New driving talent to lead team's 2005 campaign
Jordan have announced Portugal's Tiago Monteiro and India's Narain Karthikeyan as their race drivers for the 2005 season. Karthikeyans signing will make him the first Indian to compete in the sport.
Trevor Carlin, Jordans sporting director since the team's recent takeover by the Midland Group, is familiar with both drivers, having previously run them in other motorsport series. I know Narain very well because he drove for me in 1998 in Formula 3 and I have run him in various formulas every year since then, he said.
Weve won a lot of races together. Hes very competitive, a super-quick driver, sometimes a little bit raw and wild in his style but he is a proven race winner and I am confident that in our environment he will thrive. Hes ready for F1 now I think hell do a good job for us.
Karthikeyan, 28, became the first Indian to drive a Formula One car when he tested with Jaguar back in 2001. Since then he has also tested with Jordan and Minardi, as well as competing in the Formula World Nissan Series with Carlin and the FIA GT Championship.
"My aim has always been to compete in F1, it is where no Indian driver has been before, he said. Ive got the hopes of a nation behind me so Ive no choice but to succeed now. I have tested with three different Formula 1 teams at various circuits and Im going to give it everything Ive got so I am confident that this is going to be a good year for me. "
Monteiro, 28, also has Formula One experience, having spent last season as a Minardi test driver. He was runner-up in the 2004 Formula World Nissan Series with Carlin, winning five races, and has previously competed in Formula 3000 and the American Champ Car series.
He is a super-professional and as a driver hes very good technically, we will see him work well with the team to get the best out of the car and improve it, said Carlin of Monteiro. Hes extremely fit and has a very good race pace, rarely makes mistakes and brings us a very technically competent, polished and consistent package. This is the chance for him to prove himself and make people notice him. Hes ready to make a big impression.
Of his appointment, Monteiro commented: Im more than excited to be part of Jordan Grand Prix this season. Like all drivers say, its a dream come true to get into Formula One - my hard work and past results have paid off and enabled me to be here. Its such an amazing opportunity that many thousands of drivers dream of and try for every year and I got it! So now I have to use it in the best way possible.
I know that I have Portugal supporting me and the fact that I'm representing my country makes me proud and gives me so much motivation. Its great to start with Jordan and the addition of Midland and all the Carlin people I have been racing with is a big plus. I know these people and they trust me because they know what I can do. I feel blessed and lucky and I really want to make the most out of this to thank everyone who helped put me here today.
Summing up his feelings on Jordans new line-up, Carlin added: We have been very lucky to put together a driver line-up which gives us a really strong package in terms of youth, technical ability, speed and talent.