Wednesday May 16th, 2001
Jaguar's American boss Bobby Rahal has cleared up the managerial positions at Jaguar racing after Niki Lauda was angered at questions about his place in the team over the Austrian Grand Prix weekend.
In a press conference Lauda sharply retorted to a question about his position by saying: "I am getting tired of explaining my position," and confirmed that he became head of Ford's Premier Automotive Group when Neil Ressler retired.
It has been suggested that Niki Lauda is taking more of an involvement in the racing team than his position dictates, but Jaguar racing boss Rahal denies this entirely.
"He made it clear to me very early on that he did not want my job," said Rahal. "There's too much work! People go to Niki because he's a famous figure here and that's fully understandable but I look at Niki as being an advocate for me, for Ford, for Cosworth and for it all - a focus for this racing team."
Rumours of unrest have dogged the Jaguar management ever since Lauda and Rahal got together, but Rahal says he and Lauda work well together and have the same philosophy.
"Niki and I are absolutely in step," he said. "He and I get along great. I think I know what it takes to win and I know he knows what it takes to win, and we're working on it together.
"We have to improve at a rate that's faster than McLaren, Ferrari or Williams for us to catch up and we're not going to say that's impossible but that takes people, financial resource and commitment into a higher level."