Monday August 27th, 2001
Former Jaguar boss Bobby Rahal has said he and Niki Lauda were pulling in different directions while they were both in charge of the Formula One team.
"Niki and I clearly had very different management styles," the American, who was replaced by Lauda as team principal last week and is now concentrating on his CART team, told the cart.com website. "And you can't have one guy doing one thing and the other going another direction. This was surprising, certainly, but I guess people do what they have to do."
Rahal, a triple CART champion, led Jaguar's Formula One team for just nine months before a meeting last Friday agreed that he should leave and be replaced by Austrian Lauda. The team said the split was "amicable".
Lauda, a former triple Formula One World Champion, had previously overseen the Ford-owned team's racing activities. There had been reports of disagreements between the two bosses, whose jobs appeared to overlap and who frequently jockeyed for position in a team struggling to make an impact on the track.
Rahal told the website he was disappointed to be leaving Formula One but was looking forward to returning to CART, where his Swedish driver Kenny Brack is challenging for the championship.
"I've got a great thing here and it's refreshing to come back to CART because the ability to compete is so easy compared to F1 and all the politics," he said.
"I enjoyed so much of my time over there and the biggest disappointment will be not being around to see the new R3 chassis. I believe Steve Nichols and Mark Handford have designed a very good car."
Rahal also suggested that Formula One had the mentality that it could get by without American involvement, and repeated his view that the sport needed an American team or driver if it were to become anything more than just a "niche sport" in the United States.
"Unfortunately, the mentality over there is that we don't need America," he said.
Published at 17:58:16 GMT