The Jordan Formula One team has quashed speculation that the engine deal signed with Toyota could see a Toyota driver in the Jordan car next season.
Ryan Briscoe, who ran in the third Toyota from the Hungarian Grand Prix onwards, had been linked to a drive with Jordan as part of the engine deal, with his testing duties at Toyota set to be severely limited in 2005 following the signings of Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher and the decision taken by Olivier Panis to take on a testing role rather than retire from the sport completely.
Speaking exclusively to Crash.net, Jordan's director of business affairs Ian Phillips said that a race seat for Briscoe was not part of the deal, although he didn't rule out the possibility that the Australian youngster could drive for the Silverstone based team in 2005.
"The deal is a clean engine supply deal," he said. "That doesn't mean we wouldn't look at Ryan as one of our drivers as he is the kind of guy that Jordan traditionally looks at to put in the team. We've got some time to look at drivers because the late nature of the engine deal means that the car won't be running until the end of January. We've got to look around and see what makes the most business sense for Jordan first of all, and then when we have that list we'll go for the best driving talent we have.
"Ryan has a bit of experience from his Toyota testing over the last year or so and he is the sort of guy who would normally fit into the Jordan category but there is still a lot to sort out before we select our drivers. The engine supply is certainly not conditional."
One man who will inevitably be linked with a possible role within the team is David Coulthard, who is still searching for a drive for next season after being replaced by Juan Pablo Montoya at McLaren.
Coulthard is quoted as saying that he would be prepared to do a deal with a team where his wages would be dependent on his performances but, although he would be an asset to the team, Phillips said that kind of deal wouldn't appeal to Jordan at the moment.
"It wouldn't get us kick started in the position we are in at the moment," he said. "Obviously someone with David's experience would be an immense asset to the team, but to be honest the first thing we have to do is finance the programme and we've not been able to really do that until we could capture the engine package. So realistically it's not worth speculating on possible drivers at the moment."