Pantano again eyes Champ Car

UPDATE #3 Giorgio Pantano probably won't return to the grand prix grid in 2005. The Italian, who raced for Jordan last year but had to leave the team after Monza, admitted that the Silverstone-based squad 'is an option.' ''It's not going to be easy,'' he told the ItaliaRacing website. ''It depends on the conditions — if it's going to be the same as 2004, then no.'' Pantano doesn't want to be a test driver, so he's also looking at Champ Car and F1 support category GP2. ''I'm interested in (GP2),'' he admitted. ''It's somewhere where a driver can go to show if he is good enough.'' 12/28/04 This SPEED TV article quotes Pantano as still preferring to be in F1, “I think I still have plenty to show, something I never got the chance to do at Jordan," he said, hinting that his equipment was not always up to par with teammate Nick Heidfeld’s. “Minardi has boosted a lot of drivers’ careers [Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber being the latest examples], so it’s something I want to seek." Paul Stoddart’s team has only one confirmed driver so far, Dutchman Christijan Albers. In case his Minardi pretensions fall apart, a switch to Champ Car is also in Pantano’s cards. “I’ve had plenty of conversations with [Champ Car] team owners, but honestly, I can’t say we got anything solid so far," he concluded. [Editor's Note: Don't look for this guy in Champ Car. We suspect he will stay in Europe and race somewhere and is just using the Champ Car talk to get F1 to take notice. It won't work as he won't be back in F1 either.] 12/02/04 Pantano told “I would like to stay in Formula One because I haven’t had the chance to show what I can do with one of these cars. It was very hard because there are not many slots left, but I am working on it," he told us. “There is still a drive with Jordan and I have made contact with Red Bull Racing, which should be a really nice team when they get to the championship. So nothing is lost, but I am also looking at Champ Car or other championships to make sure I have something to fall back on. But once again my greatest wish is to continue my career in F1!" [Editor's Note: We don't see him landing a ride in Champ Car unless he brings money. He is another driver who annually says he is "also eyeing Champ Car"] 11/05/04 We have it on good word that Italian Giorgio Pantano, former Jordan F1 driver, is again eyeing Champ Car after finally coming to the realization that a career in F1 is not going to happen. It remains to be seen whether he can land a deal this time around. Mark C.

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