Jordan last hope for Coulthard

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Jordan have emerged as David Coulthard's last hope of staying in Formula One for 2005. The former McLaren-Mercedes driver is offended that his 13 victories have not been sufficient to convince Red Bull Racing to make him their team leader.

"I've been offered test driver roles," Coulthard said. "But as long as there is still a chance of racing I must pursue that." Jordan, on the verge of a major reorganisation centred on the Arden International Formula 3000 team owner Christian Horner, are the only team left with potential and spare seats, and Coulthard's experience and speed may prove attractive there.

As the first signs of discord within Red Bull Racing have become apparent, Jordan may also become a haven for Vitantonio Liuzzi, whom Horner appears to rate more highly than Red Bull team principal Tony Purnell.

The Italian is testing for Red Bull in Barcelona, against the Austrian driver Christian Klien who drove for Jaguar last year with the energy drink company's funding. Red Bull do not want to waste their investment in Klien, but Purnell wants to run "experienced" drivers in the cars rather than Klien and Liuzzi, who is Red Bull's most successful driver under their development programme, which secured no fewer than six different championships in 2004.

This policy seems odd because Purnell had nothing but lavish praise for the Italian long before he dominated the Formula 3000 championship with Arden this year, with a record seven wins from 10 races, nine pole positions and nine podium finishes. That is a better record than past champions Juan Pablo Montoya, who began testing with McLaren this week, and Nick Heidfeld, who will test for BMW-Williams but is also a possible choice for Red Bull.