AUGUST 11, 1997
Fisichella and the contract recognition board
BEFORE Eddie Jordan can decide on his drivers for next season the Irish team boss must work out the contractual situation between Giancarlo Fisichella and Benetton. The Italian team announced recently that Fisichella would be joining next year but we believe that Flavio Briatore did not inform the FIA Contract Recognition Board that he would be taking up the option and this may mean that Fisichella - who appears to want to stay at Jordan - could get out of the contract because the option has now lapsed. If that happens the Benetton-Fisichella contract could be declared null and void which would put Giancarlo back on the F1 job market.
We believe that Fisichella went to Switzerland after the Hungarian GP in an effort to sort out the problems with the Recognition Board and there should be a decision before the Belgian Grand Prix.
Jordan is understood to have only five names on its list of possible drivers: Ralf Schumacher and Fisichella, Mika Hakkinen, David Coulthard and Jean Alesi. We have, however, heard that Mika Salo is also talking to the team.
The management of Tyrrell recently spent three hours at a restaurant in London trying to convince Mika to stay with them.