Thursday February 1st, 2001
Spanish driver Pedro de la Rosa has accused Arrows of opting for "quantity over quality" after he was replaced at the Formula One team by Brazilian Enrique Bernoldi.
"It is a decision that I have to respect and that they are fully within their rights to take, but I believe they have opted for quantity over quality," newspapers quoted De le Rosa as saying on Thursday.
Bernoldi, 22, is backed by Austrian energy drink Red Bull, who are also a main sponsor of the Sauber team.
"Now I am weighing up all the options that are open to me, but my intention is to continue driving in Formula One," said De la Rosa.
The 29-year-old has driven for Arrows for the last two seasons but his main backers Repsol said on Wednesday that the team had rejected their proposed sponsorship deal.
Compatriot Marc Gene, the former Minardi driver who is now a test driver for Williams, was critical of the timing of the Arrows announcement.
"The decision itself doesn't really surprise me, because Formula One is like that, but the way they have done it is terrible," he said.
"There is just one month left before the start of the season and he has very little room for manoeuvre left. He does not deserve to be treated like this."
Repsol have said they want to help De la Rosa remain in Formula One and he has been linked to a drive with Minardi, the only team yet to name their drivers.
Minardi have been bought by Australian Paul Stoddart, who has had close ties with Arrows and has said he expects to name an experienced driver alongside a "young charger". Young Spaniard Fernando Alonso is expected to be one of them.