Eddie Jordan confirmed on January 24th that the Midland Group will take over Jordan Grand Prix in the future. For months the team has been the subject of speculation and Arden's Christian Horner was thought to be the buyer. However, the deal fell...
Eddie Jordan confirmed on January 24th that the Midland Group will take over Jordan Grand Prix in the future. For months the team has been the subject of speculation and Arden's Christian Horner was thought to be the buyer. However, the deal fell through and Horner was announced as sporting director for Red Bull Racing.
In recent weeks the speculation mounted again with the interest of Midland boss Alex Shnaider and now a contract has been signed. The team will race in 2005 as Jordan Grand Prix and the cars will be designated Jordan Toyota EJ15s. Midland is expected to reveal further details in due course.
"I have devoted 35 years of my life to motor racing and have had some really fantastic times," said Jordan in a statement. "The last fourteen years when I have been lucky enough to be involved in Formula One have been a highlight, naturally, and winning our first Grand Prix in 1998, which broke the grip that the top teams of the time had on the sport, is for me a personal triumph."
"I have to thank Bernie Ecclestone for making the introduction to Alex Shnaider of Midland F1 as I wholeheartedly believe that Midland joining with Jordan will make the team stronger. I spoke to a number of interested parties in recent months and these are absolutely the right people."
"They are totally committed and as we look to the future, we will see this team return to the competitiveness we have proved we are capable of. The sport and the required resources have changed and this deal provides the team with the security and strength it needs."
Jordan debuted in Formula One in 1991 at the US Grand Prix and Michael Schumacher made his own debut with the team in Belgium. Jordan's first victory was also in Belgium, in 1998, with drivers Damon Hill and Ralf Schumacher making it a one-two. Heinz-Harald Frentzen took two wins in 1999 and the team's last victory was with Giancarlo Fisichella at Brazil's Interlagos circuit in 2003.
"We have had some unbelievable drivers come through the team and I feel privileged to have worked with every single one of them," said Jordan. "The same goes for every member of staff who has ever worked for me, and I am also grateful for the commitment of our sponsors, engine manufacturers, technical partners, shareholders and loyal suppliers throughout the years."
"I would like to single out in particular the team's current staff who have stayed steadfast through some very testing times and I'm pleased that their future is now strengthened."
"In many ways I owe everything I have been able to achieve to my wife Marie and all the family because their unrelenting support has allowed me to pursue my dream. For most of my life I have made a business out of what is effectively my hobby -- something I realise very few people are lucky enough to experience."
Jordan will stay with the team, although in a different capacity. "I'm glad that for the time being we keep the Jordan name and I am also delighted to confirm that I will remain involved with the team and will be working with Jordan in a variety of commercial and sponsorship capacities as we move forward," he concluded.
Shnaider, a 36 year-old naturalised Canadian, made his fortune from interests in Russia and Eastern Europe. The Midland Group was founded in 1994 and is active in a number of industries, including steel manufacturing, construction and agriculture. Midland announced last year that it intended to enter F1 in 2006 and was building a team from scratch.
"I am very pleased with this development as it will give us a season of learning, and after the takeover has been completed, the chance to be competitive faster at the pinnacle of motorsport," Shnaider commented on the Jordan take over.
"Our plan to build up a team from scratch has only been altered insignificantly as the establishment of the Midland F1 team will continue according to schedule."