Jaguar plan to keep Irvine

JAGUAR have indicated that they fully intend to retain Eddie Irvine for the 2002 Grand Prix season.

Concerns grew over the Ulsterman's future when the team's test driver Pedro de la Rosa signed up to race for the team next year.

But a spokesperson for the team said: "We have a long-term contract with Eddie Irvine and De la Rosa is confirmed for next year.

"We have no intentions to break our driver contracts at this stage, and have every intention to honor the agreements of our current line-up."

With current race driver Luciano Burti on a one-year contract, it looks likely he will be released at the end of the year - but the team has refuted suggestions that De la Rosa could be racing for the team before the end of this season.

"Pedro is our development driver, with a contract to race next year," said team principal Bobby Rahal on the team's official website. "Eddie and Luciano are our race drivers and will remain so for the rest of the year, and that's the end of the story."

Burti is baffled by the suggestions that he is soon to be ousted. "From my point of view it's pretty clear," explained the Brazilian on the site. "I have a contract with the team until the end of the season. I'm happy with them and as far as I know, they're happy with me."

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