The news this week that Jordan will be taken over by the Midland Group in the future has left Minardi's Paul Stoddart as something of a minority in F1. Stoddart and Jordan often supported each other at the difficult end of the grid, being in charge of the two most financially-challenged teams. Now Minardi faces a hard task if Midland gives Jordan a much needed cash injection.
"I think he's going to be sadly missed," said Stoddart of Jordan. "He's a hell of a character but yes, I am a little bit lonely. Obviously we are going to have to lift our game."
"If the effect of the new ownership is to inject enormous amounts of cash into Jordan, it makes my job tougher this year because quietly, without saying anything, I had felt quite optimistic that I could be racing Jordan in the second half of this year."
"Perhaps if the money is spent in the right direction, and I'm sure they (Midland) have got good people who will tell them to do that, perhaps I may be rather lonely with a very minute budget compared to the nearest rival."
"We've got the smallest budget in Formula One and if there were a championship for best value per dollar spent, we'd win a string of them. But there isn't so we've got to get real, we've got to lift our game. That's all that's left for us to do, we've got to find more sponsorship or more money from Bernie (Ecclestone)."
Jordan will continue to work with the team, which will still be known as Jordan Grand Prix in 2005, but will take a step back from running the Silverstone squad. "I've got a lot of time for Eddie Jordan and I'm going to miss him," said Stoddart. "But I am sure that we have not seen the last of Eddie Jordan in the pit lane, I promise you that."