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MAY 20, 2004

Pantano hobbles in

Giorgio Pantano might have wished for an easier first season in Formula 1. Amid rumours that the Italian will be replaced because he has not been able to keep up to date with payments to Jordan Grand Prix, Pantano has now injured his knee playing football. The youngster hobbled into pitlane at Monaco on Wednesday afternoon hoping to be able to drive at the weekend but much will depend on how he goes in the test sessions on Thursday.

Logic would dictate that if Pantano is not fit, the team would put F1 veteran Jos Verstappen into the car - in the knowledge that signing up Verstappen would bring a financial bonus from Trust Computers - but life in F1 is never that simple because the team's reserve driver Timo Glock is believed to have a contract which says that if a replacement driver is needed then Glock will get the chance. Putting another driver in the car may even be an impossible move.

Glock has never raced in F1 and never raced at Monaco, putting the German youngster into the Jordan would be a huge risk. However new boys can do well at Monaco, as was shown last year by Cristiano da Matta.

For now, however, Pantano is in the car...