FEBRUARY 7, 2002
So what happens to Verstappen?
Verstappen did a good job last year for Arrows, scoring the team's only point and keeping the operation in the news. Enrique Bernoldi's only major contribution to the team's TV coverage was holding up David Coulthard at Monaco.
Verstappen does have a value as he is one of the most experienced drivers in F1 and is still relatively young. He is also quick and less prone to having accidents than was the case when he was younger. He is unlikely to find a race drive for a few months (although teams will no doubt become disillusioned with some drivers after a few races and that may offer him an opportunity) and his best course of action would be to sign as a test driver with the option of a race drive in 2003. The only thing getting in his way is the fact that if he wishes to take legal action against Arrows he will have to remain unemployed. Much depends on how much money Arrows was going to pay him in 2002 because if the salary was small or linked to a sponsorship deal there is no point in pursuing the matter.
Verstappen's best bet might be with Toyota as the team has plenty of money and could use some more F1 experience to develop the car - and the team. The other team without a test driver at the moment is Jordan but there is little hope of a drive there in 2003 as both current drivers are under contract.