The remaining race seats for 2004 are dwindling away and the focus of the moment seems to be on Jordan, for what could be two vacancies. Giancarlo Fisichella has already cut his ties to the team in favour of Sauber next season and Ralph Firman's...
The remaining race seats for 2004 are dwindling away and the focus of the moment seems to be on Jordan, for what could be two vacancies. Giancarlo Fisichella has already cut his ties to the team in favour of Sauber next season and Ralph Firman's seat is by no means certain.
Firman, of course, would like to stay: "I have always wanted to stay here," said the British driver, recovering from Saturday's high speed crash at the Hungaroring. "I have had a chat with Eddie about next year but I think he has a few other things to sort out first."
"We have got to concentrate on the next three races and make the most of them. But if they need two paying drivers then it is going to be difficult to stay here. If they don't then I still have a good chance."
"This year has been a huge learning year for me and it would be a shame to waste all that next year. I would give the team continuity and support and I am 110 percent behind the team and want to get back to winning ways with them."
Firman was replaced for the Hungarian GP by test driver Zsolt Baumgartner, who became the first Hungarian to compete in F1. However, his debut was cut short by an engine failure so it's impossible to tell his competitiveness. He too is keen to stay around at Jordan.
With Fisichella heading to Sauber, it's evident that Nick Heidfeld or Heinz-Harald Frentzen will be redundant -- or possibly both as Sauber is widely believed to be welcoming former driver, and Ferrari tester, Felipe Massa back to the fold. Eddie Jordan has expressed an interest in both of the German pair, despite past troubles with Frentzen.
Frentzen was abruptly sacked from Jordan midway through 2001 season but Eddie believes that's water under the bridge now: "Well, we all know the problems we've had in the past with Frentzen, but those are gone now," he said. "I wouldn't see why we wouldn't be able to work again in the future. The German drivers we've had in the past gave us great results so I don't see why we wouldn't want to sign up a German again."
Jordan is thought to be pursuing a deal with Mercedes for an engine supply next season, which is where Heidfeld might come into play as he is under a long-term contract to the manufacturer. However, the matter of Jordan's contract with Ford will need to be resolved first.
There is still one seat undecided at BAR, alongside Jenson Button. Boss David Richards has said not to expect a decision in the near future. Minardi is also an unknown for 2004, as is the Jaguar seat currently occupied by Justin Wilson.