Our friendship has been affected, admits Rahal

Bobby Rahal admitted his 15-year friendship with Adrian Newey has been damaged by the McLaren designer's about-turn over signing for Jaguar Racing

Our friendship has been affected, admits Rahal

Jaguar's chief executive insists he has not given up on the battle to capture Formula 1's top designer for his Milton Keynes-based outfit, but did concede that Newey's decision to stay at McLaren was a personal as well as a professional disappointment.

"I think friendship is always based on trust and good faith, and obviously I personally feel those have been severely damaged in this situation," said Rahal, whose friendship with Newey began in the 1980s when Newey was his engineer in Champ Cars.

"But this is not the case of being the jilted lover or anything like that. This is not an emotional thing. I am a big boy and life has all these kinds of ups and downs. Sure, it is a disappointment from a personal sense, but that's just part of life and we go on."

Rahal added that the battle to secure the services of the 42-year-old Englishman who has helped win six drivers' titles and six manufacturers' titles with Williams and McLaren would run and run.

"We have not seen the end of this for some time," said Rahal. "We will just see what happens over the course of probably several months.

"Our legal team is pursuing all options. Queens Counsel have declared it a legally binding commitment. I do not want to get into semantics, but it is a legally binding agreement, very specific in detail. It was a very important move and I do not think we should let go."

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