JULY 10, 2000
Frentzen to sign for Jordan
THE announcements at Magny Cours that Honda is to supply works engines to Jordan in 2001 and that McLaren is to retain David Coulthard and Mika Hakkinen have meant a little movement in the F1 driver market for next year and the next major announcement is expected to be the re-signing of Heinz-Harald Frentzen by Jordan for 2001 and 2002.
Frentzen joined the team on a two-year deal at the start of 1999 and has done well, winning last year's French Grand Prix and Italian Grand Prix and finishing third in the World Championship. This year has been more of a struggle but the promise of factory Honda engines next year and Benson & Hedges's desire to have a German driver means that Heinz-Harald is expected to stay with a salary of around $4m a year.
Frentzen has received offers to race elsewhere but the current state of competitiveness in F1 means that Jordan is the best choice available as McLaren and Ferrari are already full for next season. Teams which are likely to be challenging Jordan next year are Williams-BMW and, possibly, Jaguar Racing. Williams already has too many drivers and Heinz-Harald had a bad experience with the team in 1997 and 1998. The choice of Jaguar was a risky one as the team needs another couple of seasons of rebuilding and restructuring before it will begin to become competitive.