Jordan strengthens pit team

JORDAN GRAND PRIX has opted to have three race engineers per car from the Spanish Grand Prix onwards as it attempts to turn its strong form into a position to challenge the front-runners.

Its nearest target is Williams, who plucked its pit lane guru, Australian Sam Michael, from the Jordan team at the end of 2000. Michael coordinates the efforts of the race engineers of both Williams cars and is seen by the team as a major influence in getting the combination of Williams, BMW and Michelin up to race winning pace.

Jordan has responded by now adding young British engineers Dominic Harlow to Heinz-Harald Frentzen's crew and James Key to support Jarno Trulli, acting as assistants to the senior data and race engineers, freeing them up to focus on the honing of their charges.

This is an extension of Jordan's technical talent spotting, which has links back to institutions like Oxford Brookes University. This is the team's attempt to keep the supply of new Formula 1 technicians flowing towards Jordan as the value of skilled engineers continues to soar, and new recruits ensure that Jordan, which is little more than a third the size of Ferrari, continues to challenge.

"The assistant engineer supports his race engineer by checking the car, the set-up and ensuring that the mechanics have got all the relevant information they need to work on the car, said Jordan's Head of Engineering, Tim Holloway.

"It doesn't sound much, but it's amazing how much work a race engineer has in just running around making sure mechanics have got set-up sheets and so on. At the same time, it is also a very good learning curve for the young engineers, as we want them to progress into the number one role in the future."

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