Although under contract with Jordan, Takuma Sato's future with the team is uncertain as Jordan's choice of driver will depend on finances. Eddie Irvine and more recently Felipe Massa have been linked with Jordan and marketing director Mark...
Although under contract with Jordan, Takuma Sato's future with the team is uncertain as Jordan's choice of driver will depend on finances. Eddie Irvine and more recently Felipe Massa have been linked with Jordan and marketing director Mark Gallagher confirmed that the amount of financial backing a driver could bring is a major consideration.
"It is true that the identity of our second driver will be commercially influenced," Gallagher told ITV-F1. "Fisi (Giancarlo Fisichella) and Taku are both are under contract and have equality but when it comes to Sato's position in the team, if necessary our decision will be commercially driven."
"That is not to say we will choose a driver solely for commercial reasons. We have to consider a driver's ability and the overall package because our objective is to try to finish fourth in the constructors' championship."
Eddie Jordan wants Japan to put more support behind Sato and the team is trying to find him more sponsorship: "In an ideal world the team would have its driver line-up unaltered. Taku made brilliant progress last season and we are working closely with him to find backing," Gallagher said.
Replacing sponsor Deutsche Post is progressing 'positively' according to Gallagher, who said the team knew it would be losing its major sponsor at the end of the summer. Gallagher believes Jordan will survive as it's used to having a tight budget.
"Replacing Deutsche Post is not the work of a moment but we are very confident and have several irons in the fire," he said. "What is clear is that in difficult circumstances we are better placed than several other teams because we are leaner and more used to running on a tight budget."
Jordan hopes to launch the 2003 contender in January and a date is due to be announced shortly.