Eddie Jordan, the last team manager to come into Formula One and make a reasonable fist of it, warned Jackie Stewart yesterday to brace himself for the harsh realities of grand prix motor racing.
Stewart, three times world champion, returns to the arena next year after flexing his management muscles with his son, Paul, in the lower formulae. Jordan, too, graduated from that school and embarked on Formula One in partnership with Ford.
But, despite a productive first season in 1991, which brought Jordan fifth place in the constructors' championship, they still seek their first grand prix win and have struggled to break into the top bracket of the sport. Eddie Jordan believes Stewart will encounter similar difficulties.
Jordan said: "I think it is good for Formula One to have someone of Jackie's stature coming in and I am sure he will put together a good package but it is unrealistic to expect his team to start winning races almost straight away. It took Frank Williams something like 15 years to become a major player.
"We have been winners right up the scale but we've had to re-assess our targets since coming into Formula One. Jackie, I am sure, will have to go through much the same sort of process and I think he is very bold to be coming in at the age of 56."
For all the lessons, Jordan expresses himself optimistic his car, powered by a Peugeot engine, and driven by the Brazilian, Rubens Barrichello, and Britain's Martin Brundle, will deliver that elusive maiden victory this season.
Jordan said: "We must win a race this year and I believe we will. It is time we did it."