Once again, Jos Verstappen is having to come to terms with losing an F1 drive through no fault of his own, after Honda announced it was re-entering the sport solely as an engine supplier.


The Dutchman, who has driven for Benetton, Simtek, Tyrrell, Arrows and Stewart in a fragmented career, looked set to spearhead Honda's latest F1 effort when the Japanese company returned with a full works team in 2000. Now, however, Verstappen has been left on the sidelines as BAR and Jordan have agreed deals to use Honda-derived engines next season.


"It's an enormous disappointment," Verstappen admitted, "especially if we look at the competitive results we have achieved so far, and the great potential we had available. It has been a period when I learned a lot, and I was very optimistic for the 2000 season."


Verstappen's performances with the Honda team in recent months - where the combination shook up the established order with some scintillating testing displays - have returned him to the attention of F1 team bosses, and both the driver and manager, Huub Rothengatter, are hopeful that something positive will materialise for next year.


"We have been in similar positions before," agreed Rothengatter, "but Jos has shown in the past few months that when people really listen to him, and try to develop and set up the car to his driving style, he is able to gain remarkable results."

 

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