December 12th, 2002

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Driver overload

There is still a lot of speculation regarding the future number two driver at Jordan Grand Prix next season, more so after the FIA entry list was published and Takuma Sato, the Japanese rookie who drove alongside Giancarlo Fisichella in 2003, wasn't named.

Team boss Eddie Jordan is not too concerned about his driver line-up at this stage, as he attempts to find another title sponsor for the upcoming season, with a number of drivers knocking on his door looking to fill the role.

"Drivers are the least of our problems, Jordan told the Telegraph. You have only to look at the people who are banging the door down, from Alex Yoong to Pedro de la Rosa to Enrique Bernoldi to Eddie Irvine to Felipe Massa."

It is well known that the winner of the drive will be the one to bring the most amount of sponsorship along with him. While many think Eddie Irvine is in with the best shot, due to the fact that Benson and Hedges will increase their sponsorship if a British driver comes on board, Felipe Massa is also in with a good chance. Enrique Bernoldi is another strong candidate with plenty of Red Bull backing to help pave the way.
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JV wants more characters in F1

Jacques Villeneuve has called for more characters to join the world of Formula One, the Canadian driver not holding a lot of respect for the younger drivers in the series right now. According to reports in Motorsport News, Villeneuve believes that drivers of today are too corporate and will say anything to please, just for the privilege of being involved in the high rolling world.

Recently he commented that Rally star Colin McRae would be a good choice just as F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone voiced similar remarks concerning MotoGP's Valentino Rossi. But now he has added that the loss of veteran drivers is hurting all concerned, such as Frenchman Jean Alesi at the end of the 2001 season and more recently, the possible loss of Eddie Irvine.

"The sport is short of characters," he was quoted as saying. "These young, inexperienced drivers are so happy to be a part of it that they never say what they think. Losing Jean Alesi hurt the sport. If Eddie Irvine doesn't find a drive next season that will hurt the business too. It's a little bit sad. F1 has become a corporate sport and corporations don't want human beings driving, they want robots. Nobody sees the difference. They still see the same cars winning and that's what they want. What they don't understand is that they won't have any fans watching the racing if they keep doing that."

Eddie Irvine is well known for starting the odd fight or two off track, the Irishman's latest uproar coming earlier this year when he told McLaren driver David Coulthard that he should give up any hope of ever winning the world championship.
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