Jaguar Racing CEO Niki Lauda spoke to the German press to express his relief that the 2001 racing season is over. The Austrian former Formula 1 driver took over as team principal from Bobby Rahal in August this year and acknowledges that there is...
Jaguar Racing CEO Niki Lauda spoke to the German press to express his relief that the 2001 racing season is over. The Austrian former Formula 1 driver took over as team principal from Bobby Rahal in August this year and acknowledges that there is a lot of work to be done in order for the team to achieve the success they desire.
"I must say thank God the season has come to an end because we were not as successful as we would have liked," he said. "But the work begins now with us: we must try to reconstruct and then reorganise the whole operation, so that it becomes better in the next year. My work begins now, in the winter.
"We had our good times, which we obtained more frequently on Friday. These good times were important for the team motivation. On Saturday we then always sagged, and on Sunday the car functioned relatively normally again. "
He was also asked about the possibility of employing other drivers in the future, especially the up and coming young guns, such as Kimi Raikkonen, and race drivers who have turned test driver, including Alex Wurz and Ricardo Zonta.
"I am bound to my pilots, Irvine and de la Rosa, until 2003," he stated. "Wurz has the problem that he is stamped as a test driver now, and the up and coming stars are a better investment for the future." Lauda believes the McLaren test driver Alex Wurz will be overlooked by any teams considering him for a drive in the future. The Austrian has signed a deal with McLaren to extend his testing duties into 2002, which will be his second year as a test driver after being given the boot by Benetton boss Flavio Briatore.
After assuming the role of test driver for the team, Wurz was in a prime position to replace Mika Hakkinen next year while the Finn takes a sabbatical. But the Austrian was sidelined and the impressive 2001 debutant Kimi Raikkonen was brought in, who will drive for the Woking-based team next year.