SEPTEMBER 23, 1996

Schumacher's three-year Jordan deal

EDDIE JORDAN announced in Portugal that he has signed a three-year deal with Michael Schumacher's younger brotherÊRalf. Schumacher Jr. will begin testing with the team in Estoril in 10 days time. The team hopes to find the money to sign up Damon Hill but Rubens Barrichello is standing by for the next few days in case Hill does not sign.

The Jordan driver budget will need to increase dramatically if Hill joins the team, although Schumacher Jr. will be bringing money. The Bitburger brewery is tipped to have $8m to go with Schumacher, although the young German would almost certainly get a slice of this to be his salary.

Jordan also took the opportunity to announce that Benson & Hedges - the team's biggest sponsor - has agreed to another season of sponsorship. The backing has enabled Jordan to grow into an operation employing over 100 people. This has not been easy and there have been a lot of staff leaving the team in recent months - not least team manager JohnÊWalton, who is now with TWR F1. There have also been rumors that Jordan's technical director Gary Anderson is not happy and may be considering a move. Anderson's role in the team has recently been redefined to ease the pressure on Gary and to create a more efficient management structure. As part of the reorganization the team has hired factory manager Adrian Rowlands, while the technical staff is also being strengthened with the arrival of aerodynamicist Seamus Malarky, who will work with Anderson and Darren Davies at the Southampton University windtunnel.