FEBRUARY 6, 2002
Frentzen to replace Verstappen at Arrows
IT has yet to be officially confirmed by the Orange Arrows team but it now seems certain that Jos Verstappen is to be booted out of the team and replaced by Heinz-Harald Frentzen. With time running out before the start of the new season and Arrows having finally revealed its new car, the decision can be only days away if the team wants to go into the new season with its lead driving having tested
Dropping Verstappen would not be unusual behavior for Arrows but it would be a huge blow for Jos's career as he now has no options left for 2002.
Verstappen scored Arrows's only World Championship point last year with his sixth place in the Austrian GP and recorded an impressive number of overtaking maneuvers but because of the team's habit of running the car light usually faded out of contention in the middle of races.
Verstappen's management say that the contract is in place and has been lodged with the FIA Contract Recognition Board in Geneva. The only official word on the subject from the team came last summer when Arrows announced that it had taken up its option on Verstappen's services in 2002.
If this is the case then a settlement will have to be found as Arrows cannot simply throw the Dutchman out unless it wishes to face legal action. This would not be a novel concept for the Arrows team which always seems to have at least one or two law suits on the go. Earlier this week Arrows boss Tom Walkinshaw was ordered to pay Pedro Diniz $700,000 resulting from a legal battle between them back in 1999.
The advantage for Arrows is that law suits take a long time to come to court and in the interim Verstappen can do little to stop what is happening. There might be the possibility of him gaining an injunction against Walkinshaw putting someone else in the car but that would depend on the wording of the contract.
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