Friday March 2nd, 2001
By Roger Horton, Melbourne
Ford's Premier Performance Division CEO Niki Lauda, today confirmed that Pedro de la Rosa will definitely race with the Jaguar team next year.
De la Rosa was signed last month after being dumped by Arrows and after testing for the Prost team in January.
Speaking after the opening practice session of the Australian Grand Prix Lauda said: "We wouldn't have gotten Pedro for testing, which is our priority this year, if we couldn't have offered him a drive next year, so that really was our problem."
Lauda refused to be drawn on which of their current drivers, Eddie Irvine or Luciano Burti might make way for the Spanish driver. "We have to wait and see what is going to happen, and think about it during the year."
Eddie Irvine was thirteenth fastest on the opening day of practice, whilst Burti finished eighteenth after his session was cut short by an off-track excursion.