Niki Lauda has decided to turn down the offer of an advisory role with Jaguar and has cut all ties with Ford. Lauda was axed as Jaguar team principal and CEO of Ford's Premier Performance Division (PPD) when the company implemented a restructuring programme recently. The Austrian was offered an advisory role by Vice President Richard Parry Jones but Lauda has decided against it and will not stay with Ford.

"We have agreed to dissolve the contract," Lauda told Austrian television. "I couldn't see any reason why I should stay. There was nothing left for me to do. I am basically a free man now, but with a few restrictions; I am not allowed to help another F1 team next season."

Tony Purnell has taken over Lauda's role at PPD but a new boss for Jaguar has yet to be decided. Lauda said losing his position was a political decision by Ford and one that he could do nothing about. The company is looking for someone with a more technical background to head Jaguar. The team postponed the launch of the R4 due to the restructuring and now proposes to launch the car on the internet, rather than the previous lavish events.