Atlas F1 News Service

McLaren Heads Made Threats, Says Bernoldi

Sunday May 27th, 2001

Arrows' driver Enrique Bernoldi claimed on Sunday he was 'very scared' following threats from McLaren boss Ron Dennis and Mercedes-Benz's Norbert Haug after the Monaco Grand Prix.

Dennis had earlier accused the Arrows team and their driver Enrique Bernoldi of unsporting behaviour following Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix. The Briton was furious after Bernoldi held McLaren's David Coulthard for half the race when the Scot was trying to move up the field having started from the back of the grid after stalling his car before the formation lap.

After the race, rookie Bernoldi, who was fighting for fifteenth place with Coulthard, admitted both Dennis and Haug had threatened him and the young Brazilian admitted he was very scared.

"They were both very aggressive," he was quoted as saying by Autosport.com. "They told me, 'if you continue drive again in that sort of way you are not going to be in Formula One very long'. I was very scared because they were very aggressive.

"There was so much pressure so I was worried about making mistakes. I was thinking, because he was so close to me, if I hit the wall he would hit me too."

Arrows boss Tom Walkinshaw hit back at Dennis' comments after the race, saying his behaviour was 'wholly inappropriate."

"Ron Dennis and Norbert Haug came up to him and told them that if he drove like that again they would finish his career," Walkinshaw told F1i.com.

"I think from two people with the stature they have in Formula One, particularly with Ron being an owner of a multi-world championship-winning team, to go and threaten a kid in his first season of Formula One when he has done nothing else other than race and keep it off the barriers, is wholly inappropriate."



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