Eddie Jordan, who gave Michael Schumacher his first F1 drive back in 1991, would be surprised if the reigning champion sees out his new contract that lasts until the end of 2006. Schumacher signed a deal with Ferrari for another two years this...
Eddie Jordan, who gave Michael Schumacher his first F1 drive back in 1991, would be surprised if the reigning champion sees out his new contract that lasts until the end of 2006. Schumacher signed a deal with Ferrari for another two years this week but Jordan thinks he may decide to call it a day earlier than that.
"I'd be surprised if he sees 2006 in Formula One," the Irishman told BBC radio. "When drivers are that good it is usually they who decide when to stop, not the team. These guys have a great ability to know when to call it a day and retire with an aura of greatness around them. I think he'll be like that."
Not only Schumacher has extended his contract with Ferrari: team boss JeanTodt, technical director Ross Brawn and other key members have also signed up to 2006. Schumacher said that the others continuing made his decision easier and Jordan believes all their contracts were linked.
"It is a surprise to me -- but it's not just Michael, it is the whole team there that have made him so successful," he commented. "As far as I was aware all their contracts were linked to when Michael Schumacher's was due to end in 2004."
"I'm sure he would not have done it had the other senior personnel not done it as well. There is absolutely no chance that after spending all that time and amassing the best team that he would have done it without them."
While Jordan reckons that come 2006 there will drivers out there beating Schumacher, he concedes that for the moment it is good for F1 that the champion is staying around.
"He is an outstanding driver. For me he is the best driver ever to grace Formula One. It is a daunting prospect for anyone trying to compete against that but there are young kids coming up. Montoya and Fisichella have won this year. There are new stars. In 2006 there will be someone out there who will be beating him."
"At 37 I'm not sure if he will have the passion and commitment to go on doing what he has been doing. But he has done nothing but good for the sport and it is for the greater good that he should stay on."