Eddie Jordan and Jordan Ford are looking forward to the opening race of 2003 confident that the team can return to a position where it is a threat to the front-runners. Jordan said, "I'm looking forward to the start of a new season, which I hope...
Eddie Jordan and Jordan Ford are looking forward to the opening race of 2003 confident that the team can return to a position where it is a threat to the front-runners. Jordan said, "I'm looking forward to the start of a new season, which I hope will bring exciting and entertaining racing. The EJ13 and our partnership with Ford Cosworth is a great package and, combined with a strong driver line-up, Jordan Ford is a force to be reckoned with. The teams who have had to weather difficult times have learnt important skills from that experience and will be better placed for the future. With that in mind I would like to thank my staff for their hard work and commitment in recent months."
The Jordan Ford EJ13, penned by Director of Development and Design Henri Durand, and his team of designers, is entirely different from its predecessor, with not one EJ12 component used in this year's challenger. Durand said, "The concept of the car is based on having good aerodynamic efficiency allied to engineering simplicity. We have used the considerable expertise which exists within Jordan and also with our new partners at Cosworth Racing. The Ford Cosworth RS engine is a very important aspect of the new car, which has been easy to integrate into the new design and has all of the qualities we would expect from a top ranking engine."
Jordan Ford put the EJ13 through its paces with 20 days of testing in Barcelona, Valencia and Silverstone in January and February, completing a total of 4360km with Giancarlo Fisichella and Ralph Firman clocking up 2640km and 1720km respectively. Gary Anderson, Director of Race and Test Engineering, said, "We've got through most of our planned work, which was to make the new engine and chassis work together in all areas. That was a major task but I'm content that we've got to a point where we are reasonably happy with everything. Testing highlighted some reliability issues, all of which have been addressed and I'm quite happy with the progress. It's difficult to judge our performance against other cars until we start racing but in general, the EJ13 is a better car to drive than last year's car. It's going faster and that's a combination of the car and tyres."
"Our first objective is to finish all the races, as you have to finish to get any points. Predictions for individual races are academic really but our aim for the season is to get the team into the top four in the Championship. As the season goes on, if we are not there, we have to work harder to pull ourselves up. I'd like to thank the whole team for their efforts. We are running a lean structure and that means longer hours and more commitment from everybody. It's never easy but nobody has quivered at the commitment. We're at the start of a new season and hopefully the hard work will bring us rewards."
Rob Smedley continues as Giancarlo Fisichella's race engineer, while Dominic Harlow moves from the spare car to become Ralph Firman's engineer. Gerry Hughes has joined Jordan to engineer the third car at races and oversee engineering for the team's test programme. The 33 year old joins from Jaguar Racing, where he was Eddie Irvine's race engineer for two years.
Ralph Firman has been familiarising himself with the EJ13 and the F1 environment at tests in Spain last month. He is keyed up and eager to start his first Formula One season: "I've enjoyed the testing opportunity I've had and I am very comfortable in the car. I am looking forward to the first race, in fact I can't wait to get going. We have a strong and reliable car package, which I'm very excited about. I have raced against some of these drivers before and I'll go out there and do the best I can to compete with everyone at the highest level."
Fisichella is also looking forward to firing up for the 2003 season with Jordan Ford: "The package is much better than it was last year and although there are always improvements to make, we don't know where we are compared to other teams which makes the first race thrilling. I am happy that the racing is starting again and, hopefully, I will score points. I like the circuit in Melbourne and we'll do our best."