23 year-old Londoner Sam Hancock made a solid start to his International Formula 3000 career in Hockenheim last weekend, making his debut for the Jordan Grand Prix Junior Team. The late conclusion of the deal meant Hancock was very much "in at the deep-end" with both an unfamiliar car and circuit, so expectations remained realistic.
Hancock impressed with his sensible approach. After qualifying 14th, he brought the car home in a very credible 13th following an agonizing race where he struggled (as many drivers have done) with the "HANS" safety-collar, which left him with a painful neck and a complete loss of feeling in his hands.
Team Principal David Sears: "Given the circumstances I was thoroughly impressed by Sam's performance. My instructions to him were to keep the car on the track and learn as much as he could for the following races. His technical feedback has been very strong and he's made no mistakes despite a difficult race - as far as I am concerned, Sam can be very proud of his performance. I was very happy with him indeed, and see real potential. "
Sam Hancock: " As predicted, it was a tough weekend but I've certainly enjoyed it. This career progression should have happened three years ago after I was winning races in the Formula Palmer Audi Championship, so you'll understand that to finally be here, driving for one of the very best teams, in front of the Grand Prix crowds is a very special feeling. It's a testimony to all my sponsors and supporters who have helped me tirelessly. In particular I must thank the Jordan Junior Team whose meticulous preparation and professionalism have helped me enormously in last few days. By the time we get to Hungary we'll have this HANS problem solved, so I can focus properly on the job in hand without unnecessary distractions. "