Jordan has confirmed Nick Heidfeld as one of its race drivers for 2004 after the German tested for the team over the winter. Ex-Sauber man Heidfeld was one of the favourties to take a race seat at Jordan and had a preliminary contract in place ...
Jordan has confirmed Nick Heidfeld as one of its race drivers for 2004 after the German tested for the team over the winter. Ex-Sauber man Heidfeld was one of the favourties to take a race seat at Jordan and had a preliminary contract in place towards the end of last year.
"I am optimistic that we have the tools to mount a reasonable contest against the midfield teams this year. Nick is a very quick driver with the talent and experience we need in order to grab every opportunity we can this season."
For Heidfeld the deal is a relief: the German's future was uncertain after coming to the end of his contract with Sauber and with the new test driver regulations, options for experienced drivers were few and far between.
"I am very happy to sign a deal with Jordan Ford," he said. "It was a strange experience doing the tests, especially the last one in Barcelona, without being officially part of the team, because I really felt like I was already part of Jordan. It's nice to work with all the people here and I'm looking forward to this season very much."
"It will be exciting to take the new EJ14 car out next week, after spending today at the factory to do my seat fitting and seeing the 2004 car coming together for the first time. The last couple of weeks and months have been quite difficult for me so not only am I happy to be signing with Jordan, I'm also relieved."
"This season is going to be interesting and I'm particularly looking forward to the new races in Bahrain and Shanghai. I think these races are good for Formula One, after all it's a World Championship so we should go all over the world. I always like going to new circuits and enjoy visiting countries where I've never been before -- that's always interesting."
Since negotiations between Jordan and Jos Verstappen came to a halt recently, whom will take the second race seat remains speculation. Former Renault test driver Allan McNish has been in talks with the team and 2003 Jordan driver Ralph Firman remains hopeful. Justin Wilson is still looking for an F1 drive too, but finances will be the biggest hurdle for any prospective candidate.
Jordan will be on track at Silverstone for two days early in February. Heidfeld will be behind the wheel as will Timo Glock, who tested for the team recently, on the 4th and 5th.