F1

Jordan Signs Fisichella

Eddie Jordan today named the man who will partner Ralf Schumacher at Benson and Hedges Total Jordan Peugeot next season. Jordan has chosen the highly acclaimed Italian driver Giancarlo Fisichella, signing the 23 year old on a two year contract...

Eddie Jordan today named the man who will partner Ralf Schumacher at Benson and Hedges Total Jordan Peugeot next season. Jordan has chosen the highly acclaimed Italian driver Giancarlo Fisichella, signing the 23 year old on a two year contract to the team.

"We were all extremely impressed with Giancarlo when he tested for us just before Christmas" said Eddie. "His technical feedback was very good, and he approached the work with professionalism and enthusiasm. Most importantly though he was quick. In very difficult Weather conditions, he proved beyond any doubt that he has the speed necessary for success in Formula One.

"I'm very pleased to welcome Fisichella to the team" Eddie continued, "and thankful to Giancarlo Minardi for his help in facilitating the move. "I believe that Giancarlo Fishichella and Ralf Schumacher will prove to be a formidable pairing. Jordan has traditionally had it best success with young drivers, and I believe these two men can continue that tradition. Winning is an attitude of mind and both Giancarlo and Ralf have already demonstrated that attitude",

Fisichella collected a host of karting titles as a junior before graduating to Formula 3 in 1992. He won a race in his very first season, and just two years later had taken the Italian F3 championship crown. En-route to that title he recorded 10 wins, including the prestigious Monaco F3 Grand Prix. Giancarlo was signed up straight-away by Minardi, making his F1 debut with the team at the 1996 Australian GP. Budgetary restrictions limited him to 8 Formula One outings with Minardi last year, but Giancarlo Minardi loaned his young charge to Alfa Romeo with whom he contested the ITC Championship.

"We are extremely satisfied to have secured a two year contract with Jordan for Fisichella" said Mr Minardi, "and pleased that our efforts to find a suitable team for him have finally been rewarded. It is a particular pleasure for me to have managed to get an Italian driver into such an up-and-coming team.. I am sure that Giancarlo will thrive in the Jordan atmosphere and the team's professionalism wilt enable him to grow and be very successful".

"I am thrilled to be given such a fantastic opportunity" said Fisichella, who has homes in Oxford and in Rome. "To suddenly get a chance in F1 with a competitive and high profile team like for Jordan, is a dream come true. I am very thankful to Giancarlo Minardi and to Flavio Briatore for their support over the past and I am determined to give 100% of my time and energy to do a good job for my new team. I hope this will be a successful year and I am sure that Jordan will not be disappointed in me".

-- Stephen M Baines

"[The Autosport sticker] started to peel off in the middle of Eau Rouge and it distracted me. In fact it was the first thing to hit the barrier" Tiff Needell - Jaguar XJR-15 Challenge - Interview with Autosport

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