Eddie Jordan reveals how Ayrton Senna almost got 50% of his F1 team for free

Ayrton Senna died on May 1 1994 after crashing out of the San Marino Grand Prix.

Eddie Jordan has sensationally revealed how he nearly sold half of his Formula 1 team to three-time World Champion Ayrton Senna, before the Brazilian tragically died in 1994.

Senna is regarded by many as the greatest F1 driver of all-time, with the Brazilian having been unbelievable behind the wheel.

He is a hero to so many drivers, including seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton, highlighting just how highly Senna is viewed by the motorsport community.

Senna sadly died after crashing at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, a weekend which also saw Austrian driver Roland Ratzenberger pass away.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

At the time of his death, Senna was driving for Williams, with him having previously driven for McLaren.

Incredibly, Jordan tried to sign Senna before his deal to Williams was confirmed, with the Irishman having offered the Brazilian an interesting deal.

For free, Jordan offered Senna half of his F1 team, with the belief that having him drive for his side would double the Jordan F1 Team’s value.

Whilst Senna ultimately didn’t agree, Jordan shared how the pair were actually “very far into the negotiations”.

Article continues below

“He was disillusioned at McLaren. It was before he went to Williams, he just wasn’t happy,” Jordan said on the Formula for Success podcast.

“Believe this or not, but I offered him 50 per cent, free of charge, to come and drive for Jordan, but he would have to stay on as an owner, because I believed, with Senna in the team, the actual value of the team would be more than doubled.

“So, in other words, the half that I was losing – I thought this would be such a cool stroke.”

Jordan’s side were only a few years old at the time of trying to sign Senna from McLaren, with the former team owner knowing how much money and “recognition” signing the legendary driver would bring the outfit.

READ: Ex-F1 driver criticises ‘not amazing’ Sebastian Vettel

“First, I get a guy like Senna in my car, get the team, the recognition of the team, the sponsorship income would multiply by an amazing amount,” Jordan added.

“I always liked Ayrton and it should have happened but, suddenly, he died.

“Now I’m not saying that he would have done it. But we were very far into the negotiations about what he wanted to do. He wanted to have a team and I was giving him that opportunity.”