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Eddie Jordan Q&A

The BBC Formula 1 team will be answering your questions in a new series for the website this year.

In the latest edition, pundit Eddie Jordan is on the spot. Thank you for all your e-mails, a selection of which the former team boss answers below.

BBC Sport Formula 1 pundit Eddie Jordan
By Eddie Jordan
BBC Sport in Barcelona, Spain

How do you feel about returning to the F1 paddock after missing the Chinese Grand Prix because of the air restrictions?
Josh, UK

"I tried everything to get to China and I couldn't believe how much I missed it but when I saw the drama of everyone trying to get back and taking, in some cases, a week to do so I probably felt in some ways that I was quite lucky.

"Being back here in Spain for the start of the European season, it's all very exciting because I didn't expect it to be as tight and unpredictable as it has been for the first four races.

"There have been some classic races so far this season and I'm looking forward to more."

Can anyone overcome the one-lap pace of the Red Bulls?
Kevin Whiting, England

"Probably not. It's important to bear in mind that Red Bull are setting the pace without the effects of McLaren's innovative 'F-duct' aerodynamic device that most of the other teams are now copying.

"This also happened last year when Red Bull started the season without the benefit of a double diffuser and when they did fit one to their car they pretty much became the dominant force.

"Despite the fact that they're not top of either championship they are a formidable force and I see them as title favourites."

Which team has made the most significant upgrades for the start of the European campaign?
Richard, Cheshire

"A lot of the front-running teams have come up with all sorts of different updates.

"But the thing that strikes me most is that Red Bull have concentrated on areas where they have a good grasp of where the speed is and haven't gone and just stuck on the McLaren 'F-duct' as Ferrari have.

"Mercedes have got a car much more to the liking of Michael Schumacher, which I think they were under great pressure to do so.

"It would appear that they've been very successful in that area and so it looks like Red Bull and Mercedes who have made the biggest strides."

It seems that you were right, Michael Schumacher's second F1 career isn't going to plan. Do you think this situation will remain for the rest of the season?
Kaz Mohamed, UK

"The Mercedes team are very bullish ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix and I saw Michael arrive at the paddock on Saturday morning with an extra little spring in his step which, if we all know Michael, means he has something up his sleeve.

"Mercedes have modified the car to make it more to Michael's liking and so it remains to be seen whether that will pay off.

"But if Michael has found a car that suits him then don't be surprised to see him do really well as the season goes on."

What do you think Nico Rosberg is making of Schumacher's comeback so far? Will he be grinning to himself?
Marty Fullard, United Arab Emirates

"I think Nico will be grinning to himself as no-one really gave him a chance this season.

"The great thing about Nico is that all the pre-season publicity and excitement revolved around Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton, and both of them have been outshone by their team-mates.

"Most of the pundits and experts didn't give Rosberg or Jenson Button at McLaren a chance, never mind beating their team-mates and they've both done a remarkable job.

"Will it continue for the rest of the season? Probably not, but we were wrong in the first four races so there's nothing to say that we won't be wrong in the next races too."

The last three races have been great - is this down to the new rule changes, or is it because the weather has wreaked havoc?
David Smith,Australia

"Sadly, in my opinion it's the weather and now everyone is lobbying for sprinklers at the circuits.

"Despite the weather radars, no-one seems to know when the rain is going to come. If you want guaranteed fun and guaranteed action then a wet track will give you the show.

"Let's hope the sport's rule-makers can find a way to increase overtaking without being too contrived or relying on the weather."

Given Button's performance so far this year for McLaren do you think he was underestimated and if so why?
John Gaunt, UK

"When you win a world title, as Jenson did last year, it affects many people in many different ways.

"Some people are just happy that they've won it and that is their legacy going forward whereas in Jenson's case it's set free a different spirit.

"He seems so relaxed because he no longer feels the pressure of not having won the championship. Now, he knows how to do it and he has the experience of having done it.

"What everyone misunderstood, me included, was the comfort level he is currently at and he's using his new-found confidence to great affect against Lewis Hamilton this season."

I'm looking to change my wardrobe and am thinking about sporting the EJ look this summer. Where can I get shirts like yours?
Braz, UK

"My shirts are made by an Italian designer friend of mine called Angelo Gallasso and they are just so comfortable. I'm a bit of a shirt freak."

I agreed with your sceptical opinion last season about the power-boost Kers system. Now there is talk of it being reintroduced in 2011 has your opinion changed? Ps. I love the shirts, keep em coming!
Stewart McGhee, UK

"In terms of using alternative sources of energy then Kers - a kinetic energy recovery system - is something that the sport and the motor car industry have to consider.

"We have to do everything we can to make our lives greener and to be aware of our affect on climate change. So if Kers helps, then that is a strong argument for its reintroduction to Formula 1.

"But from a purely motor racing point of view, I think Kers is too heavy and too expensive to put back in the cars.

"There are other mechanisms that could be used at a lower cost, such as a push-button power boost which give the cars an extra 500 engine revs to help with overtaking. Even mad suggestions in the paddock about using a sprinkler system to wet the track might not even be that daft!"

Would you like to see another tyre war in Formula 1?
David Clarke, UK

"No, with so little testing a tyre war would be particularly difficult to introduce.

"I think there'll be an announcement fairly soon on who will replace Bridgestone as F1's supplier next season.

"Pirelli, Michelin and Cooper Avon have all come forward as potential suppliers but I'm hearing now that there's even a possibility that Bridgestone could stay. If teams are looking to keep a lid on costs then continuity would be the sensible way forward."

I was a member of Club Jordan from 1995, when I was eight years old, and wondered is there a way to see the old Jordan cars anywhere and would you ever be convinced into becoming a team owner again?
Alex Gilbert, England

"I've had my time as a team owner - it's a job for much younger people now.

"For me to go back and try to run a team would be almost as daft as Boris Becker trying to come back and win Wimbledon.

"You cannot as a man in your early 60s do something as well as you did in your early 40s, even Michael Schumacher can probably verify this.

"Schumacher in his early 40s cannot do something as well as the drivers in their early 20s. You cannot defy the laws of nature.

"I'm not sure he realised how quick the younger guys like Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel really were.

"As for the old cars, well, I still have the car that Michael Schumacher made his 1991 debut in. It's a running car and I raced it at Goodwood a number of years ago. I regard it as one of the nicest cars Jordan built and it's very special.

"I also have the car with which Damon Hill gave Jordan our first win in at Spa in 1998. Both those Jordans are in the museum at Donington Park, so you can see them there."

How difficult is it for a driver to keep his emotions in check with situations that crop up on the track? Do they not want to charge down to another garage and have a strop?
Rhys Hughes, Spain

"It's not just confined to the drivers; there's lots of times that I wanted to whack someone but you have to be in control of your emotions.

"You have to try and remember what your Mum told you: 'Count to 10, son.'

"The most obvious spat was between Michael Schumacher and David Coulthard at Spa in 1998 when Schumacher confronted Coulthard in the pits believing he had brake-tested him.

"Michael probably regrets what happens now and had he counted to 10, like I'm sure he's advising his kids to do, it wouldn't have happened.

"I'm not going to say who but I was the recipient of a driver's fist at one stage when I didn't change an engine. It normally goes on behind closed doors."

Do you think small teams such as Lotus will ever catch big-money teams?
Attilio, Hungary

"First of all, one of the three new teams has to get to the stage where they can hang on to the back end of teams like Toro Rosso, Force India and Williams.

"If they are going to start scoring points and do it with some style then they now need to find several seconds.

"We've heard from Lotus technical director Mike Gascoyne in Spain that he believes the team have found one-and-a-half seconds and are now thinking about getting on the tail of the second string of cars.

"I hope it's true as that needs to happen and it needs to happen quickly.

"Red Bull managed to catch up with the front-runners quickly since joining the grid in 2005 - and they've done remarkably well.

"But they are raised on the foundations of the former Jaguar and Stewart teams - and a lot also depends on funding.

"Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz has a wide idea of global and universal marketing and Lotus do not have such a major product to sell.

"The Lotus cars are a separate company and Tony Fernandes, founder of AirAsia, is funding the race team, so it's not all quite as joined up as Red Bull.

"Fernandes now has to be careful that the team is properly sponsored and that they hire the right people from here on in.

"If we are making a reference to Red Bull, it's widely believed that chief designer Adrian Newey is top of the class and it's up to Gascoyne to attract enough people to make the entire technical department of Lotus into a similarly strong operation."

As a team owner you came achingly close to the 1999 title when Heinz-Harald Frentzen's car failed while leading at the Nurburgring with two races to go. What went through your mind that day, and do you regret never getting that close again?
Road_of_Bones, UK

"I do still have little hang-ups about the Nurburging having had pole position and leading the race until the second pit-stop.

"It was extremely unfortunate that we didn't win that race and with two races to go it arguably would have made us favourites for the title - but you can never live your life with regrets.

"I was very fortunate to get the chance to race in Formula Three and Formula 3000 and I always felt I could do well in F1. There is a mystique about the likes of Ferrari, McLaren and Williams and thoughts were rushing through my head about beating them.

"As we got closer and closer I believed we could do it and I'm very pleased that what we gave was our best shot.

"The Nurbringring is life. There are lots of people who don't get what they feel is justified.

"At Jordan we had a remarkable time, we shared in the risk and that's one of the reasons that I could never go back to F1."


Eddie Jordan is the former owner of the Jordan Grand Prix team and a BBC F1 pundit. He was talking to Sarah Holt.



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see also
Webber & Vettel head Spanish grid
08 May 10 |  Formula 1
Spanish GP Saturday photos
08 May 10 |  Formula 1
Red Bull are untouchable - Button
07 May 10 |  Formula 1
Red Bull duo fastest in Barcelona
07 May 10 |  Formula 1
Spanish Grand Prix practice photos
07 May 10 |  Formula 1
Schumacher not fazed by problems
06 May 10 |  Formula 1
Hamilton hails salvaged title bid
06 May 10 |  Formula 1
McLaren target front row in Spain
05 May 10 |  Formula 1


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