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Newey set to quit Formula 1 after 2002

Formula 1 design ace Adrian Newey, the man at the centre of a contractual tug-of-war between McLaren and the Jaguar Racing squad, looks set to quit F1 altogether at the end of his existing contract, according to an exclusive report in this week's Autosport magazine

Newey's current deal with McLaren ends in August 2002. But after Jaguar announced it had signed the 42-year-old on a long-term contract last Friday, McLaren responded with a three-year extension to his existing terms at Woking. (Click bottom of page for related stories)

As part of the extended deal, McLaren said that Newey would design the team's 2002 and 2003 cars, but would be allowed to pursue other design projects in the longer term.

According to Autosport, sources say that the alternative projects include looking at ways of allowing Newey to realise his dream of designing a racing yacht for the sport's blue riband event, the America's Cup.

As speculated at the time of the announcement, McLaren team boss Ron Dennis appears determined that if Newey does not wish to design F1 cars for him beyond August 2002, he will not design them for anybody else.

Jaguar Racing boss Bobby Rahal, who was instrumental in brokering the deal for his friend Newey to join the team, says that he doesn't believe the aerodynamics expert's decision to stay with McLaren will effect the Milton Keynes-based outfit's long-term ambition to challenge for titles.

"Jaguar Racing are going to succeed and, as a result of what's happened, we're probably even more determined to do it," Rahal told Autosport. "I think, too, that if people ever wondered if Jaguar and Ford were serious about their F1 effort, this probably answers that."

Jaguar is believed to have offered Newey a five-year deal with a salary of £3.5 million per year.

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