F1 2001 line-up: final pieces falling into place

The 2001 Formula 1 grid will take another major step towards completion at the US Grand Prix this weekend, when Arrows will announce an unchanged driver line-up and Williams will confirm the worst-kept secret in F1 - that Champ Car ace Juan Pablo Montoya is to join the team

F1 2001 line-up: final pieces falling into place

Arrows, one of the revelations of the 2000 season, will keep Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa and Dutchman Jos Verstappen on its books as it makes the switch to AMT's re-badged Peugeot engines from its current Supertecs. The Leafield-based team will make its announcement on Friday, while Williams will confirm Colombian Montoya on Thursday.

Montoya, the reigning CART Series champion, won his third Champ Car race of the year at Gateway International Raceway last weekend. He is the third CART driver to be signed by Williams in five years, following in the tracks of Jacques Villeneuve and Alex Zanardi.

McLaren will also make a low-key announcement to confirm the signing of Benetton's Alexander Wurz and BAR's Ricardo Zonta as its two-pronged test driver squad for next year.

Zonta passed on the opportunity to join Sauber in order to take the McLaren test drive, but Pedro Diniz is now expected to stay with the Swiss-based team after a reduction in the sponsorship he brings from Parmalat made him less attractive to the struggling Prost team.

Prost will join Sauber in using customer Ferrari V10s next season, and has to pay in the region of £15m for the deal. It is keen to lure Spanish telecom company Telefonica's sponsorship money away from Minardi and could sign Spaniard Marc Gene as team mate to Jean Alesi in order to facilitate the deal. Minardi's plans remain unclear, but will depend on whether Telefonica jumps ship.

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