Motoracing: Hill stalls as Verstappen moves in
Wednesday 30 June 1999
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."
Latest in Sport
Cristiano Ronaldo buys agent Jorge Mendes a whole Greek island as a wedding present
Premier League 2015/16 preview: Club-by-club guide to the new season
Pedro to Manchester United: Louis van Gaal says £22m winger can turn Manchester United into champions
Can Arsenal win the Premier League? Is Raheem Sterling the answer to Man City's problems? Can anything stop Chelsea?
Pedro to Manchester United latest: Pep Guardiola backs his Barcelona protege to shine at Old Trafford
- 1 Sabrina Corgatelli: US hunting tourist posts picture of herself with dead giraffe after Cecil the lion outrage
- 2 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 3 A-level results 2015: UK exam board OCR admits it 'estimates' hundreds of pupils' grades after papers 'go missing'
- 4 Giant Minion terrorises drivers in Ireland as 40ft inflatable blocks busy Dublin road
- 5 'Cool kids' can go on to become losers in later life, study finds
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Chris Leslie: Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor
Landlords renting properties to illegal immigrants to face up to five years in prison
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality
£20,781 to £24,057 per annum: East15 Acting School: The post involves general ...
£26000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: ACS qualified Domestic Gas Brea...
£16250 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Product Packager / Stock Assistant is ...