Eddie Jordan today confirmed that Benson & Hedges will be the principal sponsor of the Jordan Ford team in the 2003 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Manufactured in the UK by Gallaher PLC, the Benson and Hedges brand has been associated with Jordan Grand Prix since 1996 when it became the team's title sponsor.

Since then it has enjoyed considerable success in Formula One, Benson and Hedges Jordan, winning its first Grand Prix with a one-two for Damon Hill and Ralf Schumacher in Belgium in 1998, and adding a further two victories the following season in France and Italy.

Speaking at London's Dorchester Hotel, where he was introducing new driver signing Ralph Firman to the British and Irish media for the first time, Jordan said: "I am delighted to confirm that Benson and Hedges will be with us for the eighth consecutive season.

"They have shown great loyalty to the team and the sport and I am sure that with Ralph joining Giancarlo Fisichella in the new Jordan Ford EJ13 we can look forward to a very exciting season in their distinctive yellow colours."

Neil England, Commercial Director of Gallaher PLC, added: "The recent bold moves by the FIA to reinvigorate the spectacle and competitiveness of Formula 1 have ensured that the sport remains exciting. Benson & Hedges is delighted to continue its association with Jordan Grand Prix and looks forward to a great season for them and Formula 1."