tuned to autosport.com for the first pictures of the new car at about 6pm GMT (7pm CET).

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