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JUNE 11, 2001

Rahal confident of Newey victory

JAGUAR RACING will go to the courts on Tuesday certain that the agreement they have with McLaren's Adrian Newey represents a legal contract, and team boss Bobby Rahal is confident of victory.

Jaguar pulled off a coup when they announced the signing of design ace Newey from August 2002, but McLaren immediately claimed he would be with them after that date, and now the matter is in the courts.

"It is a contract and it is that simple," said Rahal of his agreement with Newey. "McLaren is trying to spin it so that somehow one means more than the other, but they don't.

"I don't know the terms of Adrian's (current) contract but Adrian made it clear that he was able to sign an agreement and I can only go on that basis.

"That is why I say that a contract is nothing more than an agreement, but what McLaren is saying is that in the semantics of contracts, commitment or intent, that one is legally binding and one isn't.

"That is not a matter of semantics, or what you call it, it is what it conveys and under what the nature of the agreement is, McLaren say it was a letter of intent.

"Most people think letters of intent are very generalized with none of the details set out. This was not.

"This had all the detail, all that was missing was a wherefore and a whereas, and declared itself as legally binding as part one of the terms."

Newey, who did not attend the Canadian Grand Prix, has said over the weekend that he wants to stay at McLaren but he does not want to upset his friend Rahal.

McLaren are confident of winning the battle and on Tuesday in court hope to lift an injunction that prevents them from re-negotiating a new deal with Newey.