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Salo terminates contract with Sauber

Sauber driver, Mika Salo, in training for July's French Grand Prix. Keystone / Jimmy Froidevaux

The Finnish Formula One driver, Mika Salo, has terminated his contract with Switzerland's Sauber team and announced his move to Toyota.

The 34-year-old driver exercised an option in his contract to leave Sauber if they failed to perform well in this season’s races. To hold on to the Finn, the team needed to be amongst the top six constructors after the completion of 12 Grand Prix.

With those 12 races now run, the Swiss team are currently in seventh place, with all six of their points accumulated by Salo himself.

Having broken off the two-year contract, Salo will race as a test-driver for Toyota next season, before joining the Japanese team’s official line-up in 2002. Financial considerations are thought to have played a major part in Salo’s decision, with Toyota reportedly offering him SFr35 million ($20 million) to race for them.

Sauber will now consider whether to retain the services of their second driver, Brazil’s Pedro Diniz. The team is said to be interested in a number of possible replacements with Ricardo Zonta, Jos Verstappen and Nick Heidfield amongst the favourites.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR