Giorgio Pantano will race for Jordan Ford this season alongside Nick Heidfeld, the Silverstone-based team announced on Friday. With the signing up of Pantano, the complete 2004 grid is now known, and it will be without Dutchman Jos Verstappen.
The 25 year old Italian, a former World Kart Champion, won the German F3 championship in his first season of single seater racing and went on to finish 2nd and 3rd respectively in the last two F3000 championships, winning six races with three different teams. He has previously tested for McLaren, Williams and Benetton.
Eddie Jordan said, “Giorgio performed consistently with accomplished racecraft at the front of the field for three years in F3000 and he’s ready for the challenge in F1. In Jordan Ford’s driver pairing I believe we have the best possible combination of youth, experience and natural ability. Giorgio and Nick are seriously quick, skilled and hungry for success, which is exactly what we need to rejuvenate the team and lead Jordan’s fight-back in 2004. I can’t wait for the first race!”
Giorgio Pantano said, “I’m so happy. I want to thank Eddie Jordan and everybody at Jordan Grand Prix for giving me the opportunity to be in F1 and show my ability. I will be giving my all as I really want to guarantee them good results. There are a lot of people I have to thank for helping me get to this position and I hope I will make them proud. I’m looking forward to driving the car some more in the test sessions, and then of course, I am really excited about my first Grand Prix in Melbourne in just a few weeks time.”