JANUARY 7, 2002
De la Rosa's cheeky moment
Possibly a little miffed by his boss Niki Lauda's suggestion that the current generation of Formula 1 cars could be driven by monkeys or grandmothers, the Catalan driver is looking forward to the triple champion's return to the cockpit with some relish.
"I honestly want to see him crash!" de la Rosa laughed. "My strategy has been to put pressure on him and I have told him he has to stay within four seconds of our best lap, but then the guy is a three-time World Champion, so you don't know what to expect."
Lauda is preparing to make a run in the new Jaguar R3 during this week's testing in Spain, outwardly citing the need to understand the what the drivers are up to at first hand. This has never bothered Flavio Briatore however and the suspicion that this is merely a PR stunt does loom large.
Eddie Irvine appears to be taking Lauda's outing in the right vein, suggesting that an extra small steering wheel be made so that 52-year-old Lauda 'can reach it past his belly'. The more studious de la Rosa meanwhile suggested: "I don't think Niki driving will help us, because he hasn't driven in 15 years."