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Firman will have to get used to not winning 04 Mar 2003

For the first time in a while Ralph Firman will be entering a racing series in which his chances of winning - in the immediate future - are minimal. But he says that's an adjustment he is willing to make now that he has finally realised his dream of racing in F1.

A winner in karting and Formula Vauxhall, and a champion in British Formula 3 and Japan's Formula Nippon, he knows he will have to wait for real success in the big league

"I didn't win to begin with in Japan," he points out. "When that happens you have to just knuckle down and make yourself more determined. When you're not winning it's probably the worst sport in the world but when you are winning it's the greatest. It was hard to keep going but I had the dream of Formula One and that's what I've knuckled down and done by winning the Nippon Championship."

He is deliberately cautious about Jordan-Ford's prospects for 2003.

"You can't make any judgement until the first race. Realistically we have to aim at finishing fourth in the championship, and we'd have had an excellent season if we achieved that. The car seems very good, but you just don't know what fuel load, type of tyre etc that other people have been testing on, until you get to Melbourne and everyone is running in similar trim."