Fight for Jordan seat goes on

Fight for Jordan seat goes on

Formula One's current long running soap opera of whom will get the spare race seat at Jordan will possibly come to an end this week, although like all soap operas, they may decide to revive it again. Last week had Felipe Massa's press officer ...

Formula One's current long running soap opera of whom will get the spare race seat at Jordan will possibly come to an end this week, although like all soap operas, they may decide to revive it again. Last week had Felipe Massa's press officer claiming the deal was all but signed for the Brazilian to join Jordan, yet come the weekend no announcement was made.

2002 Formula Nippon Champion Ralph Firman.
Photo by Hiroshi Yamamura.
Massa was favourite at one point but now the pendulum has swung in favour of British driver Ralph Firman, last year's Formula Nippon champion. According to the UK media, Firman's signing was expected to be revealed tomorrow after a seat fitting today -- but a Jordan spokesperson denied any deal had been done, although something may be announced later this week.

So far, so unenlightening. After Eddie Irvine took himself out of the picture, it seemed Massa and Firman were the main contenders, although Jordan would only commit itself to saying it was still in talks with 'several' drivers. Now another name has recently appeared for consideration, that of sometime McLaren test driver Gary Paffett.

The young German F3 champion showed some good performances in winter testing at Valencia recently and is reportedly "ready for Formula One, as a test driver or even as a race driver."

Massa has the edge in experience, although not a great deal after his single season with Sauber, and possibly the best financial prospects to bring to Jordan. However, team sponsor Benson & Hedges has long been speculated to want a British driver on board, so Firman and Paffett have that on their side.

With only a few weeks to go before the season opener at Melbourne, Jordan desperately needs some track time with the new Jordan Ford EJ13 and a partner for Giancarlo Fisichella will surely have to be announced soon.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Eddie Irvine , Giancarlo Fisichella , Felipe Massa , Ralph Firman , Gary Paffett
Teams Sauber , McLaren , Jordan