After celebrating its tenth season in Formula One at Donington Park on Sunday, 3rd September, the Benson and Hedges Jordan team returns to the circuit where last year it scored arguably its finest Grand Prix victory. The 1999 Italian Grand Prix...
After celebrating its tenth season in Formula One at Donington Park on Sunday, 3rd September, the Benson and Hedges Jordan team returns to the circuit where last year it scored arguably its finest Grand Prix victory. The 1999 Italian Grand Prix winner, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, believes his and the teams chances are strong again this year, " Monza is a low downforce circuit like Hockenheim and I believe we can be strong this coming weekend," explains the German driver. "In Spa we were not able to keep up with McLaren or Ferrari during the race, but I hope to be able to fight more with them in Italy. Our testing programme at Monza, where we concentrated particularly on brakes, has been successful. I really enjoy racing in Monza as it is the fastest circuit of the calendar and handling the car through the fast corners is a big challenge. A good grid position is important because overtaking is surprisingly hard, and I feel we can fight for the front row of the grid in qualifying."
The Monza circuit has been amended for the 2000 Grand Prix as Frentzen explains, "The Goodyear chicane has been altered slightly this year from a double chicane into a single right left combination that has become even slower. The speed into the chicane has been reduced from 80 Km/h down to 60 so lap times will have about an extra two seconds added on to them. It will be interesting to see how the field copes with the new chicane at the start as it is even tighter and slower than before, which could cause quite a few problems."
For Jordan's Italian driver, Jarno Trulli, the weekend in Monza will be a chance for him to demonstrate the competitiveness he showed in Spa in front of his home crowd, " Monza is a very important circuit for me personally. Our car will be strong as it is suited to circuits like Monza. I would say that this is one of the last circuits were we can really challenge for podium positions and I look forward to producing a good performance in front of my home fans. The alterations made to Monza this year are very important in terms of improving safety, but it is too early to comment on how the changes will affect performance. In the past we would go into the first corner using the curbs to full effect. This corner is typically taken in second gear, every inch of the circuit being used to get a clean run into the long straight. You then start breaking, shifting down to second gear, once again cutting the curbs on the left and right. The approach to the first part of Curva Di Lesmo, a long right hander, is taken in third gear and it is very easy to lose the car here. The second part of Curva Di Lesmo is slightly slower and it is important to leave the exit at speed, as there is another long straight before Ascari.
Ascari is another left right combination of turns and it is important to carry speed through it into the long straight before Parabolica. Ascari is taken in third gear and you change to fourth for the exit, shifting up to fifth and sixth for the straight. Parabolica, the final corner, is a hard breaking third gear corner. This is a very important corner and if taken correctly, gives you the speed for the final straight. Parabolica is exited in fourth gear, moving through the gears to sixth when crossing over the start finish line. At Monza, you need to push hard on every part of the circuit to gain the extra tenths. It is very hard to affect lap times as it is a high-speed circuit and it is difficult to overtake. To get ahead of the rest you need a good car with a good engine.
Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Jarno Trulli had an enjoyable weekend celebrating Jordan's ten years in Formula One together with thousands of Jordan Grand Prix supporters and motor racing fans who flocked to Donington Park on Sunday. Party goers were treated to track action from Frentzen and Trulli, who demonstrated the EJ10, as well as from Jordan's first drivers, John Watson and Andrea de Cesaris, who put the famous green Jordan-Ford 191 through its paces.
"Only Jordan could hold a party like this," exclaimed Jarno Trulli. "It is fantastic to have all the team, staff, families, sponsors and friends together, and to see all these supporters. It's something else!" "We had a lot of fun," added Frentzen. "It is very special to be able to demonstrate our car in this unique environment with all the fans so close to the action."
Eddie Jordan founder and Chief Executive said, "I never dreamed of a celebration like this," he said. " I must say it was the most amazing event - quite an emotional experience."
The day finished in true Jordan style with a special celebration rock concert, held in aid CLIC (Cancer and Leukaemia in Childhood). Hosted by DJ, Chris Evans, Chart toppers, Westlife made a special appearance to celebrate with Eddie and his team. The crowds also enjoyed performances from recently signed RCA act, 'Made in London', and Thin Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham and 70's side-kick Brian Robertson recreated some of the groups most memorable songs.
Those in the UK and Ireland who missed the event can watch the day captured by ITV's cameras in a half-hour programme to be broadcast next weekend. Broadcast times vary depending on region.