Friday June 8th, 2001
By Alan Baldwin
McLaren is confident an injunction obtained against them by Jaguar in a fight for top Formula One designer Adrian Newey will be lifted when a court hears their version of events next week.
"The team is confident that when the facts of the case are heard on Tuesday, the injunction will be lifted," McLaren said in a statement at the Canadian Grand Prix on Friday.
Jaguar say McLaren technical director Newey, regarded as a brilliant aerodynamicist and car designer who joined McLaren from Williams in 1997, has signed a binding contract to join them from August next year. The Formula One team said Thursday they had obtained an injunction restraining McLaren from "entering into or continuing any contract of employment" with Newey after July 31, 2002.
McLaren, continuing what is becoming a daily battle of statement and counter-statement waged by the two teams in a war that could rumble on for months, issued a further clarification of the situation Friday. It said Jaguar's injunction was applicable only until Tuesday, June 12, when a hearing would be held and at which McLaren would be represented for the first time.
"The lawyers acting for Jaguar Racing had previously established contact with those acting for McLaren but unusually chose not to inform them of their intentions or invite their contribution before the judge," it said of the first High Court hearing.
McLaren, who last week accused Jaguar of announcing Newey's agreement to join them after McLaren had warned them of the designer's change of mind, also accused the Ford-owned team of inaccuracies in their description of the injunction. It said the legal move had no effect on an existing extension to Newey's contract at McLaren beyond August 2002 and only prevented McLaren entering any new or further agreement before Tuesday.
"In the meantime the injunction has no bearing on our racing program which is focused on the Canadian Grand Prix," McLaren said.