Thursday June 7th, 2001
The McLaren team have claimed Jaguar Racing knew technical director Adrian Newey would stay at the Woking-based team before they announced the Briton would join them after his contract with McLaren expired in August 2002.
Jaguar announced in a statement that Newey had signed a contract with them, only hours before McLaren claimed he was staying until 2005. Jaguar have since threatened to sue McLaren, claiming Newey had already signed a binding contract.
However, on Thursday, McLaren released the following statement, claming Jaguar was aware of Newey's decision to stay before they released their statement:
West McLaren Mercedes has noted a variety of incorrect statements regarding the decision of Adrian Newey to extend his commitment to the team. In order to clarify the situation McLaren therefore wish to put on record the following facts.
Adrian has fourteen months of his previous contract with McLaren to run and despite repeated assurances made to McLaren by Jaguar Racing that it was not in dialogue with any member of our organisation, it became clear that they sought aggressively to recruit Adrian. It is a fact that at one point Jaguar Racing had convinced Adrian to leave McLaren. However, at no time in the discussions regarding Adrian's contract extension were McLaren aware of any binding contract between Adrian and Jaguar Racing.
It was made clear to Jaguar Racing by Adrian on the evening of May 31st, 2001 that he had decided to remain at McLaren. It was agreed during this discussion that Jaguar Racing's planned press release which was scheduled for 08.30 BST on the following day, would not be issued.
Despite this Jaguar Racing decided to issue a statement that Adrian was joining them in the clear knowledge that this would not be the case. We cannot account for this decision.
Adrian and the team decided some time ago that he would not attend the Canadian Grand Prix in order to concentrate on a number of development programmes. It is the wish of the team and Adrian to put this matter behind them in order to concentrate on motor racing.