JANUARY 31, 2001

Arrows confirm driver line-up

ARROWS confirmed on Wednesday that Pedro de la Rosa has been dropped from the team and will be replaced for the 2001 season by the up-and-coming Brazilian driver Enrique Bernoldi.

Bernoldi, 21, started last season as the official test-driver for Sauber and competed for the Red Bull Junior Team in the F3000 Championship in 2000. After impressive performances in recent tests with Arrows, Bernoldi has now been rewarded with a drive for the team.

Dutchman Jos Verstappen will continue to race for Arrows alongside Bernoldi and De la Rosa is now expected to sign for Minardi, who are still to confirm their driver line-up after Australian businessman Paul Stoddart completed the takeover of the team this week.

Arrows team chief Tom Walkinshaw is delighted with the driver line-up of Verstappen and Bernoldi as he opts for a mix of youth and experience.

"We have a strong, experienced driver in Jos and some young blood with Enrique," said Walkinshaw. "It should prove to be an interesting combination.

"We have been pleased with the feedback and maturity shown by Enrique when testing the car so far and look forward to watching him develop as an F1 driver.

"We would like to thank Pedro for the 100 per cent commitment he has shown to the team in the last two seasons and wish him well for the future."

Bernoldi starting racing karts at the tender age of nine and was the Brazilian Kart champion in 1990 and 1991. Five years later, Bernoldi won the Formula Renault European championship.

In 1998, Bernoldi was runner-up in the British Formula Three Championship and the Sao Paulo-based racer now joins the likes of Jenson Button and Kimi Raikkonen this season as Formula One drivers under the age of 22.