JANUARY 27, 2005
Who will drive now that Jordan has money?
The news that the Midland F1 operation is to take over Jordan Grand Prix has changed the possibilities for the team's drivers in 2005. Originally Jordan was looking for cash and while the Russians would be unwise to turn away a deal which involves plenty of money from useful drivers like Timo Glock and Robert Doornbos, the team does have the cash to look elsewhere. The team's new director Colin Kolles is keen on BAR test driver Anthony Davidson, as is team manager Trevor Carlin who ran Davdison in British Formula 3. The problem is that BAR wants Davidson at its beck and call in 2006 in case Jenson Button takes off to Williams. Thus it might be an idea to let Davdison run with Jordan to get some racing miles under his belt but that would mean that the team would need to find another man to do the all-important set-up and tyre work at Grands Prix, something which is increasingly important in 2005. The problem for BAR is that the team cannot absoluately guarantee Davidson a job in 2006 unless it is willing to drop Takuma Sato and that is not likely because Honda likes to have the Japanese star in the team - and, it has to be said, he is doing a good job. For Midland, however, getting Davidson for just one year would have limited value and it might be wiser to use Glock and Doornbos and let them pay for a lot of the 2005 programme while the team gears up for its own proper effort in 2006.
At the same time the team must be a good bet for whichever driver does not land the second Williams drive. Nick Heidfeld already knows the team well but might prefer to be a Williams third driver rather than race a Jordan while Antonio Pizzonia might decide that he cannot wait around for a Williams drive forever and that Jordan is a better option. There has been talk of bringing Mario Dominguez across from Champ Car in the future but the Mexican will need to up his game over there this year if he is going to impress F1 team bosses.
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