Frentzen to drive the second Jordan?

Heinz-Harald Frentzen, British GP 2002

Heinz-Harald Frentzen, British GP 2002 

 © The Cahier Archive

THE Formula 1 world is never short of surprises and after Giancarlo Fisichella was declared unfit to drive on Saturday morning it looked as though Jordan would be running just one car on Sunday afternoon. But Eddie Jordan and Bernie Ecclestone had other plans. At close to seven o'clock the FIA announced that the stewards had no objection if Heinz-Harald Frentzen, who did not qualify his Arrows, were to take over Jordan number 9. This car was not qualified but the stewards said that the circumstances warranted "force majeure" and were confident that Frentzen was capable of doing the job.

The FIA statement said that "provided there are no contractual difficulties and provided all teams competing in the 2002 French GP agree in writing by 0915 on Sunday the car would be allowed to start from the back of the grid.

This ruling is extraordinary in that it creates an alarming precedent, allowing a driver who is not qualified to race a car in a Grand Prix.

Our sources suggest that the FIA was not very keen on the idea but agreed to it if everyone involved agreed and that there were no contractual difficulties. The big issue on Saturday night was whether or not Frentzen's own management would agree to the deal as there might be legal implications in his law suit with Jordan about his contract for this year. It is thus rather unlikely that Frentzen will actually drive on Sunday but the German, who had been heading to the airport to fly to Cannes on his private jet when he received a call telling him not to go, has until the morning to decide.

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