Thursday June 7th, 2001
Jaguar Racing chief Bobby Rahal believes that Formula One's governing body, the FIA, should not get involved in the ensuing legal battle for the services of McLaren technical director Adrian Newey.
Rahal believes the FIA need not be involved as his team's lawyers pursue their options against McLaren. Jaguar claim to have a legally binding agreement with Newey for his services next year, but McLaren insist he is not leaving.
"The FIA has no right to get involved in situations like this," said Rahal at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal on Thursday. "Informally, maybe, but they have no right to mitigate or create some kind of body to get an outcome one way or the other."
Rahal said that his relationship with Newey has suffered as a result of the saga, which started when Jaguar announced Newey would be joining them - only for McLaren to counter-state that he was staying with them.
Rahal added: "I think that friendship is always based on trust and good faith. Obviously, I feel that these have both been severely damaged in this situation. Life has its ups and downs but this has nothing to do with that. It is a disappointment from a personal sense."