Atlas F1 News Service, a Reuters report

De la Rosa to Drive for Jaguar in 2002, Says Rahal

Wednesday March 14th, 2001

Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa will drive for the Jaguar Formula One team in 2002, team boss Bobby Rahal told a news conference on Wednesday.

"Pedro will be driving for us next year," the American said ahead of Sunday's Malaysia Grand Prix, the second of the year.

He did not say which of Jaguar's current drivers, Briton Eddie Irvine or Brazilian novice Luciano Burti, might get the axe. De la Rosa is the team's test driver this season.

"As I told our drivers we just have to worry about today. That will take care of tomorrow."

Rahal said his team would take three years to challenge the top teams in Formula One.

"Teams like McLaren and Williams and Ferrari have had decades to get to the situation they are at.

"If this was our year to get our house in order, then next year we will show a much greater level of performance so that we would be in a position to win races in the third year," he said.

Burti finished the season's opening race in Melbourne out of the points in eighth place while senior driver Irvine was 11th.

Irvine was rebuked by Rahal last month after suggesting the Jaguar car was too slow. Irvine is the second oldest driver in Formula One at 35.

De la Rosa was threatened with legal action by Prost after it said he had agreed to sign with the team. The Spaniard said he had never signed a contract with Prost.

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