Pantano in the spotlight at Jerez 10 Feb 2004
The relentless Formula One testing schedule continues today (Tuesday) as yet another multi-team session kicks off at the Jerez circuit in Spain. Ferrari, Jaguar, McLaren, Renault, BAR and Sauber are among those present, but it is Jordan who may well find themselves centre of attention.
Eddie Jordan's squad are the only team yet to finalise their 2004 driver line-up. German Nick Heidfeld is confirmed in one seat, but continued media speculation has surrounded who will get the second. Jos Verstappen recently ruled himself out of the running, and this week sees Italian Giorgio Pantano become the latest in a line of 'hot tips' for the drive.
Pantano has an impressive motorsport record. In 2000, his first year of single-seater racing, he won the German Formula Three Championship and also tested with the Benetton Formula One team. The following year he switched to Formula 3000, winning the last round of the season at Monza, and also tested with McLaren.
His Formula 3000 ascendancy continued in 2002. Three wins with the Coloni team saw him finish runner-up in the championship, while he was also victorious in one of Minardi's promotional two-seater Formula One races at Donington Park. Last year he took a further two F3000 wins, this time with the Durango team, to finish third in the series.
While Pantano would appear to have the pedigree necessary for Formula One racing, Jordan have not confirmed whether the 25-year-old will get a chance to prove it this week at Jerez, where Heidfeld will be continuing development of the recently-launched EJ14.