The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 
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The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

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Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

I first met Eddie Jordan when he was racing in Formula 3. In 1980 he bullied [Marlboro parent company] Philip Morris Ireland into a test drive in a Formula 1 McLaren, which took place at a race meeting at Brands Hatch. I was told to get down there, drive the car and then Eddie got five or 10 laps. I showed no interest – it was a f***ing nuisance to me.

At the back end of the 1980s I was at Silverstone regularly because we had the John Watson Performance Driving Centre. You’d go into the greasy spoon at lunchtime and there was EJ, ‘Bosco’ Quinn [Jordan’s general manager], Trevor Foster [team manager] and others. I built up a rapport.

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