Massa & Firman fight for Jordan

Massa & Firman fight for Jordan

Ex-Sauber driver Felipe Massa and Formula Nippon champion Ralph Firman are the two favourites for the Jordan race seat now that Eddie Irvine has quit the fight. Jordan has already said that sponsorship a driver could bring is a key element in ...

Ex-Sauber driver Felipe Massa and Formula Nippon champion Ralph Firman are the two favourites for the Jordan race seat now that Eddie Irvine has quit the fight. Jordan has already said that sponsorship a driver could bring is a key element in choosing a partner for Giancarlo Fisichella and Massa seems to have the edge in that department.

Felipe Massa.
Photo by Mark Gledhill.
Jordan's marketing manager, Mark Gallagher, confirmed to Reuters that Massa and Firman were still in discussions with the team and a decision should be reached soon: "The discussions are coming along and it's pretty imminent," he said. "Maybe Tuesday or Wednesday next week. At the end of the day we must go testing."

Firman, who tested for BAR late last year, is betting on Massa because the Brazilian is in a better financial position: "I think Massa is favourite. He's in plum position because he has heavy backing, but perhaps nothing has been officially signed yet," the British driver commented. All may not be lost for Firman as Jordan sponsors Benson & Hedges are reportedly keen to have a Brit on board.

Anthony Davidson is also in the frame but is not a main contender: "We are still talking to Anthony's people but he's not a front-runner," Gallagher confirmed. Davidson is unlikely to be a serious consideration since he was confirmed as BAR test driver at the team's launch last week.

Massa was dropped from Sauber after a somewhat erratic season in 2002 and has been looking for a race seat ever since. Recently he was rumoured to have picked up the personal sponsorship of energy drink company Red Bull. Jordan also has been linked with Red Bull in regard to a team sell-out but Gallagher emphatically denied Jordan was for sale.

"There's absolutely nothing in that," he stated. "We are not discussing the sale of the team to anyone. We've made no secret of the fact we are having sponsorship discussions with a number of major brands but as regards selling the team, that's not on the agenda."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Eddie Irvine , Giancarlo Fisichella , Anthony Davidson , Felipe Massa , Ralph Firman
Teams Sauber , Jordan