Will Michael Schumacher’s first Formula 1 team possibly be the last for Sebastian Vettel? In any case, Vettel is now with the team in Silverstone in the “Team of the Germans”.
Jordan laid the foundation for Aston Martin in 1991
But even if the team has changed in the last 30 years and has seen four changes of ownership and five names, it is still essentially the same. The basis of Aston Martin is still the one that Eddie Jordan laid when he entered Formula 1 in 1991. Even the color of the car is returning to its old roots: Schumi’s debut was in a green Jordan-Ford, Vettel will drive a green Aston Martin-Mercedes in 2021.
Since Michael Schumacher made his Formula 1 debut at the Belgian GP in 1991, eleven German drivers have made it into Formula 1. Only three of them were never on the road for the team at Silverstone: Nico Rosberg, André Lotterer and Pascal Wehrlein.
Sebastian Vettel will be the ninth German Formula 1 driver in the team in 2021. This is how its eight predecessors have done so far:
Michael Schumacher: 1991
Balance: 1 World Championship race, 0 points
Almost every German Formula 1 fan knows the story of Schumi’s Formula 1 debut: Bertrand Gachot had to go to jail for a pepper spray incident with a London taxi driver, so Jordan was looking for a new driver. Eddie Jordan’s team was new to Formula 1 in 1991, but was in the front midfield from the start. The cockpit was correspondingly popular. Replacement drivers lined up. Among the more than 20 applicants, alongside stars such as the former world champion Keke Rosberg, Michael Schumacher was also included. With a white lie (he didn’t know the route in Spa) and a financial dowry, he got a test test and convinced from the start.
On his debut in Belgium, Schumacher immediately qualified his Jordan-Ford for seventh place on the grid, seven tenths of a second faster than team-mate Andrea de Cesaris, who after all contested his 160th Grand Prix. After only a few hundred meters, however, Schumi’s debut ended prematurely: clutch defect. Although he had a contract for the rest of the season, he already moved to Benetton for the next race in Belgium.
Ralf Schumacher: 1997/1998
Record: 33 World Championship races, three podiums, 27 points
After Michael Schumacher’s premature departure, Eddie Jordan was no longer a big Schumi fan. But at the same time Jordan wanted to sign a big name. Former world champion Nigel Mansell tested the Jordan Peugeot extensively, but decided against a comeback. So Jordan just got the young Schumi brother Ralf Schumacher.
The partnership was quite successful: Ralf Schumacher climbed onto the podium in third place at the third GP. At the end of the two years he was on the podium three times and even had a chance to win the 1998 Belgian GP, but for safety reasons he was no longer allowed to attack his team-mate Damon Hill.
The contract was terminated prematurely when Ralf Schumacher got the chance to switch to Williams in 1999. “Michael even paid me two million dollars to tear the contract apart,” recalls Eddie Jordan. “For me that was a late excuse for 1991.”
Heinz-Harald Frentzen: 1999 to 2001
Record: 43 World Championship races, two wins, 8 podium places, 61 points
To this day, Frentzen is the team’s most successful Formula 1 driver. In 1999 he not only won two Grands Prix, but also had outsider chances for the title for a long time. Had he not been in the lead with an electronic defect at the European GP, who knows how the World Cup would have turned out. In any case, Jordan was the favorite scare of the top teams Ferrari and McLaren in 1999.
But in 2000 and 2001 Jordan and Frentzen could no longer build on their successes in 1999. The relationship crumbled, Frentzen had to leave in the 2001 season. “That was my biggest mistake,” admits Jordan afterwards.
Nick Heidfeld: 2004
Record: 18 World Championship races, three points
When Nick Heidfeld drove one season for Jordan in 2004, the team was on the verge of bankruptcy. Only at the Monaco GP as seventh and at the Canada GP as eighth (after several disqualifications of other participants), Heidfeld was therefore in the points.
Timo Glock: 2004
Balance: 4 world championship races, two points
In 2004 Timo Glock only contested four Grands Prix as a substitute for Giorgio Pantano in the Jordan-Ford, whenever the Italian couldn’t keep up with his sponsorship payments. It was Glock’s entry into Formula 1, but only years later (2008) did he return to Formula 1 after trips to GP2 and the IndyCar with Toyota – although he even scored two points for Jordan in seventh place at the Canadian GP .
Adrian Sutil: 2007 to 2011/2013
Record: 109 World Championship races, 124 points
Adrian Sutil is the German with the most races for the team. But he never made it to the podium. At the 2009 Italian GP he was the closest to fourth. At that time, Force India was even considered a secret favorite, because Giancarlo Fisichella had almost won the Belgian GP and the Force India-Mercedes did well on high-speed courses. Sutil’s best season was 2011 when he finished ninth with Force India.
Markus Winkelhock: 2007
Balance: 1 World Championship race, 0 points
His only race has not been forgotten: As the son of the late ex-Formula 1 driver Manfred Winkelhock, he only came on board in 2007 as a substitute for Christijan Albers from the Netherlands. When it started to rain, Winkelhock really played poker and pulled on rain tires when the start was dry. As soon as it started to rain, Winkelhock’s hour struck: he came to the top with his Spyker Ferrari and led his only Formula 1 race. In the end he was unlucky: first the race was stopped, then he was eliminated with hydraulic damage.
Nico Hülkenberg: 2012/2014 to 2016/2020
Record: 80 World Championship races, 299 points
Nico Hülkenberg had three stints in the team from Silverstone: 2012, then from 2014 to 2016 and again as Corona substitute in 2020. Although he was consistently in the front midfield, he did not win a single podium either. This means that Hülkenberg remains the driver with the most races (179) without a podium. He finished fourth twice.