Wednesday February 21st, 2001
Jaguar Racing on Wednesday denied that they are in the wrong over the signing of Spaniard test driver Pedro de la Rosa, despite Prost Grand Prix threatening them with legal action.
Prost claim they had signed a deal with De la Rosa to test drive for them, and have warned the driver, his representatives and agents, and, if necessary, Jaguar that they will take action against them.
A spokesperson for Milton Keynes-based Jaguar denied they were at fault. "Our understanding is that Pedro and his management team were in a position to sign a contract," the spokesperson said. "So that is what we did."
He also revealed that Jaguar had not yet been approached by the French team with regard to any legal proceedings and added: "There has been no formal communication between the companies at the moment."
De la Rosa refused to comment on the contractual situation, but revealed on Wednesday that it was his desire to race in the future that drove him to ditch the testing role at Prost Grand Prix.
"In the end, it all comes down to racing," said de la Rosa. "That's the thing I want to do, and I had to guarantee my future. No-one wants to end a relationship in a bad way, but that's what I had to do."
After his first and only test with the Prost team, De la Rosa enthused that the Ferrari-engined car was the best he had ever driven.
He has not yet been on-track in the Jaguar, but was evidently tempted by the prospect of a race deal in 2002.