Jordan confident of Pantano deal

Jordan is expected to announce Giorgio Pantano as its second driver, with a deal reportedly due to be closed today, February 11th. Pantano, who tried out the EJ14 at Jerez yesterday, has become the main contender for the last race seat in F1 after...

Jordan is expected to announce Giorgio Pantano as its second driver, with a deal reportedly due to be closed today, February 11th. Pantano, who tried out the EJ14 at Jerez yesterday, has become the main contender for the last race seat in F1 after Jos Verstappen dropped out. Jordan's business manager Ian Phillips thinks signing Pantano will go ahead.

"We have received all the necessary assurances from Pantano's management that his sponsorship will be in place by Wednesday," Phillips told The Guardian. "Until that is in place the deal is technically still not done. We are confident it will be."

So it seems the Italian F3000 driver will partner Nick Heidfeld next year. However, Verstappen was in the same position until last week so nothing can be certain until Jordan officially confirms it. The EJ14 is now running without the Trust logo, Verstappen's major sponsor, as it did at the shakedown, so the Dutchman's dealings with the team are apparently permanently ended.

Allan McNish has given up on any chance of the Jordan seat and will return to sportscars this year with Audi. He will race in the Le Mans endurance series along with former F1 driver Johnny Herbert.

"Eddie (Jordan) was straight with me all the way, he is in the situation of having to take the driver with most money," said McNish in regard to his talks with the team boss. "Circumstances in motor sport dictate that at the moment."

Pantano has previously tested for Bentton, McLaren and Williams. He managed 33 laps at Jerez yesterday, familiarizing himself with the car. Heidfeld and Pantano continue at the circuit today.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jos Verstappen , Johnny Herbert , Nick Heidfeld , Giorgio Pantano , Allan McNish
Teams McLaren , Williams , Jordan