Bernoldi signs for Arrows!

SOURCES in Brazil tell us that Enrique Bernoldi has signed to be Jos Verstappen's team mate with the Orange Arrows team - leaving the more experienced Pedro de la Rosa out of work unless he agrees to drive alongside fellow countryman Fernando Alonso at Minardi.

De la Rosa had been expected to stay with Arrows but we hear that a dispute over signage led to Arrows boss Tom Walkinshaw deciding that he would take the inexperienced Bernoldi rather than de la Rosa, who has taken part in 32 races in the course of the last two years.

Bernoldi is 22 and raced last year for the Red Bull Junior Team in Formula 3000. His major success to date has been in the British Formula 3 series where he raced for Renault-backed Promatecme operation in 1997 and 1998. He was beaten to the title in the second year by Mario Haberfeld but finished ahead of another Brazilian who has since made it to F1, Luciano Burti.

For 28-year-old de la Rosa the news will be a big blow but he is in a good position to become team leader of Minardi as the team begins its path to become more competitive and while joining Minardi a few years ago would have been the end of a career for a midfield driver, the team under new ownership could be very different.

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