NOVEMBER 18, 1996
Decision time for Jordan
EDDIE JORDAN is expected to decide shortly who will be the second driver for Benson & Hedges Jordan Peugeot next season. The team has been holding off on a decision until it is certain what is going to happen with Jean Alesi and Benetton. Alesi and Benetton boss Flavio Briatore are understood to have met last week to discuss the problems between them and the outcome of that meeting will decide Jordan's future driver.
If Alesi becomes available he will almost certainly be signed by Jordan - Jean raced for Jordan in Formula 3000 in 1989, winning the International Championship and Eddie Jordan has long thought that he can moderate Alesi's famously mercurial personality and turn him into a winner. Signing Alesi would please engine supplier Peugeot as Jean is France's top racer, which would guarantee better publicity for the team in France.
If Jean stays at Benetton things become more complicated for Jordan. Peugeot and Benson & Hedges both want a high profile driver and the nearest to that available would be Jos Verstappen. Martin Brundle must be considered because of his enormous experience in F1 but there are members of the Jordan team who do not support Martin's candidature. Peugeot recently asked Jordan to test Williams test driver Jean-Christophe Boullion. The 1994 International Formula 3000 Champion impressed the team but also had an accident.
Boullion has had a difficult F1 career to date. He was signed up as Williams test driver in 1995 but after just a coupe of months was lent to Sauber - who needed a replacement for Karl Wendlinger. Williams took the opportunity to use Boullion as a measure of Heinz-Harald Frentzen's talent. Boullion did not do well but was re-signed by Williams for 1996.
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