Jordan seek to make point in Italy

 

The last time Giancarlo Fisichella raced for Jordan at Imola, five years ago, he left a happy man.

This Sunday, after failing to score a point in three races since his return from Benetton, he will be hoping that history repeats itself in what amounts to a home race for the Roman.

But he is not banking on it. It has not been a good start to the year for either Fisichella or Jordan, who have suffered bad luck and engine problems as well as self-inflicted agonies.

The Italian retired from the Brazilian Grand Prix with a blown engine, crashed in Australia on the first lap and his car was shunted from behind by team mate Takuma Sato in Malaysia.

"We are still struggling with power. I'm not sure about San Marino, if it's good or not for us," he said.

"The car doesn't look too bad. It's quite easy to find a good set-up but we just need more power.

"For Imola there will be a small step and then maybe in three or four races there is a big step, hopefully.

"We are going in the right direction. Maybe when we have more power we can get closer and get on the podium."

Jordan are one of only five teams to have won a race in the last four years but they have slipped in the pecking order since their best ever season in 1999 when they finished third overall.

With Renault and Ferrari-powered Sauber leading the fight for fourth place, Jordan have a battle on their hands to retain their fifth place of 2001.

"I'm sure he [Fisichella] wants to forget the first three races, just like I do," said team boss Eddie Jordan after Interlagos.

"He's frustrated," said Nick Burrows, the Italian's number one mechanic in 1997 and once again this season, of Fisichella's current state of mind.

"But I think he's quite philosophical about it. He knows there is plenty of work to do on the car and engine and is patiently waiting for his season to get better."

Jordan and rivals British American Racing, both powered by Honda engines, are, with Arrows, the only teams yet to open their accounts after three long-haul races dominated by Ferrari and Williams.

For Jordan, that rates as the worst start to a season since former champion Damon Hill was in the driving seat as Ralf Schumacher's team mate in 1998.