Firman Not Paying 'a Penny' for Jordan Drive

Briton Ralph Firman did not pay a penny to secure his three-year deal with Jordan, the financially-stretched team have revealed.

Firman Not Paying 'a Penny' for Jordan Drive

Briton Ralph Firman did not pay a penny to secure his three-year deal with Jordan, the financially-stretched team have revealed.

It had been rumoured that Jordan wanted to appoint a driver with substantial backing to help them through a difficult financial period but, contrary to opinion, the 27-year-old will not pay for his drive.

But Jordan's head of marketing Mark Gallagher revealed: "Ralph isn't bringing a penny to us. All the talk of drivers bringing millions of pounds was not true. What we wanted was a driver who our sponsors liked the look of. Ralph is the perfect choice."

Asked why the team had not opted to hand the final seat on the grid to veteran Eddie Irvine, who said he would have driven for Jordan for free, Gallagher replied: "Sure, he offered us speed, performance and reliability but in three years he'll be almost 40.

"We'd have only been talking another year for Eddie and one-year agreements are of no interest to Jordan. Ralph, though, has a formidable CV, an incredible list of contacts and is prepared to make a long-term commitment to the team."

Firman, 27, becomes Britain's fourth driver in Formula One this year and, when he lines up on the grid in Melbourne, Australia, for the season's opening race on March 9, will re-ignite a racing rivalry with Williams' Juan Pablo Montoya, who he beat to win the British Formula Three title in 1996.

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