Motoracing: Hill stalls as Verstappen moves in

JOS VERSTAPPEN went to work for Jordan-Mugen yesterday with uncertainty still shrouding the future of the team's regular driver, Damon Hill.

The former champion had been expected to confirm his retirement with immediate effect and Jordan summoned the Dutchman, Verstappen, as his potential replacement in the British Grand Prix, at Silverstone, on Sunday week.

However, Jordan were still awaiting Hill's verdict last night, prompting speculation that he might yet be swayed by the entreaties of his supporters to make a final appearance in his home race. A Jordan team spokeswoman said: "We've not had a decision from Damon. This is obviously something he wants to think about very carefully."

Some sources within the sport suspect Hill is calculating the cost of walking out on Formula One at this stage of the season. It is understood he is due to earn another pounds 2.5m for the remainder of the world championship programme. He is doubtless reluctant to forfeit so much and Jordan will be equally less enthusiastic about paying him his full retainer. Hill and the team owner, Eddie Jordan, have spoken by telephone over the past two days and it may well be they have been discussing a severance fee.

Verstappen would probably be content to accept a modest remuneration. He has been called up from the fringes of Formula One and presented an opportunity to play on the main stage again. The 27-year-old former Benetton, Simtek, Arrows, Tyrrell and Stewart driver has been given the two-day stint at Silverstone alongside Jordan's regular test driver, Shinji Nakano and started well yesterday. His best lap was a second faster than Nakano's but more than three seconds behind that of Ferrari's Michael Schumacher. If he continues to perform well, Verstappen will be in line to partner Heinz-Harald Frentzen in the race team.

Frentzen's performances have certainly raised the standards now expected at Jordan. He has put them on course for third place in the constructors' championship, reaching a personal peak with victory in last Sunday's French Grand Prix. Jordan have inevitably been linked with one of their former drivers, Eddie Irvine, for next season, though he would cost around pounds 4m after his impressive performances with Ferrari, while David Coulthard, having a less productive yet undeniably luckless season with McLaren-Mercedes, may be available for around pounds 2.5m despite his assertions to the contrary. The French Sicilian, Jean Alesi, is another who could come into the picture.

Meanwhile Verstappen said afterwards: "It was always a dream for me to come to Jordan. Of course I want to be back in Formula One."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

East15 Acting School: Finance and Contracts Officer

£20,781 to £24,057 per annum: East15 Acting School: The post involves general ...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager - Heli Ski Specialist

£26000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Breakdown Engineer

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: ACS qualified Domestic Gas Brea...

Recruitment Genius: Product Packager / Stock Assistant

£16250 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Product Packager / Stock Assistant is ...

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen