Honda website
Honda website

JULY 22, 1996

Will Magnussen get a chance at Jordan?

THERE were rumors circulating at the British GP that Danish rising star Jan Magnussen could be racing for Jordan within a few weeks. There may not be much to the rumors - except perhaps to spur on the Jordan-Peugeot drivers - but it would make a lot of sense for the Dane to get some F1 mileage - which he has not been getting at McLaren this year.

Magnussen had hoped to do more McLaren testing, but the arrival of Alain Prost as the team's "technical advisor" this year has meant that Jan has done very little running. He tested in the winter while Mika Hakkinen was recovering from his injuries but since then has run only a handful of tests - mainly dull aerodynamic mapping work.

Magnussen signed up as McLaren's test driver at the end of 1994, having dominated the British Formula 3 series, winning 14 of his 18 races. He has since raced in the German touring car series for Mercedes-Benz but to date has competed in only one GP, standing in for Hakkinen at the 1995 Pacific GP when the Finn had an appendicitis operation.

Magnussen wants to get back to racing single-seaters and his manager David Sears says that he will definitely be racing in F1 next year, although he refuses to say with which team this will be. The new Stewart Grand Prix is an obvious choice - Magnussen having raced for Stewart in F3 - but Jordan is also a sensible bet. Sears was one of Eddie Jordan Racing's first F3 drivers when the team was formed in 1980 and Jordan is known to have a healthy respect for David's talent-spotting abilities.

Martin Brundle's position at Jordan next year is uncertain. Rubens Barrichello, however, has another year to run on his Jordan contract. If Jordan does decide that Magnussen is his man for next year there is little point in continuing with Brundle and it would be wiser to get Magnussen into a car and running.