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DHL Jordan Honda Press Release

DHL Jordan Honda - European GP Preview

Next weekend's European Grand Prix will be Jordan driver Giancarlo Fisichella's 100th Formula One race. Fisichella, who made his F1 debut at the 1996 Australian Grand Prix, is widely respected within the sport for his outstanding talent, and the statistics substantiate his reputation.

A Jordan press release reminds us that in 99 race starts, Fisichella has completed 80 races, with 26 top-six finishes earning him 81 points, an average of one point for every race finished. And with five second and four third places, more than ten per cent of his races have ended on the podium.

"Fisichella is a very, very good driver, one of the best," said Jordan's director of race and test engineering, Gary Anderson. "At the beginning of the season we didn't give him a car or engine to match his ability, but we've worked very hard and I think we are moving in the right direction.

"Giancarlo has responded with a brilliant hat-trick of fifth places and although we're not yet in a position to beat the best teams, we are now giving both drivers something they can work with." After scoring points in the last three rounds of the season Fisichella is looking forward to returning to the Nurburgring, a circuit which has been altered for 2002.

"Nurburgring is a circuit I am familiar with as I have driven here so many times, not only in Formula One but also when I participated in the DTM series," he said.

"This year we will experience some significant changes to the original track, which should be interesting. I hope to be able to continue the series of positive results which began in Austria."

Fisichella's team mate Takuma Sato will be making his first F1 appearance at the German circuit, although it will not be his first race at the historic venue. The Japanese rookie made the top ten at the last round in Canada, but only after his engine blew in qualifying.

"I am looking forward to the European Grand Prix as it is held at one of the circuits I know," he said. "I raced before at Nurburgring in the Formula Opel Euroseries in 1999, which might give me a small benefit, although they have made changes to the first three corners.

"I was happy to get 10th place in Canada but of course I want to do more and gain points and podiums, so I hope the next race will be good. I also hope I can do a full qualifying session without having to run back to the pits!"

Meanwhile, Anderson believes the EJ12 should be well suited to the challenges of the Nurburgring circuit.

"I was quite disappointed in Canada as I thought we had a real chance to get on the podium," he said. "But it showed that we've got a reasonable package for the circuits of the forthcoming races. I think with a little bit of luck here and there, we can get a podium this season.

"We should do quite well in the European Grand Prix as Nurburgring calls for a lot of curb climb, like the circuit in Montreal, and I expect the EJ12 package to suit the track."

Although neither of his cars scored in this race last year, team boss Jordan is also confident the team can carry their positive momentum from recent races to the Nurburgring.

"The European Grand Prix was a 'nearly' race for us in 1999 when we qualified on pole position and then led the race for 32 laps," he said. "We have all been encouraged by our results from the last three races, thanks to the team's hard work and Giancarlo's incredible expertise.

"It is important that we now look forward and focus on improving the car further so the drivers can continue to deliver points. I want to see Jordan close the gap on the teams immediately ahead of us in the Championship and I am optimistic about achieving that." Jordan lie sixth in the constructors' standings on six points, just two behind fifth-placed rivals Sauber.



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