HERBERT SIGNS WITH STEWART-FORD TEAM The Stewart-Ford team announced today that Britain's Johnny Herbert will join them at the beginning of the 1999 FIA Formula One World Championship season. Herbert has reached agreement on a two-year deal....
HERBERT SIGNS WITH STEWART-FORD TEAM
The Stewart-Ford team announced today that Britain's Johnny Herbert will join them at the beginning of the 1999 FIA Formula One World Championship season.
Herbert has reached agreement on a two-year deal. In confirming his signing, 34-year-old Herbert said: 'Joining Stewart-Ford is a fantastic opportunity for me. The team, though still in its infancy, has already made a big impression in Formula One. I beli eve that with the chassis improvements I know about for 1999, and with Ford pushing ahead with its engine programme, I have a great chance to help the team to the top of the Formula One tree.'
Welcoming Johhny to the fold, Jackie Stewart, the Chairman of Stewart Grand Prix, said: 'We are very pleased indeed to have Johnny Herbert on board. As a British team it's very nice for us to have a British driver who has so much experience and has alread y proven that he is a winner. The whole team is looking forward to linking up with him.'
Paul Stewart, the Managing Director of Stewart Grand Prix, added: 'Johnny is a perfect fit for the team. He's a hard racer and he is also capable of consistently bringing the car home to a finish. His affable nature, allied to his wealth of experience at the sharp end of Formula One, will be invaluable attributes as the team continues its development. I'm confident that the manner in which we are structuring the team for the 1999 season, along with the development work which is already well advanced, we c an supply a car which will be very competitive.'
Herbert's decision to join Stewart-Ford extends a Formula One relationship with the Blue Oval - an alliance which stretches back to his first stint with Benetton-Ford in 1989.
Martin Whitaker, Ford European Director of Motorsport, said: 'I'm delighted to welcome Johnny to the Stewart-Ford team and we all look forward to working with him next year. Johnny is a Grand Prix winner and during his 10 years in Formula One he has had a long involvement with Ford and his experience, talent and personality will be a valuable asset to the team. In 1999 the combination of Johnny and the brand new Ford Zetec-R V10 will, I'm sure, prove a competitive package and help us achieve Ford's initia l goal of returning to the front of the Formula One grid.'
Herbert has competed in 126 Grands Prix and has amassed 83 FIA World Championship points. He made his Formula One debut in 1989 with Benetton-Ford, finishing fourth in his maiden race, the Brazilian Grand Prix in Rio. For the last two races of the 1989 se ason he drove for Tyrrell-Cosworth. He was with Lotus from 1990-1993 and drove for Lotus, Ligier and Benetton in 1994. Since 1996 he has been a member of the Sauber team.
The highlight of his Formula One career to date came in 1995 when he recorded Grand Prix victories in Great Britain and Italy. He was also third in Japan in the same year to end his most successful season with 45 points and fourth place in the World Champ ionship.
He began his motor racing career in karting in 1974. He progressed to Formula Ford and Formula Three and was crowned British Champion in 1987. He recovered from terrible injuries sustained in a Formula 3000 accident at Brands Hatch in August 1988 to embark on what has become a distinguished Formula One career.
He had a stint in International Formula 3000 in 1988 and Japanese Formula 3000 in 1990 combined with testing duties with Lotus. The following year, partnering Volker Wielder and Bertrand Gachot, he won the Le Mans 24 Hour race.