Eddie Irvine

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Eddie Irvine
Eddie Irvine after the 1999 Australian Grand Prix.jpg
Irvine celebrating his first F1 win at the 1999 Australian Grand Prix
BornEdmund Irvine Jr.
(1965-11-10) 10 November 1965 (age 53)
Newtownards, County Down, Northern Ireland
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality Flag of the United Kingdom.svg British
Active years 19932002
Teams Jordan, Ferrari, Jaguar
Entries148 (146 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 4
Podiums26
Career points191
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 1
First entry 1993 Japanese Grand Prix
First win 1999 Australian Grand Prix
Last win 1999 Malaysian Grand Prix
Last entry 2002 Japanese Grand Prix
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Years1992–1994
Teams TOM'S/SARD, SARD Toyota
Best finish2nd (1994)
Class wins1 (1994)

Edmund Irvine Jr. (born 10 November 1965) is a former racing driver from Northern Ireland. He competed in Formula One between 1993 and 2002, and finished runner-up in the 1999 World Drivers' Championship, driving for Scuderia Ferrari.

Northern Ireland Part of the United Kingdom lying in the north-east of the island of Ireland, created 1921

Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom in the north-east of the island of Ireland, variously described as a country, province or region. Northern Ireland shares a border to the south and west with the Republic of Ireland. In 2011, its population was 1,810,863, constituting about 30% of the island's total population and about 3% of the UK's population. Established by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 as part of the Good Friday Agreement, the Northern Ireland Assembly holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters, while other areas are reserved for the British government. Northern Ireland co-operates with the Republic of Ireland in several areas, and the Agreement granted the Republic the ability to "put forward views and proposals" with "determined efforts to resolve disagreements between the two governments".

Formula One is the highest class of single-seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and owned by the Formula One Group. The FIA Formula One World Championship has been one of the premier forms of racing around the world since its inaugural season in 1950. The word "formula" in the name refers to the set of rules to which all participants' cars must conform. A Formula One season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix, which take place worldwide on purpose-built circuits and on public roads.

Scuderia Ferrari S.p.A. is the racing division of luxury Italian auto manufacturer Ferrari and the racing team that competes in Formula One racing. The team is also nicknamed "The Prancing Horse", with reference to their logo. It is the oldest surviving and most successful Formula One team, having competed in every world championship since the 1950 Formula One season. The team was founded by Enzo Ferrari, initially to race cars produced by Alfa Romeo, though by 1947 Ferrari had begun building its own cars. Among its important achievements outside Formula One are winning the World Sportscar Championship, 24 Hours of Le Mans, 24 Hours of Spa, 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, Bathurst 12 Hour, races for Grand tourer cars and racing on road courses of the Targa Florio, the Mille Miglia and the Carrera Panamericana.

Contents

He began his career at the age of seventeen when he entered the Formula Ford Championship, achieving early success, before progressing to the Formula Three and Formula 3000 Championships. He made his Formula One debut in 1993 with Jordan Grand Prix, where he achieved early notoriety for his involvement in incidents on and off the track. He scored his first podium in 1995 with Jordan, before moving to Ferrari in 1996. His most successful season was in 1999 when he took four victories and challenged McLaren driver Mika Häkkinen for the World Championship. He moved to Jaguar Racing in 2000, scoring the team's first podium in 2001 and his final podium in 2002. Irvine retired from competitive motorsport at the end of the 2002 season.

Formula Ford race car class

Formula Ford is an entry-level class of single seater, open-wheel formula racing. The various championships held across the world form an important step for many prospective Formula One drivers. Formula Ford has traditionally been regarded as the first major stepping stone into formula racing after karting. The series typically sees professional career minded drivers enter alongside amateurs and enthusiasts. Success in Formula F can lead directly to other junior formulae such as a Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula Three.

Formula Three race car class

Formula Three, also called Formula 3 or F3, is a third-tier class of open-wheel formula racing. The various championships held in Europe, Australia, South America and Asia form an important step for many prospective Formula One drivers. Formula Three has traditionally been regarded as the first major stepping stone for F1 hopefuls – it is typically the first point in a driver's career at which most drivers in the series are aiming at professional careers in racing rather than being amateurs and enthusiasts. F3 is not cheap, but is regarded as a key investment in a young driver's future career. Success in F3 can lead directly to a Formula 2 seat or even a Formula One test or race seat.

Formula 3000

Formula 3000 was a type of open wheel, single seater formula racing, occupying the tier immediately below Formula One and above Formula Three. It was so named because the cars were powered by 3.0 L engines.

Since retiring, Irvine became a media personality in Great Britain. He was linked with the takeover of the Jordan and Minardi Formula One teams in 2005, but talks came to nothing. Irvine also expanded his interests in the property market, having built up an investment portfolio during his racing career.

Minardi was an Italian automobile racing team and constructor founded in Faenza in 1979 by Giancarlo Minardi. It competed in the Formula One World Championship from 1985 until 2005 with little success, nevertheless acquiring a loyal following of fans. In 2001, to save the team from folding, Minardi sold it to Australian businessman Paul Stoddart, who ran the team for five years before selling it on to Red Bull GmbH in 2005 who renamed it Scuderia Toro Rosso. From 2001, all of Minardi chassis are called "PS" then a number, the PS being the initials of team owner, Paul Stoddart.

Early life and career

Irvine was born on 10 November 1965 in Newtownards, County Down in Northern Ireland, to Edmund Sr. and Kathleen. He grew up in the village of Conlig and was educated at Regent House Grammar School in Newtownards. He has one older sister, Sonia, who acted as Irvine's physiotherapist until 1999. [1] Irvine's first taste of motorsport came when his family spent their holidays attending the British Grand Prix. His father also raced in single-seaters for fun. His childhood hero was countryman John Watson. [2]

Newtownards town, townland and civil parish in County Down, Northern Ireland

Newtownards is a town, townland and civil parish in County Down, Northern Ireland. It lies at the most northern tip of Strangford Lough, 10 miles (16 km) east of Belfast, on the Ards Peninsula. It is situated in the civil parish of Newtownards and the historic baronies of Ards Lower and Castlereagh Lower. Newtownards is in the Ards and North Down Borough. It is known colloquially by locals as "Ards". The population was 28,050 in the 2011 Census.

County Down Place in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

County Down is one of six counties that form Northern Ireland, in the northeast of the island of Ireland. It covers an area of 2,448 km2 and has a population of 531,665. It is also one of the thirty-two traditional counties of Ireland and is within the province of Ulster. It borders County Antrim to the north, the Irish Sea to the east, County Armagh to the west, and County Louth across Carlingford Lough to the southwest.

Conlig Place

Conlig is a village and townland about halfway between Bangor and Newtownards in County Down, Northern Ireland.

Eddie Irvine at the 1989 Macau Grand Prix. His helmet design was based on that of Ayrton Senna. Irvine 89.jpg
Eddie Irvine at the 1989 Macau Grand Prix. His helmet design was based on that of Ayrton Senna.

Irvine began to compete with racing cars in 1983. [3] He was initially interested in motorcycle racing, but his parents thought the sport too dangerous and was encouraged by his father to race in Formula Ford. [3] Irvine worked unpaid in his father's scrapyard, in return for which, his father funded his racing hobby. [4] He won his first race at Brands Hatch in 1984, and an award for best driver. [3] In 1987 he joined the Van Diemen team and won the Esso Formula Ford series, the RAC Formula Ford series, and the Formula Ford Festival.

Brands Hatch race track

Brands Hatch is a motor racing circuit in West Kingsdown, Kent, England. First used as a grasstrack motorcycle circuit on farmland, it hosted 12 runnings of the British Grand Prix between 1964 and 1986 and currently hosts many British and International racing events. The venue is owned and operated by Jonathan Palmer's MotorSport Vision organisation.

Van Diemen International, Ltd. was a British race car manufacturer based in Snetterton, Norfolk, United Kingdom. The company had a reputation for high-volume production runs of its cars, the most well-known of which is its series of Formula Ford chassis, which have been at the forefront of that class of motorsport for over 20 years and led it to becoming the largest manufacturer of bespoke racing cars in the world.

Esso Oil and gas company

Esso is a trading name for ExxonMobil and its related companies. The company began as Standard Oil of New Jersey following the breakup of Standard Oil. In 1972, the name was largely replaced in the U.S. by the Exxon brand after the company bought Humble Oil, while the Esso name remained widely used elsewhere.

In the winter of 1987, Marlboro organised a test in which the fastest driver would be offered a drive for the following British Formula 3 season. [5] Irvine was that driver and joined West Surrey Racing for 1988. It was a season without any success and Irvine ended it in fifth place. He raced at the Macau Grand Prix for the first time and started the race from pole position, but failed to finish. [6] In 1989 Irvine competed in the International Formula 3000 Championship with Pacific Racing. [5] Irvine finished the season in ninth place, ahead of teammate JJ Lehto in thirteenth, who was then considered to be a promising young driver. [5]

Marlboro (cigarette) cigarette brand

Marlboro is an American brand of cigarettes, currently owned and manufactured by Philip Morris USA within the United States, and by Philip Morris International outside the United States. Richmond, Virginia, is the location of the largest Marlboro cigarette manufacturing plant. Marlboro is the global best-selling cigarette brand since 1972. As of 2017, Marlboro had 40% market share in the United States, more than the next 7 competing brands combined.

West Surrey Racing is a UK-based motorsport team run by New Zealander Dick Bennetts. He is responsible for masterminding the careers of such names as Ayrton Senna, Mika Häkkinen, Jonathan Palmer, Rubens Barrichello, Maurício Gugelmin and Eddie Irvine with his involvement in F3 and a racing academy in the 80s and 90s. Founded in 1981, WSR has won more than 70 races in Formula 3 and more than 100 class and outright wins in the BTCC.

Macau Grand Prix annual automobile and motorcycle race in Macau

The Macau Grand Prix is a motorsport road race for automobiles and motorcycles held annually in Macau. It is the only street circuit racing event in which both cars and motorcycles participate.

In 1990 he joined the Jordan Formula 3000 team. He won in Germany and ended the season in third place, beating his teammates Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Emanuele Naspetti. [7] Irvine finished on the podium at both the Macau Grand Prix and the Fuji F3 Cup. At the end of the season Irvine moved to Japan to compete in Formula Nippon. In 1991 he raced for Cerumo Racing and won one race and amassed 14 points to finish seventh in the Drivers' Championship. [8]

Irvine's first race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans was in 1992 driving a SARD Toyota Group C car alongside Roland Ratzenberger and Eje Elgh. The team finished ninth overall and came second in the Group C class. [9]

Formula One career

Jordan (1993–1995)

1993

Irvine made his Formula One debut at the Japanese Grand Prix, partnering Rubens Barrichello at the Jordan Grand Prix team. He made an immediate impact, not only by scoring a point with sixth place, but by unlapping himself against race leader, and subsequent winner, Ayrton Senna. After the race, Senna, angry at what he perceived to be "unprofessional" driving, approached Irvine in the Jordan hospitality unit, and following an altercation, threw a punch at Irvine, for which he received a suspended two-race ban. [10] Irvine retired from the final race in Australia with accident damage. [11] After two races, Irvine finished 22nd in the Drivers' Championship with his sole point. [12]

Irvine raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the second time, driving a Toyota Group C car alongside Toshio Suzuki and Masanori Sekiya. The team finished fourth overall. [13]

1994

Irvine remained at Jordan for 1994 and was again partnered by Barrichello. At the opening round in Brazil, Irvine was involved in a four car crash. He later received a one-race ban and a $10,000 fine by the race stewards. Irvine appealed to the FIA against the decision, but his appeal was rejected on 6 April, and the penalty increased to a three-race ban. [14] His seat was filled by Aguri Suzuki for the following Pacific Grand Prix, and Andrea de Cesaris for the races in San Marino and Monaco. [15]

Irvine returned for the Spanish Grand Prix where he scored his first points of the season with sixth place. Five consecutive retirements followed, [16] and he was unable to finish the Belgian Grand Prix due to an alternator failure, although he was classified 13th due to having completed over 90% of the race distance. Irvine retired from the Italian Grand Prix due to an engine failure and was later given a one-race ban, suspended for three races, for an incident with Team Lotus driver Johnny Herbert on the opening lap. [17]

Irvine garnered further controversy during the first qualifying session of the Portuguese Grand Prix when he clipped Williams driver Damon Hill. Irvine was warned a similar incident would see his Super Licence revoked. [18] He finished seventh in the race and took consecutive points scoring finishes in the next two races—fourth at the European Grand Prix and fifth at the Japanese Grand Prix. [16] Irvine retired from the season closing race in Australia when he spun off. [19] He finished the year 16th in the Drivers' Championship, with 6 points. [20]

Outside of Formula One, Irvine participated in his third consecutive 24 Hours of Le Mans as a substitute for the late Roland Ratzenberger, who died after crashing in qualifying for the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, driving for SARD alongside Mauro Martini and Jeff Krosnoff. The team were leading with 90 minutes to go when a gearbox issue forced the car to slow, costing them victory. [21] They finished second overall and first in the LMP1/C90 class.

1995

Irvine driving for Jordan at the 1995 British Grand Prix Eddie Irvine 1995 Britain.jpg
Irvine driving for Jordan at the 1995 British Grand Prix

Irvine remained at Jordan for 1995 and was again partnered by Barrichello. It was a bad start: Irvine was forced into retirement at the opening race, in Brazil, due to a gearbox actuator problem. [22] In the following race in Argentina he was involved in a first-lap collision with McLaren driver Mika Häkkinen, and retired with an engine failure after only six laps. [23] He finished eighth at the San Marino Grand Prix, and scored points with a fifth-place finish in Spain. [24] After retiring from the Monaco Grand Prix, Irvine secured the first podium of his Formula One career with third place in Canada. [25] At the Belgian Grand Prix, Irvine's car caught fire during a pitstop as the fuel valve was jammed open, and although uninjured, he was forced to retire from the race. [26]

In the week before the European Grand Prix, Jordan announced that Irvine would be retained on a two-year contract. [27] However, Ferrari then announced that it had bought out Irvine's contract, and that he would be partnering Michael Schumacher at the team for 1996. [28] He fared well in the race by finishing sixth, although he finished outside the points in the Pacific Grand Prix. Irvine scored his final points of the season with a fifth in Japan, and finished the season with a retirement in Australia, due to pneumatic pressure. [29] He finished the year 12th in the Drivers' Championship with 10 points. [30]

Ferrari (1996–1999)

1996

Irvine driving for Ferrari at the 1996 San Marino Grand Prix. Eddie Irvine - Imola 1996 (2).jpg
Irvine driving for Ferrari at the 1996 San Marino Grand Prix.

At the season opener in Australia, Irvine finished in third place, where he started, after out-qualifying new teammate, and then double World Champion, Michael Schumacher. At the following race in Brazil he finished outside the points in seventh position, and took fifth in Argentina. At the European Grand Prix he was involved in an incident with Olivier Panis, resulting in both drivers retiring from the race. [31] Fourth place in the San Marino Grand Prix preceded eight consecutive retirements, due to unreliability or being involved in racing incidents. Irvine finished the Portuguese Grand Prix in fifth, but retired again from the final race of the season at Suzuka. Irvine finished tenth in the Drivers' Championship with 11 points. [32]

1997

The first race of the season in Australia saw Irvine involved in a race ending first lap crash with Williams driver Jacques Villeneuve. At the next race in Brazil, he could only manage sixteenth place, having found his car difficult to drive. Two weeks later he finished a career high second place in Argentina, where Irvine challenged Villeneuve for the lead, who was suffering with a stomach ailment, and his car with brake problems. The result ended demands in the Italian press for Irvine to be sacked. A third place at the next race in San Marino, and another in Monaco two weeks later, gave Irvine his best string of finishes to date. At the Spanish Grand Prix Irvine finished only twelfth and was given a 10-second stop-go penalty, after he held up Olivier Panis and Jean Alesi when running a lap down. [33]

At the Canadian Grand Prix Irvine was involved in another first lap incident, this time with McLaren driver Mika Häkkinen. He was back on the podium with third place at the French Grand Prix, before a run of seven races where he was either out of the points or out of the race. During the summer, it was announced that Irvine would remain at Ferrari for 1998. [34] His run of poor results ended with a third-place finish at the Japanese Grand Prix, and he concluded the season with a fifth place at the European Grand Prix. [35] Irvine finished seventh in the Drivers' Championship with 24 points. [36]

1998

Irvine remained at Ferrari for 1998 and was again partnered with Schumacher. Irvine's fitness level was placed in doubt when he suffered from back pain. To combat the issue, a new seat was installed in his car. [37] Irvine had very little running in the new Ferrari F300 during pre-season testing, and was concerned with the tyre war between Goodyear, Ferrari's tyre supplier, and Bridgestone, but was nevertheless confident about his chances over the coming season. [38]

At the first race of the season in Australia Irvine finished in fourth, and in the following race in Brazil, outside the points in eighth place. Irvine finished on the podium six times in the next seven races, including a second-place finish in France, behind teammate Schumacher, which was the first one-two finish for Ferrari in eight years.

In July, it was announced Irvine had signed a two-year extension to his contract. [39] The contract stipulated that Irvine was permitted to choose his own strategy and setup, although he would remain in a supporting role to Schumacher. [40] After two retirements in the next three races, Irvine finished second in Italy, and fourth position at the Luxembourg Grand Prix. He closed off the season with a second-place finish at the Japanese Grand Prix. Irvine finished the season fourth in the Drivers' Championship with 47 points. [41]

1999

Irvine driving for Ferrari at the 1999 Canadian Grand Prix Eddie Irvine 1999 Canada.jpg
Irvine driving for Ferrari at the 1999 Canadian Grand Prix

For 1999, Irvine was confident heading into the season, saying: "After last year's results where I got my best ever championship finish with 4th place overall, now, for this year, I want to do even better". [42] His season got off to a good start: after 81 Grand Prix, Irvine scored his maiden Formula One victory at the season opening round in Australia, giving him the lead of the World Drivers' Championship for the first time. [43] In the following race in Brazil an unscheduled pitstop, due to blocked radiators, cost Irvine a podium finish, and he ultimately finished fifth. [44] Three weeks later in the San Marino Grand Prix, Irvine would miss out on another podium finish, after his car suffered an engine failure on lap 47 (of 62) while in a comfortable third place, losing him the lead of the Drivers' Championship to teammate Schumacher. [45] Irvine finished second at Monaco, behind Schumacher, giving Ferrari its first one-two finish of the season, and first ever in the Principality. [46] At the next round in Canada, Irvine set fastest lap (his career one and only) and survived a collision with McLaren driver David Coulthard on the way to a third-place finish. [47]

On the first lap of the British Grand Prix, which Irvine finished in second place, Schumacher broke his right leg in a crash at the high-speed Stowe Corner when his car's rear brakes failed. [48] Irvine assumed the role of team leader and was partnered by Finnish driver Mika Salo for the next six races. Irvine won the next race in Austria and was gifted the win by Mika Salo a week later [49] in Germany, helping him to regain the lead of the Drivers' Championship. [50] A further podium finish in Hungary followed, where he struggled with oversteer. [51] In September it was announced that Irvine would move to the Jaguar team, which had purchased Stewart Grand Prix in June, and would be partnered by Johnny Herbert. [52] Irvine finished out of the points in seventh place at the European Grand Prix after enduring an embarrassing 48-second pitstop while his mechanics searched for a missing tyre as they only had three ready for him when he came in. [53]

Schumacher returned from injury at the penultimate race of the season, in Malaysia, and in a remarkable display, helped Irvine to win his fourth race of the season and head another Ferrari one-two, ahead of Häkkinen. [54] Both Ferraris were later disqualified as it was discovered their car's bargeboards did not comply with Formula One's technical regulations. [55] Ferrari appealed to the FIA, and it was held five days after the race, on 22 October. The following day, it was announced that the Court of Appeal overturned the decision, ensuring a Championship showdown at Suzuka. [56] At the final race of the season in Japan, Irvine struggled in qualifying and crashed heavily, managing only fifth place; in the race he finished third, over a minute and a half behind Schumacher in second, and race winner Häkkinen. Irvine lost the Drivers' Championship to Häkkinen by just 2 points, but Irvine's efforts during the season helped Ferrari to clinch their first World Constructors' Championship in 16 years. [57]

Irvine was awarded the Hawthorn Memorial Trophy, an annual award given to the most successful British or Commonwealth driver in Formula One over the course of one season. [58] He was also named Autosport's British Competition Driver of the Year for 1999. [59]

Jaguar (2000–2002)

2000

The Jaguar R1 driven by Irvine in 2000 Jaguar R1 2000.jpg
The Jaguar R1 driven by Irvine in 2000

Former British racing driver Stirling Moss aired doubts over Irvine's hopes to be a championship contender at Jaguar over the coming season. [60] Former British World Drivers' Champion Jackie Stewart, said: "He really has come together. He's been in the shadow of a number one driver at Ferrari. I think it was time that he shed that shadow and went on to race for himself." [61] Irvine endured a torrid start: At the opening two races held in Australia and Brazil, Irvine suffered consecutive retirements due to spinning out. However, he later managed to finish in the next three races, albeit outside of the points scoring positions. He retired from the European Grand Prix from a collision with Williams driver Ralf Schumacher after spinning from being overtaken by Arrows driver Jos Verstappen. [62] At the next race in Monaco, Irvine scored Jaguar's first points with fourth place. [63]

He was forced to withdraw from the Austrian Grand Prix due to abdominal pains caused by a bout of appendicitis although he participated in the event's first free practice session. He was replaced by the team's test driver Luciano Burti. [64] Irvine was passed fit for the German Grand Prix, [65] where he secured tenth position despite a spin. [66] He was unable to score further points in the next five races, which included a retirement in Italy when he collided with Salo on the first lap. [67] He finished off the season by finishing the final three races which included a points scoring finish at the season closing Malaysian Grand Prix where he finished sixth. [68] Irvine finished the season 13th in the Drivers' Championship and scored four points. [69] Outside of Formula One, Irvine took part in the Belfast City Open and Direct Millennium Motorsport Festival driving a Jaguar sportscar to celebrate the marque's participation in the Tourist Trophy. [70]

2001

Irvine's Jaguar R2 for the 2001 season Jaguar R2.jpg
Irvine's Jaguar R2 for the 2001 season

Irvine remained at Jaguar for 2001 and was partnered by Luciano Burti. [71] Despite his vocal frustrations, Jaguar team principal Bobby Rahal backed Irvine for the upcoming season, although Irvine was not confident citing his uncertainty about his team becoming competitive which he has made vocal. [72] Rahal became concerned over Irvine's attitude when the team's car, the Jaguar R2, was underperforming during pre-season testing. [73] Irvine supported the view of being sacked at the end of the season if his performances did not satisfy the team. [74] Irvine clinched 11th place in the first round in Australia and failed to finish in the next four consecutive races. [75] Before the Spanish Grand Prix, Burti left Jaguar to join the Prost team so Irvine was partnered with Pedro de la Rosa. [76] Irvine managed to finish the Austrian Grand Prix in seventh position and took Jaguar's first podium finish with third place in the following round in Monaco. [77] In June, it was confirmed that Irvine and de la Rosa would be retained by Jaguar for 2002. [78]

Despite this success, Irvine failed to finish five of the next eight races. He suffered from a neck strain at a test session at Silverstone and took time resting during the summer break. [79] During this period, Rahal attempted to sell Irvine to the Jordan team with an additional $10 million to Irvine's salary. Irvine rejected the contract as he wanted to help Jaguar become more competitive. [80] The contract, originally mooted by Rahal as a joke, led to his sacking and he was replaced by Austrian World Champion Niki Lauda. [81] At the Belgian Grand Prix, Irvine was involved in a collision with Burti who was trying to overtake him. Burti crashed at over 240 km/h and absolved any blame placed upon Irvine. [82] Irvine managed to clinch his final points of the season with fifth in the United States and ended the season by retiring from the Japanese Grand Prix from a failure of his car's power generators on the fuel rig. [83] Irvine finished the season 12th in the Drivers' Championship having scored six points. [84]

2002

Irvine driving for Jaguar at the 2002 United States Grand Prix Eddie Irvine 2002.jpg
Irvine driving for Jaguar at the 2002 United States Grand Prix

Irvine remained at Jaguar for 2002 and was again partnered by de la Rosa. In preparation for the upcoming season, Irvine undertook a fitness examination and recorded a high score. However, he was cautious about his team's prospects going into the year, saying: "We've just got to wait and see what happens with this car, that's the question mark". [85] At the opening round in Australia, Irvine finished fourth; [86] and in the following race in Malaysia, he was forced to retire with an hydraulics problem. [87] Irvine later managed to clinch seventh place in the Brazilian Grand Prix, before he suffered consecutive retirements in the next three races. He later finished the Monaco Grand Prix in ninth position, which was followed up with further consecutive retirements in the seven races. However, this marked a turning point as Irvine managed to finish in all of the remaining races. He was in the points scoring positions twice in this period—a sixth-place finish in Belgium and took his final career podium with third in Italy. [88] He finished the season ninth in the Drivers' Championship, with eight points. [89]

During the season, friction developed between Irvine and his team due to his vocal frustration at the lack of development of his car. In an effort to retain Irvine, Jaguar offered him a $6 million reduction in his salary, however no agreement was reached. He considered a return to his former team Jordan for the 2003 season, with no agreement reached due to the team's financial problems. [90] Irvine also denied rumours that he would move into either the CART World Series or the IndyCar Series. [91]

Post-Formula One (2003–present)

Irvine demonstrating a Ferrari 312T3 at the 2009 Goodwood Festival of Speed. 1978 Ferrari 312 T3.jpg
Irvine demonstrating a Ferrari 312T3 at the 2009 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

In 2002, Irvine successfully sued TalkSport Radio for "passing off" his image in a print advertisement, as if he had personally endorsed the station. [92] [93] Eight years later, Irvine fronted a half-hour programme on the station, the LG Grand Prix Show, alongside regular Sunday evening presenter Andy Goldstein. [94]

On 24 July 2003, Irvine was arrested after being caught driving a scooter over 30 mph through Hyde Park without a licence or insurance. He was to be sentenced at Bow Street Magistrates but Irvine did not attend. An arrest warrant with bail was issued. [95]

Irvine played himself in the 2004 comedy The Prince and Me, which starred Julia Stiles. [96] He was executive producer of a film produced about Paddy Mayne. [97] In late 2006 he launched a new television programme on the Sky One channel, with two teams of celebrity racing drivers competing against each other. David Coulthard was captain and coach of the girls team, and Irvine of the boys. Ultimately, despite some impressive performances by both teams, Irvine's team won by some margin.

In May 2005, Irvine was rumoured to be heading a consortium to buy the Jordan Grand Prix team, and stated his interest in running the team. [98] He was later linked to a possible sale of the Minardi team and held talks with team principal Paul Stoddart. [99]

He was a millionaire through property investment before reaching Formula One. Outside of F1, Irvine is said to have built up a multi-million pound property portfolio, owning around forty properties throughout the world. According to the Sunday Times Rich List, published in April 2006, Irvine was the fifth richest person of Northern Ireland at that time, having increased his personal fortune to approximately £160 million. He is also the owner of Eddie Irvine Sports, a snooker, pool, kart racing, paintballing, and football facility in Bangor, close to his native Conlig. [100]

Before pulling out because of a leg injury, Irvine was due to be one of the celebrities taking part in the 2006 ITV Soccer Aid . In aid of UNICEF, this television show featured an England vs the rest of the world football match, with teams made up of a mix of celebrities and ex-professionals. [101]

On 9 January 2014, Irvine was sentenced to six months in prison after being found guilty of "mutual injury" following a brawl in a night club in Milan, Italy with Gabriele Moratti, son of former mayor of Milan Letizia Moratti. Moratti's lawyer Vincenzo Saponara told the media that the sentence was likely to be suspended and that neither man would go to jail. [102]

Nationality

By virtue of being from Northern Ireland, a constituent country of the United Kingdom, Irvine was a British citizen throughout his career. He also held a racing licence issued by the National Sporting Authority of the Republic of Ireland (drivers are not compelled to obtain their licence from their home country). [103] The FIA's International Sporting Regulations state that drivers competing in FIA World Championships shall compete under the nationality of their passport, rather than that of the National Sporting Authority that issued their racing licence, as is the case in other racing series. [104] Relating to Irvine's nationality, the FIA repeatedly mistakenly issued official entry lists that claimed Irvine was competing under the Irish nationality (e.g. entry list for the 1995 and 1996 season). [105] [106]

This situation created some confusion as to Irvine's nationality when he appeared at podium ceremonies in the Formula One World Championship. On several occasions (e.g. the 1995 Canadian Grand Prix, 1996 Australian Grand Prix, 1997 Argentine Grand Prix and 1997 Monaco Grand Prix), an Irish Tricolour was mistakenly flown by the race organisers. [107] [108] After the 1997 Argentine Grand Prix his family received threatening phone calls. Irvine then requested that at subsequent races, a politically neutral shamrock flag be flown, and the non-sectarian Londonderry Air be played to mark a victory. [103] An FIA spokesman said:

Irvine has self-identified as being Irish:

Personal life

Irvine named his biggest influence as his former girlfriend Maria Drummond, whom he met at the Macau Grand Prix in 1988. The pair remained friends for a year, staying in regular contact, until the relationship became deeper when Drummond split up from her boyfriend. [110] From the relationship Irvine has a daughter, Zoe. [111] He said that the birth of his daughter was the best moment of his life, despite not being a natural lover of babies. [112]

Irvine is seen by many as a playboy in the mould of James Hunt, in contrast to the sport's modern stars, most of whom are seen as staid and less flamboyant. Irvine is also remembered for his tendency to speak his mind, often to the irritation of some. Despite this, Irvine does not consider himself to be a playboy stating his life is "90% work". [112] He was nicknamed "Irv the Swerve" and later "Fast Eddie". [113]

Irvine is a supporter of the Scottish club Rangers F.C. [114]

Racing record

Career summary

SeasonSeriesTeamRacesPolesWinsPointsPosition
1983 Formula Ford Races?20????
1984Misc Formula Ford Races?2222??
1985Esso Formula Ford 1600?20304410th
1986Misc Formula Ford Races?1700??
1987Esso Formula Ford 1600 Van Diemen 14561651st
RAC Formula Ford 1600 Van Diemen 121081601st
Formula Ford Festival Van Diemen 111N/A1st
BBC Formula Ford 2000 Van Diemen 422242nd
1988 British F3 championship WSR 1810535th
Cellnet Formula Three Race WSR 100N/AR
Macau Grand Prix WSR 110N/AR
1989 International Formula 3000 Pacific 1000119th
Macau Grand Prix WSR 100N/AR
1990 International Formula 3000 Jordan 1101273rd
Macau Grand Prix WSR 100N/A3rd
F3 Fuji Cup WSR 100N/A3rd
1991 Japanese Formula 3000 Cerumo1101147th
1992 Japanese Formula 3000 Cerumo1121178th
24 Hours of Le Mans TOM'S/SARD 100N/A9th
1993 Japanese Formula 3000 Cerumo1041322nd
24 Hours of Le Mans SARD Toyota 100N/A4th
Formula One Sasol Jordan 200120th
1994 Formula One Sasol Jordan 1300616th
24 Hours of Le Mans SARD Toyota 100N/A2nd
1995 Formula One Total Jordan Peugeot 17001012th
1996 Formula One Scuderia Ferrari 16001110th
1997 Formula One Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro 1700247th
1998 Formula One Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro 1600474th
1999 Formula One Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro 1604742nd
2000 Formula One Jaguar Racing 1700413th
2001 Formula One Jaguar Racing 1700612th
2002 Formula One Jaguar Racing 170089th

Complete International Formula 3000 results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap.)

YearEntrant1234567891011DCPoints
1989 Pacific Racing SIL
DNS
VAL
Ret
PAU
Ret
JER
Ret
PER
3
BRH
Ret
BIR
6
SPA
9
BUG
4
DIJ
4
9th11
1990 Eddie Jordan Racing DON
Ret
SIL
6
PAU
Ret
JER
DNS
MNZ
2
PER
4
HOC
1
BRH
3
BIR
Ret
BUG
3
NOG
Ret
3rd27

Complete Japanese Formula 3000 Championship results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

YearEntrant1234567891011DCPoints
1991 Team Cerumo SUZ
8
AUT
5
FUJ
15
MIN
1
SUZ
4
SUG
7
FUJ
13
SUZ
Ret
FUJ
C
SUZ
13
FUJ
9
7th14
1992 Team Cerumo SUZ
8
FUJ
4
MIN
1
SUZ
Ret
AUT
Ret
SUG
Ret
FUJ
7
FUJ
5
SUZ
4
FUJ
11
SUZ
Ret
8th17
1993 Team Cerumo SUZ
3
FUJ
3
MIN
Ret
SUZ
1
AUT
C
SUG
15
FUJ
C
FUJ
6
SUZ
2
FUJ
2
SUZ
4
2nd32

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results

YearTeamCo-DriversCarClassLapsPos.Class
Pos.
1992 Flag of Japan.svg Toyota Team Tom's
Flag of Japan.svg Kitz Racing Team with SARD
Flag of Austria.svg Roland Ratzenberger
Flag of Sweden.svg Eje Elgh
Toyota 92C-V
Toyota R36V 3.6L Turbo V8
C23219th2nd
1993 Flag of Japan.svg Toyota Team Tom's Flag of Japan.svg Toshio Suzuki
Flag of Japan.svg Masanori Sekiya
Toyota TS010
Toyota RV10 3.5 L V10
C13644th4th
1994 Flag of Japan.svg SARD Company Ltd. Flag of Italy.svg Mauro Martini
Flag of the United States.svg Jeff Krosnoff
Toyota 94C-V
Toyota R36V 3.6 L Turbo V8
LMP1
/C90
3432nd1st

Complete Formula One Grand Prix results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

YearEntrantChassisEngine1234567891011121314151617WDC Points
1993 Sasol Jordan Jordan 193 Hart 1035 3.0 V10 RSA BRA EUR SMR ESP MON CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR JPN
6
AUS
Ret
22nd1
1994 Sasol Jordan Jordan 194 Hart 1035 3.5 V10 BRA
Ret
PAC SMR MON ESP
6
CAN
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
HUN
Ret
BEL
13
ITA
Ret
POR
7
EUR
4
JPN
5
AUS
Ret
16th6
1995 Total Jordan Peugeot Jordan 195 Peugeot A10 3.0 V10 BRA
Ret
ARG
Ret
SMR
8
ESP
5
MON
Ret
CAN
3
FRA
9
GBR
Ret
GER
9
HUN
13
BEL
Ret
ITA
Ret
POR
10
EUR
6
PAC
11
JPN
4
AUS
Ret
12th10
1996 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari F310 Ferrari 046 V10 AUS
3
BRA
7
ARG
5
EUR
Ret
SMR
4
MON
7
ESP
Ret
CAN
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
HUN
Ret
BEL
Ret
ITA
Ret
POR
5
JPN
Ret
10th11
1997 Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F310B Ferrari 046/2 V10 AUS
Ret
BRA
16
ARG
2
SMR
3
MON
3
ESP
12
CAN
Ret
FRA
3
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
HUN
9
BEL
10
ITA
8
AUT
Ret
LUX
Ret
JPN
3
EUR
5
7th24
1998 Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F300 Ferrari 047 V10 AUS
4
BRA
8
ARG
3
SMR
3
ESP
Ret
MON
3
CAN
3
FRA
2
GBR
3
AUT
4
GER
8
HUN
Ret
BEL
Ret
ITA
2
LUX
4
JPN
2
4th47
1999 Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F399 Ferrari 048 V10 AUS
1
BRA
5
SMR
Ret
MON
2
ESP
4
CAN
3
FRA
6
GBR
2
AUT
1
GER
1
HUN
3
BEL
4
ITA
6
EUR
7
MAL
1
JPN
3
2nd74
2000 Jaguar Racing Jaguar R1 Cosworth CR2 V10 AUS
Ret
BRA
Ret
SMR
7
GBR
13
ESP
11
EUR
Ret
MON
4
CAN
13
FRA
13
AUT
WD
GER
10
HUN
8
BEL
10
ITA
Ret
USA
7
JPN
8
MAL
6
13th4
2001 Jaguar Racing Jaguar R2 Cosworth CR3 V10 AUS
11
MAL
Ret
BRA
Ret
SMR
Ret
ESP
Ret
AUT
7
MON
3
CAN
Ret
EUR
7
FRA
Ret
GBR
9
GER
Ret
HUN
Ret
BEL
DNS
ITA
Ret
USA
5
JPN
Ret
12th6
2002 Jaguar Racing Jaguar R3 Cosworth CR3 V10 AUS
4
MAL
Ret
BRA
7
SMR
Ret
ESP
Ret
AUT
Ret
MON
9
CAN
Ret
EUR
Ret
9th8
Jaguar R3B GBR
Ret
FRA
Ret
GER
Ret
HUN
Ret
BEL
6
ITA
3
USA
10
JPN
9

Driver did not finish the Grand Prix, but was classified as they had completed over 90% of the race distance.

Related Research Articles

Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited, currently racing in Formula One as ROKiT Williams Racing, is a British Formula One motor racing team and constructor. It was founded by team owner Sir Frank Williams and automotive engineer Sir Patrick Head. It is still run by Williams. The team was formed in 1977 after Frank Williams's two earlier unsuccessful F1 operations: Frank Williams Racing Cars and Wolf–Williams Racing (1976). All of Williams F1 chassis are called "FW" then a number, the FW being the initials of team owner, Frank Williams.

Ralf Schumacher German racecar driver

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Jean Alesi French racecar driver

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Jordan Grand Prix was a Formula One constructor that competed from 1991 to 2005. The team is named after Irish businessman and founder Eddie Jordan. Jordan and his team were well known for an easygoing attitude which added colour and character to Formula One in the 1990s. The team was based at Silverstone, UK but raced with the Irish licence.

Heinz-Harald Frentzen German racecar driver

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1997 Argentine Grand Prix Formula One motor race held in 1997

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1998 Japanese Grand Prix Formula One motor race held in 1998

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1999 Monaco Grand Prix Formula One motor race held in 1999

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1999 French Grand Prix Formula One motor race held in 1999

The 1999 French Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 27 June 1999 at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours near Magny-Cours, France. It was the seventh race of the 1999 Formula One season. The 72-lap race was won by Heinz-Harald Frentzen driving a Jordan car after starting from fifth position. Mika Häkkinen finished second driving for McLaren, with Rubens Barrichello finishing third for the Stewart team. The remaining points-scoring positions were filled by Ralf Schumacher (Williams), Michael Schumacher (Ferrari), Eddie Irvine (Ferrari).

1999 Japanese Grand Prix Formula One motor race held in 1999

The 1999 Japanese Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 31 October 1999 at the Suzuka International Racing Course in Suzuka, Japan. It was the sixteenth and final round of the 1999 Formula One season. The 53-lap race was won by McLaren driver Mika Häkkinen after starting from second position. Michael Schumacher finished second in a Ferrari with teammate Eddie Irvine finishing third. Häkkinen's victory confirmed him as 1999 Drivers' Champion. Ferrari were also confirmed as Constructors' Champions.

2001 Spanish Grand Prix Formula One motor race held in 2001

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2001 European Grand Prix Formula One motor race held in 2001

The 2001 European Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 24 June 2001 at the Nürburgring, Nürburg, Germany. It was the ninth race of the 2001 Formula One season. The 67-lap race was won by Michael Schumacher driving for Ferrari after starting from pole position. Juan Pablo Montoya finished second driving for Williams, with David Coulthard third driving for McLaren.

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1997 Formula One World Championship sports season

The 1997 FIA Formula One World Championship was the 51st season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 1997 FIA Formula One World Championship, which commenced on 9 March and ended on 26 October after seventeen races. The Drivers' Championship was won by Jacques Villeneuve and the Constructors' Championship was awarded to Williams-Renault.

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Stewart Grand Prix was a Formula One constructor and racing team founded by triple Formula One champion Jackie Stewart and his son Paul Stewart in 1996. The team competed in F1, as the Ford works-supported team, for only three seasons, from 1997 to 1999. The 1999 season was by far its strongest, yielding one win and one pole position en route to finishing fourth overall in the Constructors Championship.

Pedro de la Rosa Spanish racing driver

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Bibliography

Further reading

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Jason Elliot
British Formula Ford Champion
1987
Succeeded by
Derek Higgins
Preceded by
Roland Ratzenberger
Formula Ford Festival Winner
1987
Succeeded by
Vincenzo Sospiri
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Paul Warwick
Autosport
British Club Driver of the Year

1987
Succeeded by
Allan McNish
Preceded by
David Coulthard
Hawthorn Memorial Trophy
1999
Succeeded by
David Coulthard
Preceded by
Dario Franchitti
Autosport
British Competition Driver of the Year

1999
Succeeded by
David Coulthard