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JULY 19, 2000

Franchitti denies Jaguar deal is done

SCOTLAND'S Dario Franchitti has denied reports that he is set to sign with Jaguar Formula One team.

Franchitti, who on Wednesday completed a two-day test for the Milton Keynes based team at Silverstone, is expected to replace Johnny Herbert at Jaguar next season, but he claims the reports are a little hasty.

Speaking at a press conference at the Northamptonshire track, the 27-year-old, who is currently competing in the US-based Champcar series, said: "I wanted to test a Formula one car again and Jaguar gave me the opportunity, it's as simple as that.

"If things go well there is a possibility that something could happen, but at the moment it's just nice to test. Beyond that who knows.

"If Jaguar decide in the future that I've done good job here then things might happen. I've always said I want to drive in F1, but I've also got a lot of other options in America."

Former Jaguar boss Jackie Stewart, however, added that Franchitti hasn't does his chances of landing a F1 drive any harm.

He added: "I've been watching Dario and he looks very good. I've talked to him in the garage and he's very responsive. He's eager to learn and I'm sure he's got a lot out of these two days."