Jordan Grand Prix is a Formula One constructor that debuted in 1991. The team is named after Irish-born owner Edmund "Eddie" Jordan.
Jordan had a brief stint as a race driver in the late 1970s and ran a successful Formula Three and Formula 3000 team, called Eddie Jordan Racing, in the late 1980s. His team won the F3000 driver's championship with future Formula One star Jean Alesi in 1989.
Recently, the team has been sold to Midland F1, who still plan to build their team from scratch. The current drivers for Jordan are Narain Karthikeyan and Tiago Montiero.
His success in lower divisions inspired the creation of a Formula One program for the 1991 season. Jordan hired Italian veteran Andrea de Cesaris and Belgian Bertrand Gachot to drive his first cars, which were powered by Ford. The team had a very solid debut finishing 5th in the constructors' championship, with de Cesaris finishing 9th in the drivers' championship. Gachot failed to last the season after being sent to prison for attacking a taxi driver. Gachot was initially replaced by Michael Schumacher, who made his Formula One debut in a Jordan, but he was signed away from them after one start.
Success for Jordan literally came at a high price. The team was forced to switch to cheaper Yamaha engines for the 1992 season. With veterans Mauricio Gugelmin and Stefano Modena driving, the team badly struggled and failed to score a point until the final race of the season.
1993 saw further changes, with the team again changing engines, this time to Hart motors. Again, the season started with two new drivers, Ivan Capelli and Brazilian rookie Rubens Barrichello. Capelli left after two races, and Barrichello saw 5 other drivers become teammates of his during the 1993 campaign. Jordan only had moderate improvement, scoring 3 points. Signs of stability were beginning to show near the end of the season when Barrichello was joined by Eddie Irvine, a former driver for Jordan in F3000, near the end of the '93 season.
Barrichello and Irvine returned for the 1994 season, as did Hart, but Irvine got a bad start to the season, as he earned a three-race ban for reckless driving. Barrichello earned the team their first top three finish in Japan, but was nearly killed during the following race in San Marino following a frightening practice crash. The team overcame these difficulties and returned to their initial form as they finished 5th in the constructor's championship again. Barrichello, who also earned Jordan's first pole position, was exceptional for them, as he finished 6th among drivers.
Jordan switched to Peugeot power in 1995. During the Canadian Grand Prix that year, both Irvine and Barrichello finished on the podium, finishing second and third respectively. It was the highlight to an unspectacular but relatively solid year for Jordan, as they hung around mid-pack to finish 6th.
Irvine left in 1996 to become Michael Schumacher's teammate at Ferrari, leading Jordan to replace him with veteran Martin Brundle. The team failed to make the podium, but both drivers managed to score a string of fourth place finishes as the team scored yet another 5th among constructors.
Late 1990s ascent
1997 saw the departure of both drivers from the previous year. Barrichello left for the newly formed Stewart Grand Prix; Brundle became an F1 analyst. Jordan replaced them with Italian Giancarlo Fisichella and young Ralf Schumacher, Michael's brother. Again, the team with 5th in the standings, with Fisichella scoring two finishes on the podium.
In 1998, the team made its biggest signing as former World Champion Damon Hill, a graduate of Jordan's F3000 program, replaced Fisichella. The team also replaced its Peugeots with Mugen Honda motors. By the halfway point of the season, Jordan had failed to score a single point. However, things improved greatly towards the end of the season. At that year's Belgian Grand Prix, Jordan earned their first career win, with Damon Hill earning the last of his 20 career Grand Prix victories. Ralf Schumacher sweetened the victory by finishing second. Hill finished 6th in the driver's standings with Ralf 10th. Jordan finished 4th in the Constructors Championship.
Yet another former F3000 driver of Jordan's, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, joined his F1 program in 1999, replacing Williams-bound Ralf Schumacher. The season was a nightmare for Hill, but Frentzen's was immensely successful, with Heinz-Harald earning two victories and a pole position. Frentzen finished third in the drivers' standings and the team did the same in the constructors', making it their best finish to date.
Hill retired after his season, and his replacement Jarno Trulli proved to be an improvement from Damon's last year. Frentzen, however, was not as successful as he'd been the previous year, and the team slipped back to 6th in the constructors' championship.
Both drivers returned to start 2001, but drove with different engines, as Jordan switched to regular Honda engines. It was a bittersweet year for Frentzen, as he was given his release in mid-season. He was eventually replaced by Jean Alesi, in the final legs of his Formula One career. Amidst all the turmoil, Trulli managed to score points every now and then, and the team, as it had done many times before, finished 5th.
Jordan re-organized in 2002, with Fisichella returning and Takuma Sato joining the team, thanks in no small part to Honda's support of the team. Neither driver was particularly competitive, however. The fact the team finished 6th had as much to do with the team tending to be in the right place at the right time more often than not.
For 2003, Honda left Jordan to concentrate on their partnership with BAR. Jordan had to make do with Ford Cosworth engines, and the season was one of the weirdest by a team in recent Formula One history. Only Minardi had a worse year than Jordan among teams, yet Jordan was able to celebrate a fourth career victory. The win came under extraordinary circumstances in a rain-shortened Brazilian Grand Prix, where Giancarlo Fisichella was initially ruled to finish a still remarkable second after the race was red flagged and stopped. An FIA inquiry several days later led to Fisichella being officially declared the winner of his first F1 race. Aside from the unlikely win, neither Fisichella or new teammate Ralph Firman were able to have any sort of success in their Jordans.
As of 2004, Jordan is struggling financially, and their status for the future is questionable. In 2004 the team fielded two promising young drivers, German Nick Heidfeld, who came from Sauber, and Italian rookie Giorgio Pantano. However, Pantano was replaced by Timo Glock due to commercial difficulties, and the fact that he failed to live up to his promise. The season brought no improvement - it merely confirmed Jordan's status as a backmarker, battling with the Minardis.
After the Ford Motor Company's decision to put Cosworth up for sale, Jordan had been left without an engine deal for 2005. However, at short notice, Toyota have agreed to supply Jordan with engines identical to those in the Toyota F1 cars.
At the beginning of 2005, the team was sold to Midland Group (run by businessman Alex Shnaider). The Jordan name will still be used for the 2005 Formula One season, before changing to Midland F1 for the 2006 season.