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Jordan to give Frentzen an F1 lifeline?

NEWS STORY
13/10/2003

The German media is reporting that Eddie Jordan wants Heinz-Harald Frentzen back in his team for 2004, with one newspaper quoting the Irishman as saying "I want Heinz back!"

Frentzen spent (almost) three seasons with the Silverstone based outfit before being sacked on the eve of his home Grand Prix in 2001, a decision that has never been explained and eventually resulted in the team losing several major sponsors.

A legal claim was settled out of court earlier this year and since then there have been numerous rumours linking the German veteran with a return to the Irish team.

Ironically it was Frentzen that lined up alongside Damon Hill at Jordan in 1999, having previously replaced the Englishman at Williams in 1997. That first season alongside Hill, Frentzen won two races while a further four visits to the podium saw him seriously challenging for the title and Jordan recording its best ever position in the Constructors' Championship, third.

When, on the eve of the 2001 German GP, Jordan announced that it was in effect firing the German, with no excuse, there was widespread shock in the paddock leading to a number of strange rumours.

According to a story due to be published in tomorrow's Auto Bild, Eddie Jordan now believes that the thirty-six-year-old veteran would give his team a much needed boost. "If you want, you've got a place with me," he tells the German who is not being retained by Sauber next year.

In fact Frentzen still has a season or two in him and has given team-mate Nick Heidfeld a good run for his money this year. Although Heinz-Harald has been linked with a switch to Touring Cars there's no doubt he would relish another year in F1, though whether he would want to renew the association with Jordan remains to be seen.

It's understood that Frentzen is telling reporters he would consider joining Jordan but is demanding a $2m pay-deal and a number of other financial conditions being put in place.

Jordan - despite winning the Brazilian GP - has just suffered its worst season finishing ninth in the Constructors' Champion, ironically in the same year that it ran the EJ13.

The team is struggling financially but the purchase by a mystery Irish consortium of 49.9% of the team could lead to an upturn in fortune. Whether Frentzen is the man to get the team back on track and whether he's even interested in the offer, remains to be seen.

Then again, this could be a smokescreen. Eddie Jordan, a man who rarely misses an opportunity, and knows that all publicity is good publicity could well be considering the benefits to his team, and thereby potential sponsors, of securing the services of a high profile former World Champion.

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