Frentzen: Jordan was right to push to the limit

Heinz-Harald Frentzen has defended the Jordan team for pushing development of its EJ10s to the limit this year, despite its disastrous season

Frentzen: Jordan was right to push to the limit

Jordan was tipped to challenge the McLaren/Ferrari domination of Formula 1 this season, but finished the year a disappointing sixth in the constructors' championship.

Statistically, Frentzen and his team mate Jarno Trulli were F1's best qualifiers behind the Ferraris and McLarens, yet Frentzen's pair of thirds in Brazil and the USA were Jordan's only podium finishes in a season punctuated by unreliability.

But in this week's Autosport magazine, Frentzen says he believes the team was right to gamble on pushing the car to the limits.

"We proved the potential in 1999, but there was room for improvement," he said. "For example, our gearbox was some 20kg too heavy in 1999 and the new car was substantially lighter. The decision to push too far was correct.

"Many of the failures were not our fault but involved parts we did not build. It is tough to prevent that."

Performance-wise, the German believes the EJ10's main weakness was its aerodynamics, even though the team brought out a revised 'B' version of the car for the final races of the season.

"In 1999 we had a car which was excellent on certain tracks but not very impressive on others," he said. "The goal was to build a car which was competitive on all sorts of circuits. We failed. On certain tracks we were even worse than in 1999."

Despite technical director Mike Gascoyne leaving the team to head Benetton's design department, Frentzen believes that Jordan will learn lessons from its season and come back stronger in 2001.

"With Honda we will grow immensely and I think that we can drive with the aim of victories again," he said.

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