Wednesday April 19th, 2000
By Alan Baldwin
Briton Johnny Herbert has again dismissed rumours suggesting he could be replaced at Jaguar after this weekend's British Formula One Grand Prix.
"(Jaguar chairman) Neil Ressler said to me...that he knows nothing about it and they are fully behind me, that they understand the problems that I have been going through," the veteran driver said.
"Neil said to me 'We saw the problems which you had last year and you came back and you actually won a race for us," added the 35-year-old.
Britain's Autosport magazine ran a story last week with the headline "Herbert faces axe after Silverstone GP", reporting that the Briton was set to be replaced by Jaguar's Brazilian test driver Luciano Burti.
It quoted a source close to the team as saying that Burti had been stopped from racing in Formula 3000 this season in case of just such an eventuality.
Herbert, who has struggled to get on the pace in race qualifying and has had scant track time in testing as a result of mechanical problems with his car, said he was happy that was not the case.
"The main thing for me is what Neil says," he said.
"He's the guy who's doing it, he sees what goes on, he knows the problems that we've got and he knows that I've gone through a bit of a hard time with problems and reliability," he said.
Early Season Difficulties
Herbert, who won the British Grand Prix while at Benetton in 1995, failed to finish his first two races of the season and was 10th in San Marino this month. Team mate Eddie Irvine also failed to finish the first two races but was seventh at Imola.
Herbert also had problems at Stewart, the team replaced by Jaguar, last season before coming good towards the end of the season and winning the European Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring -- the first and only win by the Stewart team.
Last season's British Grand Prix was dominated by the suspense of whether or not Briton Damon Hill would call it a day immediately afterwards.
In the end, he continued to the end of the season.
Herbert agreed that, as the oldest Briton in Formula One who was reaching the end of his career, the media might have been looking for another Hill type situation.
He conceded that Silverstone might indeed prove to be his last British Grand Prix. "It may be, but again it all depends how it ends up at the end of the year," he said.
The driver also talked on Wednesday of a possible future racing in America, Herbert saying he had no intention of retiring from racing after his Formula One career was over.
"As far as racing goes, no. I will remain here or even in America maybe in the future.
"(Indycar) is one thing I have always looked at but at the moment I am very concentrated on what I am doing in Formula One. I want to do well in Formula One."