Honda website
Honda website

JANUARY 13, 1997

...and attacks Brawn and Ferrari

AT the launch of the Arrows A18 team boss Tom Walkinshaw was highly critical of Ross Brawn, his former TWR technical director and of Ferrari, which now employs Brawn.

"I had a contract with Ross Brawn. The contract was done in 1995 for him to join whatever F1 team I had when his Benetton contract expired. Ferrari did another deal with him so he had effectively two agreements. I didn't think that was right and took exception to it. It was the way that Ferrari went about it that got up my nose. They thought they could just ride in the face of a contract.

"I think we need to find out whether the contracts we have with key people in Britain are enforceable or not. In Europe they are certainly enforceable but in Britain you have some quite unique employment regulations where you cannot make anyone work in a place he doesn't want to work.

"These people are being paid massive sums of money - millions. If we didn't pay them they would have us in court straight away so why should they not be obliged to discharge their obligations of a contract? It should be a two-way commitment."

Walkinshaw said that a solution has been arrived at and that it had not greatly affected his plans at Arrows as he had known about Brawn's deal with Ferrari for some months.

"We are building up an engineering team around Frank (Dernie) and will continue to do so. We are not out on the market looking for any technical director. We already have one."

Tom also pointed out that he was not the only team facing such problems, Frank Williams having had to resort to legal action to prevent Adrian Newey starting work with McLaren when he has a long-term contract with Williams.

There has been some talk in recent months of a possible Contract Recognition Board for key F1 employees, in addition to the existing structure for drivers.