FEBRUARY 1, 2003
Jordan and Red Bull
Last summer Eddie Jordan was being accused - including by this website - of having lost interest in Formula 1. Jordan argued that this was not the case and said that he was as dedicated as ever to make his team a success. Whatever the case then it is now clear that Jordan has decided to go it alone and he must therefore be saluted for having bitten the bullet and not sold the team to Red Bull, despite considerable pressure for him to sell out and depart the sport. Red Bull was the easy way out for Jordan and the fact that he has not chosen that path suggests that he is still willing to fight on.
The problem is that there is no evidence that Jordan has enough money to make it through this season. EJ has always been a gambler and it may be that he is bargaining on his marketing team being able to find enough money to get through the year with the last resort being to go back to Red Bull and do a deal later in the year. The Austrian drinks company has not given up its desire to be an F1 team owner.
Our sources say that the collapse of the Red Bull deal may have been the cause of the collapse of Felipe Massa's bid to join the team: Massa was a Red Bull driver last year with Sauber and is a good man to help Red Bull promote its products in Latin America. Massa may now take up the offer to become a test driver either with Sauber or possibly with Ferrari, although the World Champions already have two confirmed test drivers in Luca Badoer and Luciano Burti.
This leaves Jordan looking for a driver with money and although there has been a lot of talk that Benson & Hedges will not return we still think that there is a possibility that there will be some kind of a deal if there is a British driver involved in the program. This probably explains the recent surge in interest in Ralf Firman Jr., who is a dual national with both British and Irish antecedents. The Irish link is clearly something important and our sources say that there may be a deal for the team to get backing from Ford Ireland, which is pushing hard at the moment to increase its brand image and to sell more vehicles. One could speculate that Ford Europe may even be involved in such a project as the company needs to sell more cars across Europe and supporting Jordan - a big name in Ireland - could help achieve that goal. The Ford Focus is currently Ireland's best selling car but the market has contracted dramatically in the last 18 months, which leaves room for expansion, particularly in the luxury end of the market which is traditionally swayed by Formula 1 associations.One way or another the future of Jordan in the next few months is going to be very interesting.
|Print News Story|