Hungarian Formula One hopeful Zsolt Baumgartner will be driving for Jordan in 2004, if reports from Hungary's national press agency MTI are to be believed.

According to the source, which quoted Baumgartner's manager Tamas Frank, the F3000 driver has received a formal contract offer from team boss Eddie Jordan for next season, which would see him step up to Formula One full-time after two stand-in appearances this year.

Frank apparently told MTI that Baumgartner would replace Giancarlo Fisichella, who already has signed for Sauber for 2004, provided that his sponsors agreed to the move. Baumgartner would need to take sufficient finance to Jordan to secure a ride as the team continues to pull itself back onto an even keel after a hard campaign in 2003. It was notable, however, that his EJ13 carried more logos than any other this season after it was confirmed that the Hungarian would be standing in for the injured Ralph Firman at the Italian Grand Prix.

Jordan, however, has confirmed that it has several drivers on its short-list to replace Fisichella.

"We are looking for the best package commercially and technically," a spokeswoman told Reuters, "We're talking to everybody. It's in our interests to do so."

Should he not graduate to F1, Frank insists that Baumgartner also has opportunities in the US-based CART series.

 

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