Interview with Allan McNish
Q: There have been rumours linking you to a seat at Jordan, can you confirm anything as yet?
Allan McNish: I'm still talking with Jordan at the moment and things are progressing. I've visited the factory and seen the car and the wind tunnel, and I'm right up to speed with where the team is. There's been so much speculation recently over this seat with Jordan, but that's only to be expected with only a few places left up for grabs, however with the new testing regulations it puts even more emphasis on an experienced driver.
Q: Jordan has been very open about needing a driver who can bring some money with them - what position does that put you in?
AM: Fortunately I have never been in the position of being asked for money from a team to drive and teams recognize what value I bring both on and off track. Eddie is working very hard to secure the teams position for the future and I am sure he will succeed, he is best when his back is against the wall.
Q: What are your options if you don't get the drive at Jordan?
AM: At the moment I'm just concentrating on working things out with Jordan but I am in the very fortunate position of having a number of options open to me so we'll just have to see how things pan out.
Q: What else have you been doing in the run up to Christmas?
AM: A couple of days after the Autosport Awards I went and did some filming with Crysalis Television for ITV's review of the 2003 season and a look forward at the 2004 season.
It was really good fun being back in the studio again -my brief stint in the studio with ITV during the Canadian Grand Prix last year really whetted my interest. It's so interesting seeing what goes on behind the scenes, and to see a sport I'm so passionate about from a completely different angle. I really enjoy working with professionals like Jim Rosenthal and Martin Brundle - they're such old hands now make everything appear so easy. The roundup is going out on ITV at 1:10pm on 27 December.
I've also been involved in some promotional work out in the Philippines with Mild Seven - that was an interesting couple of days involving lots of interviews. A few weeks ago I also attended Renault UK's Annual Dealer Conference.
And in between everything else I'm still concentrating on my fitness. I've been focussing particularly on cycling which is a great way of maintaining, and improving, fitness - especially with all the hills around Monaco. When you're in a car you don't appreciate quite how steep some of the slopes are but when you're on two wheels realisation dawns very quickly - and painfully!
Q: Did you enjoy the Autosport Awards?
AM: The Autosport Awards is the event which honours the achievements that have been made in the last year - and also gives everyone the opportunity for a huge knees up!
The whole nation still seems to be gripped by rugby mania and there was a lot of banter going on between Mark Webber and Steve Ryder which gave us all a good laugh. Matt Dawson, who's a huge motorsport fan, was there and presented Jenson Button with an award. Matt must have felt right at home as there were a couple of renditions of 'Swing low......' during the night. And whilst on the subject of awards, it was great to see David Coulthard get the BRDC Gold Star - my sense of patriotism runs very deep!
Once the formalities were over, everyone just relaxed and I could go and catch up with old friends - I was particularly pleased to see Gil de Ferran who I hadn't seen for far too long. Once again it was a great night, although I probably spent a bit too much time at the bar!