FEBRUARY 22, 1999

Tom loses to Diniz

TOM WALKINSHAW has failed in his efforts to extract around $10m from Pedro Diniz. The Scotsman had been arguing that the Brazilian driver was under contract to Arrows for the 1999 season and so was committed to supplying $10m in sponsorship money to the team. Diniz argued that his contract included performance clauses which the Arrows team had failed to meet inÊ1998.

The Contract Recognition Board met in Geneva, Switzerland, on February 12 to discuss the case and ruled on Friday that the contract between Diniz and Sauber is a valid one. This means that the previous contract with Arrows was terminated "in accordance with its terms". A nice way of saying that Walkinshaw had lost.

The case marks a rather bitter end to a three-year relationship between Walkinshaw and Diniz, who poured at least $25m into the coffers of teams that the Scotsman was running. Initially Diniz drove for Ligier but when Walkinshaw switched to Arrows in 1997 Diniz went with him.

Tom will now have to find sponsorship from someone other than Pedro - and that is not going to be easy.