Motor Racing: Jarno: Last Season Was a Disaster, in Fact It Was the Worst of My Career; THINGS CAN TRULLI ONLY GET BETTER FOR JORDAN

The Mirror (London, England), November 8, 2000 | Go to article overview

Motor Racing: Jarno: Last Season Was a Disaster, in Fact It Was the Worst of My Career; THINGS CAN TRULLI ONLY GET BETTER FOR JORDAN


Byline: Ted MACAULEY

NEVER-NEVERLAND is not only a figment of fairytales it can be a Formula One no-go area.

And while dreams of the pleasures and prizes it promises zip through the sport the harsh reality is that few aspire to achieve them.

It took Ferarri, aided and abetted by Michael Schumacher - the greatest of his generation - 21 years and a mind-boggling billion pounds to break the barren spell.

The myth that money can buy anything was exploded annually as poorer, if not exactly impoverished, teams like Williams and McLaren shoved the mega-rich Italian team into the shadows and deeper into the doldrums.

Sheer hard work, devotion, skill and sacrifice have all been essential ingredients over and above financial clout.

And that has been exemplified by Eddie Jordan's team in its rise from cottage industry status to multinational strength in just over a decade.

But for a team that could hardly put a foot wrong last year, despite his barrage of money from a growing portfolio of gilt-edged sponsors, the Dubliner's attack on the championship this season has been a watered-down affair.

It is a setback he intends to reverse as he chases Ferrari and McLaren from the wrong end of the placings in the makers' championship... but with two drivers, hurt by the flop, hell bent on making a fight of it.

"With the right equipment, and the bit of luck that goes with racing, we can be a power in Formula One - and we can win the title," insists the multi-millionaire Jordan boss at his Silverstone HQ.

Ever bullish he adds: "We have to move on and progress. There is no denying that the higher you go, the harder it gets.

"There is plenty of hard work ahead. But we are ready for it - and we know we can shape our own destiny as challengers up front and running with the best of them. But it'll be a hard slog."

No more so than for drivers Heinz Harald Frentzen and Jarno Trulli who both have to justify Honda's faith in the Jordan potential by getting the most out of the new fully, factory-supported engines that will power them along the glory road in four month's time.

If last season was like the proverbial Lord Mayor's Show this session has been a desperate clean up operation with plenty of mud flying around the Jordan parade.

New boy Trulli and Frentzen, third in last year's campaign with victories in Italy and France and four podium places elsewhere, have both struggled behind the wheel as Jordan has fidgeted with frustration on the world's pit walls.

Twenty-six year old Trulli saw his high hopes crumble in a catalogue of disastrous crashes and breakdowns.

The same went for German ace Frentzen, the driver who, according to Jordan, "made the world of F1 wake up and take note and didn't make a wrong move last season".

Trulli, reckoned to have been targeted as a partner for Jenson Button in the Benetton in 2002, summarised his season as a disaster.

"The worst ever," he groans. …

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