Wednesday April 18th, 2001
Brazilian Luciano confirmed that the Jaguar Formula One team will replace him with Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa in 2002, and the Brazilian driver said it was not a surprise for him.
A team spokesman said on Wednesday that team boss Niki Lauda had confirmed the pairing for 2002 and Burti was told of the decision at the San Marino Grand Prix last Sunday.
"The team informed me about this in San Marino," the Brazilian was quoted as saying on Jaguar's website.
"But to be honest it has not been a big surprise and I have pretty much known it already.
"The fact is that I have always been, and always will be, grateful to Jaguar Racing for giving me the opportunity to prove myself in F1."
Burti said he still had 13 races to make his mark and he saw the rest of the season as a great opportunity.
Burti was test driver at Jaguar last season and made his full debut this year after Briton Johnny Herbert retired from Formula One.
He had replaced Irvine for one race in 2000, the Austrian Grand Prix, after the Briton was sick.
Burti had hoped to prove his worth and persuade Jaguar to keep him on in place of Irvine next year although that was always going to be unlikely given the northern Irishman's experience and year remaining on his contract.
The Brazilian has finished three out of four races this season, while Irvine has completed just one, but the Briton has outqualified him in all four. Neither has scored a point.
The experienced De la Rosa joined Jaguar, via a brief and controversial testing stint at Prost, after losing his seat at Arrows shortly before the start of the season.
He was promised a full drive in 2002 as part of his deal to serve as test driver this season.