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
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Solution Architect - Contract

£500 - £600 per day: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Solution Architect is requir...

360 Resourcing Solutions: Export Sales Coordinator

£18k - 20k per year: 360 Resourcing Solutions: ROLE: Export Sales Coordinato...

Recruitment Genius: B2B Telesales Executive - OTE £35,000+

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The largest developer of mobile...

SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue