SEPTEMBER 25, 1995
Jordan confirms Eddie and Rubens
AS suggested two weeks ago in F1 FOREIGN REPORT, Eddie Jordan has decided to keep the same drivers for 1996 - and he looks like having Eddie Irvine and Rubens Barrichello in 1997 as well.
Irvine has a contract to continue with the team until the end of the 1997 season, although his 1996 option had to be taken up by September 30th. Barrichello was a free agent and had talks with both Benetton and Ferrari. Both rejected the young Brazilian which left him in a very weak bargaining position as he had no sensible alternative to Jordan. Eddie Jordan was thus able to insist that Rubens accept a two-year contract. Barrichello no longer brings sponsorship money to the team, but there is no doubt that several important sponsors on the Jordan are only there because of Barrichello's presence in the team: notably deals with Pepsi Brazil and Pizza Hut Brazil.
Barrichello may be disappointed at having to stay with Jordan for a fourth season rather than rushing off to an established top team. At 23, however, he remains the youngest driver in F1 at the moment.
Jordan is planning to expand its test team in the winter to enable a more intensive testing program to be planned for 1996. This may involve the hiring of a test driver to help Irvine and Barrichello with the development work. Peugeot has long been keen on French driver Laurent Aiello, while Jordan also has links with Italian F3000 driver Fabrizio de Simone.
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