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OCTOBER 18, 2002

De la Rosa has a pop at Irvine

Pedro de la Rosa seems a mild-mannered sort of fellow, always happy to please and not one to rock the boat but being team mates with Eddie Irvine has obviously been a strain for the Spaniard, not least after Irvine launched a critical salvo in his direction a few weeks ago. De la Rosa chose not to respond but now that the season is over Pedro has made known his thoughts on the subject in an interview with a Spanish radio station.

"The worst thing about this year was working with Eddie Irvine," De la Rosa said. "It was very difficult to work with a person like that. When things go well he is happy enough, but when things go wrong - which is precisely when the team needs to pull together - he becomes extremely difficult. We never talked much at the start of the year and as the season went on we communicated less and less. In the last few races we could hardly look at one another."

De la Rosa said that he hopes that Irvine will not be with the team next year.

"I am not the one who makes those decisions," he said. "That is up to Niki Lauda. But from what I know Eddie will not be staying. And I hope that is the case."

Irvine is believed to be on his way to Jordan Grand Prix, a move which will help Jordan raise some sponsorship money from Benson & Hedges. Beyond that Irvine has no hope of a drive next year - except perhaps at Minardi.