The Jordan Hart 193, equipped with semi-automatic gearbox, traction control and an electronic front ride height control system, was ushered along its first few laps of a wet Silverstone circuit by the team's 20-year-old Brazilian driver, Rubens Barrichello.
After an excellent maiden season at this level in 1991, Jordan switched from Ford engines to Yamaha with disappointing consequences. The team scored their only point of last season in the final race. This time, Jordan admits, they have to get it right. The candid Irishman said: 'This is our third year in Grand Prix racing and it has to make or break us. I say it will make us.
'We did at least retrieve something with that point in Adelaide. We never gave up and that was the important thing. It provided a sense of satisfaction and pride.'
Jordan and his aides like to talk of 'the spirit of Jordan' and their willingness to 'grab it by the scruff of the neck'. They have certainly grasped the technological nettle with their latest package and reliability will be crucial.
'We have to get back to where we were in the first year,' Jordan said. 'You have the big four, Williams, McLaren, Benetton, and Ferrari, and then a group of other teams battling for fifth place. We have to make that fifth place ours.'
Jordan's optimism has been fuelled by the early performances of Hart's V10 engine and the precocious Barrichello, who was British Formula Three champion in 1991, third in the International Formula 3000 Championship last season and has been likened - in more ways than one - to his compatriot, Ayrton Senna.
Jordan hopes to be able to announce his other driver next week. Thierry Boutsen and Mauricio Gugelmin are thought to be among the candidates.Reuse content