Jordan poised to announce driver

Jordan will reveal the final piece of the 2003 Formula 1 jigsaw when it is expected to announce its second driver in the next few days - and the smart money is that he is British

Jordan poised to announce driver

Brazil's Felipe Massa had been expected to be confirmed for the seat, but his position was weakened today (Monday) when it was reported that his promised funding had not materialised, despite claims from his management that a deal had almost been finalised. That has opened the door for British hopefuls Ralph Firman and Gary Paffett, who have both been strongly tipped for the drive.

Firman, 27, is the reigning Formula Nippon champion, and has raced against many current Formula 1 drivers in F3. He tested for BAR at Barcelona before Christmas, but was expected to re-sign for the Nakajima squad to defend his Nippon title this year.

Paffett, 21, won last year's German Formula 3 Championship and, although he has less experience than Firman, he has tested impressively with McLaren on a number of occasions, including last week in Valencia when David Coulthard called in sick. He has said that a fulltime test role with McLaren would be his ideal scenario.

Both are former McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC Young Driver award winners and have said they are ready for the final step into grand prix racing.

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