Despite the logos of his main sponsor, IT company Trust, appearing on both the new EJ14-Ford and the overalls worn by potential team-mate Nick Heidfeld at Wednesday's Jordan team launch, Jos Verstappen is looking less and less likely to line up for the Silverstone team in 2004.

Although contract talks were re-opened after the Dutchman's management team called a halt to negotiations early last week, they again ground to a halt within hours of the EJ14 being revealed to the press. Once again, Verstappen's personal website reports that 'contractual obstacles' remained in place, preventing him from agreeing terms for the forthcoming season.

"We did all we could to come to some agreement," Verstappen was quoted as saying, "but, despite all time and trouble we have taken, it was not to be."

The Trust logos spotted on the EJ14 at Silverstone yesterday thus represented false hope to all the Dutchman's loyal fans, and will almost certainly be missing when Nick Heidfeld rolls out of the pit-lane at Jerez next week.

"If Jos is not driving for Jordan, then Trust will not enter into any business deal with the team - and no Trust logos will be on the cars," company MD Michel Perridon insisted, "The fans should not to worry that I have agreed a deal with Jordan that does not include Jos as a driver."

The company remains firmly behind its star, and is hopeful that its backing will enable him to pick up a ride during the season.

"There are always possibilities through which Jos can find a seat in Formula One," claimed marketing manager Muriel Wolda.

If this really is the end of negotiations between Verstappen and Jordan, the door of opportunity once again opens up for British drivers Allan McNish, Ralph Firman and Justin Wilson, all of whom would appeal to title sponsor Benson & Hedges.

However, another threat remains in the shape of Germany's Timo Glock, who again tested with the team at Silverstone on Thursday. Although the F3 graduate is expected to be confirmed as the team's third driver in 2004, his increased role in recent weeks marks him out as a possible candidate to partner Heidfeld.

 

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