Interview with Team Principal Eddie Jordan There are suggestions this has been a tough winter for you. What do you say? EJ: It's only the journalists who have suggested that, not us. We have been very quiet over the winter. But we have ...
Interview with Team Principal Eddie Jordan
There are suggestions this has been a tough winter for you. What do you say?
EJ: It's only the journalists who have suggested that, not us. We have been very quiet over the winter. But we have demonstrated in forceful fashion, by flying a DHL Airbus into a hangar in Brussels for a launch, with the car picked up a few hours previously and then turned round ready to go to Melbourne, exactly what our new partner, DHL, is capable of. We have worked hard all through the winter for ourselves and our sponsors.
So why was the launch left to the last minute?
EJ: We didn't want to do it with anything other than a real car that was ready to go to Australia. It shows what is logistically possible these days in a world which is getting ever smaller. It wouldn't be possible to do it without partners like DHL. Our message is clear, we can deliver.
At the end of the day, it comes down to money. If asked if your 2002 budget is bigger or smaller than in 2001 what would you say?
EJ: I'd say mind your own business!! Jordan has been profitable over the past three or four years and I am now happy in the knowledge that we can do that. Of course, you can never have enough, because you are always heading for new levels and striving to move forward, pushing the boundaries of technology. But our partners are major global players and if the time came when it was imperative to move it up a gear, I believe we have partners who can respond to that. That is the power of F1; the attraction of the sport is on the increase. Even if there is a downturn in the markets, F1 is really the only true platform for global brand awareness programmes.
We've hear a lot about different specs of Honda engines. What exactly is the current situation?
EJ: We got a new engine from Honda the moment we started with the new car. We were told there were further modifications to come and they were being kept as a priority for use in Australia. We have tested a new spec last week in Silverstone, but an even higher specification will be available to us in Melbourne. Honda and Jordan do not want to disclose all our plans at the moment.
Everyone knows about Fisichella, but Sato is an unknown quantity in F1. How do you assess him so far?
EJ: At the first couple of tests, he had problems with his seating position, as he had not been used to how critical the position in the cockpit was to get the most out of the car. Then, last week we made another seat for him and the test he did after that was the best I have seen him do. He was so quick and consistent. He felt happy with himself and that has given him a confidence boost.
Have there been many changes to the chassis since you first ran it?
EJ: You are always working to optimise the car's performance. There are so many permutations that affect a car's performance. That is what makes F1 so exciting as the possibilities are endless. From that point of view I think we are going to Australia in a strong position. We have made improvements in increasing downforce, thanks to work in the wind tunnel. Over the last couple of weeks we have made a big step forward.
What is your target for this year?
EJ: To make big improvements compared with last year. When you get a taste for winning, and it's been a while now, it's like a needle in the arm. Formula 1 is like a drug and I want us to be winning again. It will not be easy as there are a lot of manufacturers involved and everyone wants results. I am much happier now going to Australia: Taku is on a very strong level, Giancarlo has already been there, the car is better, the engine is better and everything is better all round.