The Top-20 #F1 Constructors who Failed to win a Championship – 9th Jordan

Brought to you by TheJudge13 chronicler: BlackJack’sBriefs

As with my series on drivers, I started with the Wiki ‘List of Formula One Constructors’ and quickly reduced 136 to 43 eligible constructors by removing the Champions, and those hopefuls who failed to last beyond two or three seasons, and also those who only competed before 1958. [See Part-20 – Intro for details.]

“You don’ understand. I coulda had class. I coulda bin a contender. I could’ve been somebody…”

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Jordan

Born in “Dublin’s fair city, where the girls are so pretty…”, in 1948, Edward Patrick Jordan was nicknamed ‘Flash’ at school, because of his rhyming surname, and his bold dress sense…

Originally intended to become a priest… and then a dentist… Eddie eventually joined the Bank of Ireland.

On holiday in Jersey in 1970 Eddie discovered karting, and won the Irish Kart Championship in 1971 before moving to FFord in 1974, sitting out 1976 with both legs broken in a crash, FAtlantic in 1977, winning the Irish FAtlantic Championship in 1978, and F3 in 1979, as was the fashion ‘in those days’…

In 1979 Eddie also had one drive in a F2 race, and did some testing for McLaren but, by the end of the year, and short of ‘readies’, he turned to team management and formed Eddie Jordan Racing.

During the 80’s Jordan had considerable success in F3, with David Leslie, James Weaver, Martin Brundle, and with Johnny Herbert (who won the 1987 British F3 Championship), before moving to F3000, with Herbert and Martin Donnelly. In 1989 the Jordan team dominated this series with Jean Alesi taking the Championship. At the end of the year Gary Anderson was ‘poached’ from Reynard and became Jordan GP’s Chief Designer when Eddie moved the operation up to F1.

Eddie became known as a mentor of young talent but it is perhaps not so widely recognised that he had an eye for also spotting this potential talent. As well as Alesi and Herbert Jordan also provided opportunities for Barrichello, Giancarlo Fisichella, Eddie Irvine, and both Schumachers. Additionally, Damon Hill, Thierry Boutsen, Heinz- Harald Frentzen, Roberto Moreno, and Jarno Trulli have all driven for Jordan… while John Watson and Ayrton Senna did service as test drivers.

1991

By the standards of today’s new F1 entrants Jordan was instantly successful… and infinitely more renowned… Starting their first season with ‘veteran’ Andrea de Cesaris and newcomer Bertrand Gachot couldn’t by any means have been regarded as showing promise – de Cesaris’ career, after ten full seasons, had still to take off, while in the previous two seasons Gachot had only managed to qualify for five out of thirty races, and only finished twice.

With Jordan he managed to score his first Championship points and post fastest lap in Hungary, although, after starting from 16th on the grid, nobody seems to have explained, nor queried, quite how this happened… However Gachot was subsequently incarcerated at ‘Her Majesty’s Pleasure’ after assaulting a London Cabbie… and was replaced at Spa by newcomer, Michael Schumacher, a ‘junior’ at Mercedes Benz who had been showing promise in sports-cars.

Seeing an opening, Mercedes offered Jordan $150,000 to take their boy under Eddie’s wing. A test impressed the team and Schumacher’s manager assured them Michael was ‘very familiar’ with Spa… but omitted to add, ‘as a spectator’… Schumacher had never driven at Spa and probably knew it less well than ‘bruznic’…!

Everyone seems to ‘remember’ how well Schumacher performed, although all he really did was qualify 7th, because he retired on the first lap with clutch problems…

And then it turned nasty. A certain person at Benetton had noticed the huge cheque proffered by Mercedes and, when he discovered Jordan only had an ‘agreement in principle’, because of the rush in negotiations, a little conversation took place, out of Eddie’s hearing and, lo and behold, by the next race, Schumacher had allowed himself to be lured away by ‘Briatore the Brash’… who, to paraphrase my late mother, was never hiding behind the door when money was being handed out…!

Jordan went to court but his signed ‘agreement’ was trumped by a signed contract. A lesser-known story is that, the following year, when Mercedes decided to move to F1 with Sauber, Peter Sauber pointed out a little clause in Schumacher’s sports-car contract that he must drive for them if they moved into F1. Guess who won that argument…?

Meanwhile ‘The Beast’ had graciously exchanged his discarded driver, Roberto Moreno, to Jordan but, after two races, he was dropped again, in favour of Alex Zanardi, and Roberto’s career went to pieces… despite having already been more successful in the Benetton, this year, than Schumacher would be. Moreno returned to IndyCars where, in 2000, he placed 3rd in the Championship.

Zanardi was having great success in F3000 and Eddie was quick to give him a try, but his three races were disappointing and, after a non-season with Minardi, and two years with the dying Lotus team, he went to IndyCars. In his first year he scored 4 race wins, 6 poles, and 6 fastest laps, to finish 3rd in the Championship. In the next two years he won 12 races, and took both Championships, which resulted in an offer from Williams but, while his teammate invariably finished in the points, Alex failed to score even one.

Alex returned to IndyCars but a massive crash caused him to lose both legs. He returned to motor-racing with BMW in the WTCC, and won a few races, but is now better known for his paracyclist gold medals… and, having side-tracked myself (for a good cause, though) we can return to Jordan… who managed to finish the year in 5th place, out of 19 teams, after de Cesaris scored two 4th places. The top teams were McLaren and Williams, the mid group consisted of Ferrari and Benetton, while Jordan, with 13pts., was the best of the rest.

The 7up Jordan 191 is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful F1 cars ever.

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1992

After a promising debut season Jordan were obliged to cut back for 1992, losing their Ford engines because of unpaid bills, taking the cheaper (i.e. free…) Yamaha engines, and acquiring the South African energy/chemical company, Sasol, as primary sponsor. Both drivers were dropped in favour of Mauricio Gugelmin who, after four dismal years with March/Leyton House, discovered Jordan was even worse – perhaps he was too ‘nice’, because he later spent seven consecutive years (with minimal success) in IndyCars. His teammate was Stefano Modena, who apparently was not as ‘nice’, and this marked the fifth and final year of his F1 ‘career’…

Modena always drove with one glove turned inside out… and would not allow anyone to touch his car once he was inside other than the guy who fastened the safety belts. During his F1 career it was not unusual to see Modena get out of his car after being strapped in, and get back in again, if he had seen someone touch the car.

Jordan slipped to 11th place overall, out of sixteen teams

1993

The Jordan 193 was fitted with a Hart V10 – the Yamaha having been of little value – over-weight and very under- powered. The car had numerous faults and, although it was sometimes very fast, almost reaching the podium at Donnington before running out of fuel five laps before the end, the team didn’t score a single point until the penultimate round, with 5th and 6th places.

For their third year running Jordan had two new drivers, this time rookie Barrichello who had impressed in his first three years in single-seaters by consecutively winning the FVauxhallLotus, and the British F3 series, followed by 3rd in the F3000 Championship… alongside Ivan Capelli who, after eight years in F1, was already on his way out – after two races he was replaced by Thierry Boutsen, who was also at the bottom of the slippery slope after ten years of showing promise – 3 wins, 12 podiums, 1 pole, and 1 fastest lap.

Boutsen had previously been ‘let go’ at Williams when Renault wanted Mansell as their Championship contender, leaving Thierry to accept a drive in the substandard Ligier team for two years… and now Jordan, where he was outpaced by Rubens, failed to score any points in ten races, and was replaced by Marco Apicella (another F3000 ‘star’) for Monza who, in his one and only F1 race, joined a 5-car crash on the first lap and is regarded as having had the shortest F1 career ever – about 800m.

Eddie continued (forlornly…?) to trawl the F3000 grids and arrived in Portugal with Emanuele Naspetti, who at least had experienced a handful of F1 drives in 1992 with March, as well as six retirements and a DNQ with Jordan Racing in 1990, so Eddie should have known better… He lasted eight laps before the engine expired.

Now Eddie seemed to scrape the barrel by signing a man who had done well in FFord back in 1987, and in F3000 in 1990, and had been showing a little more promise in F3000 earlier in 1993 – Eddie Irvine – who, in his first F1 race, in Japan, qualified the 193 in 8th place and passed “three cars on the outside at the first corner, for fifth…” It only lasted a couple of laps, but it must have been good while it lasted.

Later in the race, still racing hard with Damon, Senna came up to lap them both. Irvine allowed him through but Senna was unable to pass Damon… so Irvine unlapped himself: “I was laughing my head off in the car…” and rejoined his tussle with Damon. Senna was incensed and afterwards visited the Jordan garage, and punched Irvine in the face. Not exactly the stuff champions should be made of.

Nevertheless Irvine scored 1pt. in his first GP, while Rubens finished 5th – but these were the only points Jordan scored in the entire season.

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1994

For the first time Jordan retained their same drivers for a second season and, with a simpler design from Anderson, saw a return to the results of their first season. In the first two races Rubens finished 4th & 3rd, scoring his and Jordan’s first podium. Irvine, however, had been deemed responsible for a multiple shunt in Brazil and banned for one race. The team appealed, and were granted a 3-race ban instead…! Aguri Suzuki took over for one race, and de Cesaris for two, and managed to score a 4th place.

During the year Schumacher also received a 2-race ban, for ignoring a black-flag, and Hakkinen and Barrichello both received a suspended 1-race ban for colliding. Later, Hakkinen received a 1-race ban for causing another crash, and Irvine received another 1-race ban (suspended). It was quite a year. There don’t seem to have been too many sissy drive-through penalties, twenty years ago…

At Spa Rubens became the youngest driver ever to take pole but spun into the barrier during the race. In the end Jordan’s 28pt. tally was more than double their first season and returned them to 5th spot, in the mid-rank behind McLaren

1995

1995 was a major turn-around year in F1 – chassis and engine regs were much changed to reduce speeds, and to improve driver safety. The (real) Lotus team had collapsed, and was no more, and the under-financed Larrouse, though entered, didn’t put in a single appearance all year, and the Simtek team just disappeared after Monaco… and the new Forti Corse team, after twenty years in lower formulae, arrived from Alessandria, to join in the fray – with big saddle-bags of dinero from Brazil… financing Pedro Diniz on his F1 debut.

Although retaining the same drivers for a third year Jordan took on a new engine deal with Peugeot. Indeed Benetton, McLaren, Footwork, Pacific, Ligier and Sauber all had new engine contracts. ‘Baron Basher Briatore of Benetton’, the scourge of the pit-lane, after cheating in 1994, had done a deal with Max Mosley to move some of the Benetton personnel to Ligier… Quite how this assuaged his guilt for cheating is never explained, but he later ‘got his’ in Singapore.

In the process Briatore ‘persuaded’ Mugen-Honda to cancel their engine deal with Minardi and deliver a truck-load of V10s to Magny Cour, leaving Minardi having to build a new chassis to take a Ford V8. Legal action was announced by Minardi but . . . At the same time concerns were being expressed about just who owned Ligier. Benetton’s Tom Walkinshaw (a British ‘wheeler-dealer’) now assumed ‘control’ of Ligier and several teams
exclaimed the similarity between the B195 and the JS41, the only apparent difference being the engines. Walkinshaw was quoted: “Of course the damn thing looks the same but, if you go into the detail of the car, nothing is interchangeable…!

On top of all this the calendar was also up in the air. The first race was to have been at a new circuit in Argentina but there was doubt it would be ready. Round two was expected in Brazil, which was still reeling from Senna’s death… and round three in Japan was doubtful after the Great Hanshin Earthquake. Spain, San Marino and Italy were also threatened… but a revised calendar got things under way, although it would not be plain-sailing.

Seven GP were affected by rain, and four races were red-flagged on the first lap. A notable exception to these dramas was Jean Alesi taking his only GP victory, in Canada, the last time a GP was won with a V12 engine. Mansell made a return to F1 with McLaren but couldn’t fit in the car, having claimed he would fight for the championship with Williams but Frank went with Coulthard. Mika Hakkinen nearly died in a crash in Australia, and rookie, Taki Inoue, was twice hit (once in practice and once during a race) by course cars… Once might have been considered unlucky but twice… seems like sheer carelessness. (© Oscar Wilde…)

Having scored their first championship points in Canada four years earlier Jordan took 2nd and 3rd places behind Alesi for their first double-podium, and finished 6th in the Championship.
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Forti Corsa’… Started by Guido Forti in the 70’s, they won four Italian F3 Championships in the 80’s before establishing a relationship with Brazilian money-man, Abilio dos Santos Diniz, who backed his son, Pedro’s, entry in F3000, and then provided the wherewithal to take Forti into F1, along with Parmalat sponsorship.

Unfortunately their first car, the FG01 (inherited from the team’s buyout of the defunct Fondmetal team, and thus never likely to be any good), was nothing to write home about and their 3-year contract with Diniz was poached by… well, who do you think…? That jet-setting whiz-kid with no moral fibre, Briatore, who lured the Diniz Dinero to Ligier for 1996, leaving Forti with inadequate funds to complete a full season.

Flavio-Briatore-001-W@At the same time Parmalat (and Marlboro), who were apparently sponsoring Diniz, rather than Forti, through their Brazilian-licensed operation (with which Forti Snr. was involved) also moved their funds (or was it really the same money…?) to Ligier… Thus, in 1996, with Luca Badoer and Andrea Montermini driving, the team failed to qualify nine times, failed to start once, and suffered seven retirements, in the first ten races… and failed to practice in Germany, before disappearing. This photo shows the distraught Flavio when he heard what he had done…

Six years later the huge Parmalat dairy empire crashed, with fraudulent debts of €14.3bn. The founder/CEO received ten years, seven other executives and bankers were acquitted (tell me about it), and eight other defendants ‘Bid-a-Bernie’ farewell, and settled out of court…

Meanwhile Forti had done a deal with the unknown Shannon Racing, an Irish registered company of Milanese financiers (Am I the only one who finds this suspicious…?), to sell 51% of Forti Corse but, as actual cash-money failed to materialise, and Cosworth reclaimed their engines, the team was unable to even practice in Germany. The argument as to who owned what was fought out like Bleak House in the Italian courts. By the time Shannon won the case Forti no longer existed – and Shannon also folded.

Forti Corse is regarded as the last of the ‘private’ entrants in F1, suffering, as did Simtek and Pacific at the same time, from the 1995 regulation that required all entrants to design and build their own cars, and the 1996 107% qualifying rule. The Big Boys now ruled the roost.
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1996

But what about Jordan… Irvine had chosen money over championships, and moved to Ferrari, and Rubens was joined by Martin Brundle, hot-footing it from Ligier, for his twelfth and final season in F1… Sponsorship came from Benson & Hedges and the 196 came from Anderson’s pen… but all to little effect – Jordan again finished 5th in the Championship, but without a single podium finish.

1997

Now seemed to be time for a change. Brundle finally retired, having never won an F1 GP, and Rubens moved to the new Stewart team, to be replaced by rookie Ralf Schumacher and (after Mansell turned down the drive) relative newcomer, after half a dozen races with Minardi, Giancarlo Fisichella… and Jordan enjoyed their most successful season yet, still in 5th place, but with three podiums, Fisi’s fastest lap in Spain, his ‘nearly’ win in Germany and a brilliant 2nd place at Spa.

The year is also infamously remembered for Michael Schumacher’s ‘inadvertent’ collision with his Championship contender, Villeneuve (as had ‘accidentally’ happened in 1994 with Damon Hill…), and his subsequent disqualification from 2nd place in the Championship.

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1998

Giancarlo’s prowess had not gone unnoticed along the pit-lane and Eddie’s talent spotting was rewarded by having his newcomer spirited away to Benetton by. . . Do I really have to write that name again…!? In his place came Damon Hill after a less than happy year at Arrows, having previously been ‘let go’ by Frank Williams, after winning the 1996 World Championship.

Mike Gascoyne replaced Anderson in the drawing office, mid-season, while the Peugeot engines were returned to France and Prost GP (which had taken over Ligier for 1997), and replaced by Mugen Honda power.

The first half of the season was disastrous, with a single point being scored but, from Silverstone onwards, both cars finished in the points in almost every race. In a rain-soaked Belgian GP several early crashes allowed Hill to take the lead on the restart before Michael Schumacher took command… before he crashed into the back of Coulthard, who was being lapped. At the halfway point this put Hill back in the lead, with a hard-charging Ralf in 2nd… which seemed to throw Eddie out of kilter… Having previously come close to winning he now had his cars in first & second. The news was sent from Aix to Hill, effectively saying: ‘Ralf is faster than you…’ to which Damon sent the reply to Ghent: “If we race we might take each other out. But we might take 1st & 2nd if we hold position!”

I don’t think Eddie has ever explained why Ralf was told to push but, after coming to his senses, and telling his drivers to hold their positions, Eddie was faced with an over-exuberant Michael charging into the Jordan control box and actually telling Eddie to get Damon to move out of the way of his brother… There’s arrogance… and then there’s F1 arrogance… and then there is something else… Jordan managed to oust Michael and his cars went on to take 1st and 2nd – Damon… Ralf…

At Monza Ralf scored another podium and Jordan’s total of 34pts. took them to 4th in the Championship, firmly in the mid-rank, with Williams and Benetton.

1999

Throughout 1998 Ralf had apparently been in conflict with Eddie, as had Heinz-Harald Frentzen with Frank Williams so it was perhaps a surprise that the two drivers simply swapped places for 1999. German, Frentzen, came from karts and FF to F.Opel-Lotus and F3 where he came up against Michael Schumacher and the ONS offered an F1 test to whichever of them first won a F3 race. This eventually went to Schumacher, after Frentzen claimed Michael pushed him off the track. Hmm…

Frentzen then had three years with Sauber (despite an offer from Williams to replace Senna), before replacing Hill at Williams. In 1997, after Schumacher’s disqualification from the Championship results, he finished 2nd to teammate Villeneuve.

At Jordan he now joined Hill to drive Gascoyne’s 199 (Anderson having gone to Stewart GP), Jordan’s most successful car, taking two wins, one pole, and four further podiums, whilst making a spirited challenge for the Championship, finishing third to Hakkinen and Irvine, with 54pts. Hill’s dismal tally of just 7pts. suggested his heart was no longer in it and, at the end of the year, at Suzuka, Damon retired from the race, and F1, complaining of fatigue. Frentzen was regarded by some as the driver of the year… which makes one wonder why his name is rarely mentioned today.

Jordan’s tally of 61pts. took them to 3rd in the Championship, some way behind Ferrari and McLaren, but far ahead of the rest.

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2000

For the new millennium (though one year early) Jordan decided a car number of 100 didn’t make sense (though better than Microsoft’s attitude to the future…) and adopted a new system with: EJ10. Unfortunately this car failed to capitalise on their previous success and the car was dreadfully unreliable, achieving three front-row starts, and two podiums for Frentzen, causing Jordan to plummet to 6th in the Championship. Hill was replaced by Jarno Trulli, from the dismal Prost team, who was a lightning qualifier but rarely seemed able to convert this to points.

2001

Perhaps Gascoyne’s departure to Benetton (I’m definitely not going to mention ‘his’ name again…) didn’t help matters but Eghbal Hamidy’s EJ11, despite showing potential, did nothing for the Jordan team’s reputation. Trulli persevered, and often had flashes of brilliance, but a string of low-points finishes left Jordan in 5th place at the end of the year.

Additionally Frentzen became very disenchanted, and even offered to pay for development out of his own pocket. After Silverstone, and a very public row, Eddie had had enough and Frentzen was fired, replaced for one race by test-driver, Ricardo Zonta, and then for the rest of the season by Jean Alesi, who had had a similar disagreement with Prost… while Frentzen slipped in by the back door to effect a swap. This would be Jean’s final year in F1, sort of ending where he had started, with Eddie’s F3000 team, winning the 1989 Championship.

After leaving Jordan, Frentzen suffered from the subsequent collapse of Prost, and also of Arrows in mid-2002, and had a final season with Sauber, where he had started, back in 1994… before moving on to DTM.

2002
Jordan now made big changes which saw the return of Fisichella (from Benetton, swapping with Trulli) and Anderson, and the arrival of BAR test-driver, Takuma Sato, which Eddie has since claimed was to sweeten Honda but, after beating BAR two years running, Honda pulled away from Jordan for 2003 and Sato returned to BAR, for three years, and then Super Aguri for two and a bit years, before moving to IndyCars where, in 2013, he became the first Japanese driver to win an IndyCar race.

2003

This was the year Eddie must have wished he’d been out when the phone rang. Less resilient people might have wished they’d never been born. Sponsorship was constantly being reduced as the team slipped further away from any F1 team’s goal – to win races and, perhaps, the Championship. With Honda consolidating at BAR Jordan was reduced to less competitive Cosworth units. At the end of the year they had dropped to 9th, ahead of only Minardi, despite winning the Brazilian GP, under rather bizarre conditions, when the race was red-flagged after a major crash in heavy rain, and Fisichella was granted 2nd to Raikkonen… A week later the FIA accepted a mistake had been made, and the two positions were reversed.

Fisi was partnered by ‘newcomer-from-nowhere’, Ralph Firman, 1996 British F3 Champion, and 2002 Formula Nippon Champion, who did no better and, after a major crash, was replaced for two races by Zsolt Baumgartner, whose only claim to fame is to be the first Hungarian driver in F1.

In June Jordan sued Vodafone for £150 million, claiming the company had made a verbal contract for a three-year sponsorship deal, but gave it to Ferrari instead. Jordan withdrew the action two months later, agreeing to pay Vodafone’s costs. This was a double financial blow from which the team did not recover. The judge (that’s the one in court, not the one on this site, who some believe wasn’t born yet…) was highly critical of Eddie Jordan, branding the allegations against Vodafone, “without foundation and false”.

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2004

The EJ14 was much altered but little improved over 2003 and, although they had newer Cosworth engines the team claimed these were not as powerful as those Ford was supplying to Jaguar Racing. Fisi moved to Sauber, swapping with Nick Heidfeld who often performed virtual miracles with a lacklustre car, partnered by newcomer, Giorgio Pantano whose entry into F1 had looked increasingly unlikely ever to happen.

In 2000 he had tested for Benetton, and in 2001 for McLaren, and in 2002 he tested for both Williams and Minardi (the latter seems to be a bit of a come-down…). In 2003 he nearly made it to IndyCars but his contract proved to be fake. In 2004 he was ready to debut with Jaguar but, just before he put pen to paper, Christian Klein appeared bearing $10m of Red Bull Readies (money)… and Giorgio was made an offer he couldn’t refuse by Jordan. After failing to score a single point, or even finishing higher than 13th, Pantano was replaced by Timo Glock. He then had half a dozen races in IndyCars, but did much better in GP2 between 2005-08, taking the title in 2008.

After some success in German F3 Glock was signed as Jordan test-driver and replaced Pantano for four races, inadvertently scoring 2pts. on his debut. In 2005 he also moved to IndyCars where he finished 8th in his first season before winning the GP2 Championship in his second season, which got him back to F1 with Toyota.

At the end of the year (with Jordan still down in 9th spot) Ford announced they were withdrawing from Jaguar Racing (which was sold to Red Bull) and selling off Cosworth. Without engines Jordan was also expected to fold but Toyota came to their rescue.

2005 etc…

Nevertheless… at the beginning of the year Eddie accepted (allegedly) $60m from the Midland Group who campaigned the cars throughout the year as Jordans before becoming Midland MF1 Racing for 2006, just before being sold to Spyker Cars and becoming Spyker F1 for 2007… and being sold yet again to become Force India in 2008.

For such a team as Jordan this was a sadly ignominious ending to a fourteen-year career in F1, where they scored 4 wins; 2 poles; 2 fastest laps, and they and Frentzen were each classified 3rd in the Championships.
Nowadays (and actually for many years) people often comment about whether F1 should be a sport or a business. It might be fashionable now to kow-tow to big business and call it ‘progress’ but maybe we should bear in mind that, if F1 continues to cater only to the large corporations, people like Eddie Jordan (and fifteen of the twenty teams in this series) will never even exist in future… and try to convince me that doesn’t matter. It is perhaps ironic (if not deliberate) that by disallowing smaller/newer teams to buy cars from constructors who wish to sell replicas that F1 is fast heading toward FD(allara)… and try to convince me that doesn’t matter, either…
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As for Eddie Jordan… everyone knows he subsequently became a TV pundit and, although not everybody’s favourite, does often have his finger on the pulse – and nobody is likely to have such inside knowledge all the time. Eddie is a ‘character’, and might one day become an eccentric. Hopefully he won’t end up like those ex-drivers/ team-managers who continually make their views known, not because they necessarily have anything interesting to contribute, but because they want to remain in the public eye.

eddie-new-01-WAlthough it might seem Eddie likes to play the buffoon, and enjoys being photographed alongside ladies with an ample sufficiency of ‘busty substances’… (©Pete and Dud) make no mistake – Eddie is nobody’s fool. He currently lives mostly in Ireland, with his wife, of 35 years, Marie, where he keeps his helicopter. He also has homes in Wentworth and Kensington, and another in Monaco, where he keeps his yacht.

As well as fingers in numerous commercial pies Eddie is also renowned for his musical attributes and has his own rock group. Bernie Ecclestone once labelled him, “the biggest thief in F1” (which must have been before Bernie was introduced to Il Brigante), which inspired the keen drummer to name his band, The Robbers. Perhaps Bernie should have called his own band, The Black Kettles…!

Additionally Eddie Jordan has received several honorary awards for his charity work

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Previously:

10th Shadow

11th Toleman

12th Toyota

13th Alfa Romeo

14th Sauber

15th Arrows

16th Stewart

17th BAR

18th – Surtees

19th – Lola

20th – Dallara


55 responses to “The Top-20 #F1 Constructors who Failed to win a Championship – 9th Jordan

  1. For an article that was supposed to be about Jordan it turned into a season review of everything else but the team fairly fast. Very poorly written. I didn’t want to read about Briatore or Forti.

  2. Kind of hard to credit that back in the bad old days, the FIA actually had some balls.

    • Hi Peter – rather amazing isn’t it, although they were still all over the place when making / altering regulations.

      • Yes all over the place it is true.
        Maybe the difference is they had some visibility where it mattered rather then where it doesn’t.

        Todt was reportedly in my NOTW very recently (within the last two weeks) pontificating on road safety issues. Matters such as this are for our Government to direct and drive; we don’t need outsiders adding……….nothing.
        Now, if they, the FIA, want to be really proactive and useful, they could direct their energies towards matters such as meaningful licencing credentials for tourists who visit our country, hire a vehicle, and then go out and kill and maim through their sheer inexperience in driving.
        Happens all the time.
        Part, and only part, of the problem is we drive on one side, they’re used to driving on the other. Too bad, that’s our way. If the FIA can get a meaningful credential in place, it’d be welcome even if long overdue.

        Sorry, got off track for a bit there BJF.
        Very decent article, by the way. 🙂

  3. A special mention for De Cesaris at Spa 1991… Leading the (dry) race handily from Senna when his car expired. No doubt Senna might have caught him, by as I recall, no-one else was close. Not bad for a first year car and a crappy driver. It does make you wonder what Schumacher could have done if he hadn’t burnt out his clutch in anticipation.
    Still, as a Senna fan, I wasn’t that upset when Andrea retired and parked his car right in front of where I was standing…

    • Hi CTP – yes, de Cesaris had a poor reputation but… he didn’t stay there so long without some talent. And maybe Schumacher would have been just as successful if he had stayed at Jordan.
      I’m disappointed you were not upset by de Cesaris’ retirement… 😉
      Couldn’t you have willed him to finish second…? 🙂

    • It would probably make me ill to have to write it.
      Fortunately he was never a non-championship constructor… 🙂

      • @BJF

        “It would probably make me ill to have to write it.”

        LMAO!

        I get that feeling when I accidentally happen upon pictures of him swimming in his budgie smugglers (Aussie term) in an F1 publication.

        Truly a scaring experience.

  4. I’ve been waiting for this one. I was a big fan of Jordan. After Silverstone in 1999, at the year progressed, I found myself cheering for Frentzen.

    Really informative. Enjoyed it.

    Reinforced my already low opinion of Flabio Cheatatore.

    • “Flabio Cheatatore: LOL

      The permutations seem to be endless – pity the guy’s influence on this planet isn’t…
      Never mind – I believe in reincarnation… 😉

      Glad you enjoyed it. I was a bigger fan of the Jordan Team than I am now of Eddie – which is a shame…

      • Errrr, I share your shame.
        Which is why I missed the quality of the article.

  5. Thanks, a good read.

    (Not quite sure why there’s so much about Forti in a feature on Jordan GP but it’s nice that someone remembers them.)

    • It accidentally became a feature of this series that each episode also had a potted history of a little-known other constructor. Not sure why, but my writing method just leaves openings for such things…
      . . . and I seem to be easily distracted… 😉
      Thanks for your comment.

  6. Thanks for a very nice write up, what a fun and exciting team Eddie had and a fantastic list of drivers. I was 16 when they had the 7up car and it still looks the db’s. timeless…

    • In my day it used to be, ‘The Bees Knees’… 🙂
      Thanks for the compliments…

  7. Little known fact was that Honda were fully intent on buying JGP and contracts were on the table about to be signed.Then something came to light and the rest is history…

  8. This brings back bad memories…
    Frentzen who stole Verstappen’s place at Arrows – a contract in F1 is worthless we learned (and especially one with Tom Walkinshaw – right up there with Flav).

    Dutch ‘fans’ threatening Jordan because he didn’t sign Jos.

    …but also loads of good ones: the shark car, Buzzin’ Hornets and all those good and bad drivers (Sato, Kartekeyan…).
    Thanks!

    • Hi my friend – I only do it to make sure you read the whole article… 🙂
      Nothing like a mention in despatches…

      • True. And i do enjoy it, vain as I am 😉 but you don’t have to doubt for one minute that I don’t read it all. Big fan of your writings!

  9. Excellent piece, and a fond favourite from my formative years of F1 viewing.

    I’m struggling to come up with 8 non-championship teams who were better though. Looking forward to the rest of the series either way 🙂

    • Hi Mike – thanks for your plaudits.
      I’m surprised nobody has started trying to guess who the Top-3 are.
      By this time in the Drivers’ series everyone knew (or thought they knew) who the winner would be…
      Bear in mind that the teams are also graded according to their longevity so someone like Jordan, with so many points from 14 seasons will not figure as highly as a team who scored a few less points but during just 3-4 seasons…
      In the Drivers’ series everybody was surprised by the 2nd placed Gonzalez for just this reason.
      Glad you’re enjoying it.

      • I think this one’s a bit harder to guess who’d be on top off it all. On drivers the majority of us have the same opinion.

          • “Minardi. Must be the most loved but worst team ever.”

            Certainly not the worst… but this isn’t a love-in…
            Suggestion disqualified…!

          • Beatrice Lola?

            For six points in six months with a Newey design, and having that first sponsor name taken away because one Jeff Beck, a banker who did the speech when the asset stripping is announced in nth boardroom, in Wall Street, got the humor with and asset stripped James Dutt, who as CEO was plastering the Beatrice name left and right?

            Interesting team anyhow, for having both Brawn and Newey in quick succession and so little track result.

  10. Great one BJF, classing up the joint no doubt. I particularly enjoy the diversions as well, they seem to fit my attention span perfectly. Both your series should be required reading for anyone new to the sport IMO.

    I also agree with your contention re corporatisation of the sport. In fact, in addition to pay TV this might actually be an influence in dropping viewership as well as team support vs driver support. The small underfunded teams offered personality drama and narrative that no board of directors would ever tolerate. Sadly, corporate grey seems to be overshadowing the brilliance of much of the racing in these times, though you could argue the troika of Mercedes clowns might be the accidental exception.

    • Many thanks for your kind words…

      “The small underfunded teams offered personality drama and narrative that no board of directors would ever tolerate.”

      Hadn’t quite thought of it like that but I’m sure you have a good point. Many people like to root for the ‘little guy’ but the current incarnations (Virgin, HRT/Marussia, Lotus/Caterham) are more like mini-corporations – they’re too small to really make it but too big to be the little guys…

      • Little corporations are my pet hate. Big pretensions and big company attitude in confined spaces just, well, needs ventilation. Like how you deal with a terrifying biohazard in a movie. I don’t know for the race teams, but in small business, you can feel the grease slime you that’s over every part of the operation you come into contact with, that’s still dripping from the last attempt to shove some “best practices policy” or “human capital review” wholesale up the sore subordinates suppository stockers. David Brent wouldn’t make it to be a fluffer in some of the places I’ve run like hell from..

        • Hi ‘John ( other John )’
          Thanks for the comment – nice to see you’re still with us.

        • Hi Joe – I wouldn’t call this the ‘full’ story – but I do my best. 😉
          I find it amusing that there is so much information on the web these days, and yet so much of it is copied around that there is far less that is new or worthwhile.
          For example, when I delve back into the 60’s the web often just gives results, but with none of the stories I can remember reading at the time…
          A driver might have led an entire race before retiring but ‘wiki’ just says: ‘Xxxxx, qualified 6th – retired after 57 laps – ignition.’ !!
          If only I still had all my Motoring News – blame my mum’s inadequate storage facilities, and my wife’s disinterest… “I hope you don’t think you’re bringing all that rubbish home…!” Ho hum… 🙂

          Thanks for your support.

    • I really have to agree with mattpt55. Reading BJF’s article felt like I was reading about … no, those names were like looking at a photo of my mom when was a kid, or something. Blinking great to see, stinging nostalgia for seemingly happier simpler times, and damned makes me feel good. I absolutely loved that everyone around JGP got a mention, for Jordan could not have been Jordan without that backdrop, be like my mom not wearing big perms, orange check blouses tied at the waist and white miniskirts in the photo album, something would be wrong. God, were those teams awful, most of them, and how’d EJ look like a blinding genius among them. But I can go all gooey, even to the point of forgiving eejays poetry recital, thanks to some of the most enjoyable writing I’ve had the pleasure of for a long time. I got he impression BJF was proper enjoying himself writing that, and it shows. Okay, I went too far in forgiveness of of eejay poetry recitals, but the rest I stand by. Proper good, positive, superbly paced pageant of the bounder and his remarkable ability to fall like a stunt pro, time and again, stumbling into a kind of greatness reserved for men like him alone. Maybe we might lament longer how he got his “brand’ stuck right up his bum, and the sad way it all fell to pieces, but think about it: he left his mark and even if we’re laughing at him, it’s gratefully, for the greatest part. Who will give a toss for the Helmut Markkos of this world, in such endearing tones?

      • Helmut who…? 😉
        Ex driver – once beat Lauda in a FVee race…
        Did I miss something…? 🙂

        Glad I reminded you of your mum’s orange blouse – under a big perm – such memories are irreplaceable.

        • I maybe should have remembered Markko’s Targa Florio.. real balls out stuff.. (sorry, no pun intended)but was trying to think of someone influential you don’t see as a humor figure. The other “memory” of my mom which stands out, is checking a album, and there’s some GIs in a bar, and this right sort in a slinky chiffon number, in Austria. Before I could help it or think it through, I’ve blurted “whoa, check her out, what a standoff bitch she must have beee….” Not seen a pic of my mom in her late teens before, and the photographer must have been her GI BF, who got on the wrong end of some madcap redeployment, but for which I wouldn’t exist, and in intervening bachelorette years, my mom got to to see a few GPs, all record burned by her puritanical mother just before she married my dad, sadly. The irony is I was encouraged to follow F1 by my dad because it conflicted with my mom’s church going inclinations. I can only wonder what is going on in her mind, when she picks out the “nice boys” when she time to time now drops by to watch a race :-)… just to try to explain the oddly strong connections I have of my mom, younger, me, a boy, and eejay being a kind of last crusader of the one time independent F1 scene 🙂

          All best from me,
          ~joj

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