‘Ballistic’ team owner recalls wanting to sack both drivers after critical F1 incident

Sam Cooper
Ralf Schumacher driving for Jordan.

The Jordan team competed from 1991 to 2005.

Eddie Jordan has recalled the time he went “absolutely ballistic” at Ralf Schumacher and Giancarlo Fisichella after they crashed at the 1997 Luxembourg Grand Prix.

The Jordan team was on the grid for 250 races from 1991 to 2005 and in that time, had plenty of memorable drivers racing for them.

But in 1997, they had the pairing of Schumacher and Fisichella which almost sent owner Eddie Jordan round the bend.

Eddie Jordan recalls Schumacher/Fisichella explosion

Speaking on his and David Coulthard’s podcast Formula For Success, Jordan recalls the duo’s relationship during the 1997 season.

“The ’97 car was particularly strong and I get the impression that when Giancarlo was in second place, he wasn’t prepared to give it up for Ralf because he was much quicker,” Jordan said of the race at the Nürburgring. “And he came to the hairpin and they ran into each other.

“I went absolutely ballistic. Even the most liberal country in the world would have censored what I said, I was so vicious with them. I told them that they were two total w*nkers. Said that they didn’t deserve to be in the car and I was going sack them when I got them back.

“I did come down but I never saw the funny side of that, because in my opinion, they cost us.”

At that point, Jordan were without a win, their first coming the following season which made it felt even more bitter for the team owner.

“We had never won a grand prix at that stage,” he recalled. “The previous year, we had the pole position with Ralf and with Rubens [Barrichello] in Spa and we could feel that things were returning slightly in our favour.

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“Benson & Hedges came on board and we had a decent chance of getting money from the Deutsche Post and various other things.

“I felt really good about the team and we thought we had some brilliant young engineers and so for them to crash lights out was just sinful.

“I felt it was a very low regard for the team in itself. I sat them down and I reminded them.

“I made them sit for a week while they repaired the cars in the garage, in the factory and I made sure they came to England and they had to put in the same amount of hours and times as the mechanics did because I wanted them to see the pain that they had put on the rest of the team.

“Not even talking about the financial stress or pain, but just the aggravation that they put the team through unnecessarily.”

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