In the ninth episode of Formula 1’s ‘Beyond The Grid’ podcast, former team owner Eddie Jordan opens up on his outfit Jordan GP, Ayrton Senna/Michael Schumacher, Bernie Ecclestone and more.
Jordan starts the podcast detailing on the different times for race teams before where it was more open and the private teams had a better chance to perform than the current times where the manufacturers have a strong hold.
He doesn’t mean to say either times are good or bad but it is different for sure. He then speaks about his time as a race car driver where he admits that he wasn’t a world class racer but he understood drivers pretty well.
That’s how he ran his team in the junior categories and also in F1 where he could identify a talent and give them a chance in his team to perform – most of them did go on to have a successful career later on.
He speaks highly of his former British F3 teammate Stefan Johansson while adding about Fernando Alonso who he regards as one of the best race car driver but with some flaws in him – whether it is his handling or management outside the car.
Jordan then recalls giving Ayrton ‘De Silva’ Senna a chance in his F3 team in a test where he immediately impressed him with his sheer pace. Even when Schumacher came in later on, he had similar feelings with the German’s talent.
As per Jordan, there is nothing to separate the two legendary drivers with perhaps the only difference that Senna had a strong qualifying pace while Schumacher did well in the races on the whole.
Moving on to his time in F1 as a team owner, he admits it was the ‘stupidest’ thing to do even though he had a fun-filled journey. In fact, he reveals the year when he entered in 1991, he had a huge medical issue due to the immense stress he had.
The start of his F1 journey as a team owner didn’t go well as he already had troubles financially which required certain politics to be able to survive in the sport. For the first time he tells about the saga for Schumacher to make his F1 debut with Jordan GP.
The German already pulled in huge crowds when coming into the sport where the former F1 boss Ecclestone then pushed teams to give him a race seat. Schumacher eventually made his debut in 1991 Belgian GP with Jordan GP.
He was then lured by Ecclestone in to Benetton after that race for the rest of the season which initiated a court case as well. But Jordan then played politics himself to eventually let go of Schumacher and get Roberto Moreno instead along with some cash.
Jordan says the yellow livery remains a highlight of his cars but his personal favourite was the 7UP-sponsored livery. He reckons him leaving from the sport with more than what he came in with remains his legacy.
He talks about his career beyond his team and reflects on the current situation of McLaren. He ends the podcast crediting the team he started which became Midland, Spyker and Force India. In fact, he believes Lawrence Stroll will change the team’s fortunes hugely.
[Listen: Gerhard Berger]