Pantano closing on Jordan drive?

Recent reports indicate that Italian Giorgio Pantano is a likely contender for the remaining race seat at Jordan, which makes things look grim for the two British hopefuls. The team signed Nick Heidfeld last month and it seemed that Jos Verstappen...

Recent reports indicate that Italian Giorgio Pantano is a likely contender for the remaining race seat at Jordan, which makes things look grim for the two British hopefuls. The team signed Nick Heidfeld last month and it seemed that Jos Verstappen would be his teammate until talks between the Dutchman and Jordan came to a halt last week.

With Verstappen out of the running, Allan McNish and Ralph Firman were back in the picture but they might have lost the chance. Pantano, who was German F3 champion in 2000 and raced in F3000 the last two years, is due to join Jordan at Jerez this week.

"We're talking to him and he's going to come down to see what's going on," a Jordan spokesperson said, according to Reuters, although it's not been confirmed that he will actually be driving. Other sources claim that Pantano will be testing and a deal is close.

Eddie Jordan is keen for an experienced driver -- Pantano won the F3 title on his first try and has tested with Benetton, McLaren and Williams. Lack of finances has held the 25 year-old Italian back but Pantano has reportedly gathered around $5 million in promised sponsorship.

It seems that Jordan sponsor Benson and Hedges has backed down from offering more cash in favour of having a British driver on board. The team has been testing German Timo Glock recently but you never know what Eddie Jordan has up his sleeve. So it looks like the intrigue will continue a little while longer.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jos Verstappen , Nick Heidfeld , Giorgio Pantano , Allan McNish , Eddie Jordan , Ralph Firman , Timo Glock
Teams McLaren , Williams , Benetton , Jordan