McRae awaits team orders

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The Independent Online
Motor sport

Scotland's Colin McRae must wait to find out whether he will be hindered by Subaru team orders in his attempt to become Britain's first world rally champion next month.

Although the team leader, Carlos Sainz, will drive for Japanese rivals Toyota next season, Subaru have not yet decided whether to employ the strategy they used in last week's Catalunya Rally for the RAC Rally, which begins in Chester on 19 November.

McRae was told to step aside when in front and allow Sainz to win his home rally. The team-mates now share the lead in the World Championship.

The head of the Subaru team, David Richards, has paid tribute to Sainz for his part in taking the team to the verge of success. "Carlos joined us when we were just starting out on a full World Championship challenge - now we're firmly established at the top of the table," he said. "We wish Carlos every success in the future and will certainly be presenting him with his major opposition next season."

Subaru expect shortly to announce a new team-mate for McRae, who will stay on with the Banbury-based outfit for the next two years, and Richards promised that his team would be just as formidable next year. "Colin is the sort of driver on whom it's possible to build a strong, committed, successful team - something that has not always been possible in the past," he said.

n Niki Lauda, the former Formula One world champion, said yesterday that Ferrari will decide by the end of the year if he is to continue as adviser to the Italian team and its newly signed driver, the world champion-elect Michael Schumacher. "I'm willing to stay at Ferrari, if my presence is considered useful," Lauda said.