Thursday March 15th, 2001
Sauber driver Nick Heidfeld has said that Heinz-Harald Frentzen's claims that the Swiss-based team ran illegal traction control were out-of-order.
"Our car is legal and that's it," said Heidfeld. "I am not sure what Frentzen has said, but it is very difficult for me, the team, or Ferrari to say anything which makes us look better again."
Frentzen suggested that the team's engine was accelerating away from him despite misfiring, and believed that this could hint that the Swiss team was using a wheelspin-preventing driver aid.
This is not illegal, providing it is pre-programmed and not activated by reacting to conditions at a precise moment on the track.
But Heidfeld believes the comments were not appropriate considering the systems available for protest in Grand Prix racing.
"If someone says we are illegal they go to the FIA and then we will see," said Frentzen's compatriot. "He didn't say it was illegal."
The suggestions have overshadowed what was an excellent performance from Sauber when they claimed fourth and sixth placed finishes in the Australian Grand Prix.
But Heidfeld is refusing to become over optimistic about his chances, and said: "We are third in the championship at the moment and that's a bit unrealistic. We want to score points from time to time - that's our goal."