About Eddie Irvine
Eddie Irvine is a former Formula One driver from Conlig near Bangor in Northern Ireland. He raced for Jordan, Ferrari and Jaguar between 1993 and 2002. During this time he raced in 148 races and scored 191 points with 26 podiums. His most succesful year produced his 4 victores for Ferrari in 1999 when he was runner-up to Mika Hakkinen in the championship.
Eddie raced in Formula Ford from 1983 to 1987, winning the Esso and RAC championships that year. He moved on to British Formula 3 in 1988 scoring 8 podiums with WSR before joining the new Pacific team in Formula 3000 Championship, then the equivalent of GP2. He moved to the Jordan team in 1990 and took 3rd place in the championship before moving to the Japanese F3000 Championship with the Cerumo team in 1991. This partnership culminated in Eddie clinching 2nd in the championship in 1993.
Eddie Jordan gave Irvine his big break in Formula One at the end of that season when he took part in 2 races. He scored a point on his debut race in Suzuka, Japan when, in the closing phase of the race, he un-lapped himself from race leader Ayrton Senna, much to Senna's annoyance, and cemented his reputation as a no-nonsense, hard charging driver with a work hard, play hard attitude to life.
Eddie took his first F1 podium in Canada in 1995 and his solid second season performance in an independent team earnt him 12th in the championship that year, and also a drive at Ferrari for 1996, when Michael Schumacher also joined, as the Italian giant pushed to rejuvenate their fortunes. The car was unreliable for most of the season with Irvine's highlight of the year being 3rd in Australia on his debut for the team. He only got to the end of 6 of the 16 races that season but things just kept getting better for Irvine and Ferrari.
1997 gave Eddie 5 more podium finishes in a year that was dominated by the Williams Renault cars.
1998 brought 8 podiums and 4th in the championship and included Ferrari's first 1-2 finish for 8 years.
1999 started in Australia with Eddie Irvine's first F1 win and two further podium places befure the British Grand Prix. At Silverstone, Michael Schumacher crashed heavily at the Stowe corner, causing a broken leg and halting Schumacher's championship charge. Eddie was joined by Mika Salo whilst Schumacher was out with his injuries. Irvine finished 2nd at the British Grand Prix behind David Coulthard, and would now enjoy the 'number 1' status previously enjoyed by Schumacher, despite the fact that they were both even at 31 points going into the British race. Irvine won in Austria and Germany and scored consistently at all but one race, before Schumacher's return in Malaysia, where Irvine led the team home to another Ferrari 1-2.
The final round of the championship was at Suzuka, already a place of great significance to Irvine, where he arrived with a lead of 4 points over Hakkinen. Irvine had a poor qualifying, starting 5th with Schumacher 1st and Hakkinen 2nd. Hakkinen took the lead, Irvine eventually made it to 3rd place, but Schumacher wasn't able to get past Hakkinen, who won the race, and the Drivers' Championship. Ferrari did, however, win the Constrictors' Championship for the first time in 16 years.
If this championship had taken place using the current Formula 1 points system, awarding points from 1st place down to 8th place instead of just 6th, Eddie Irvine would have been Formula 1 World Champion.
In 2000, Irvine left Ferrari to help establish the british Jaguar F1 team in 2000, a Ford funded project following their purchase of the Stewart F1 team. Johnny Herbert partnered him this year, with Luciano Burti for part of 2001 and Pedro de la Rosa for the rest of 2001 and 2002. Jaguar F1 suffered from teething issues and had a quick succession of managers, including former F1 Champion Niki Lauda. Eddie never had a consistently competitive car with which to race although he scored Jaguar's only two podium finishes, including the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in 2002, 2 races before his retirement, coming third to ex-team-mate Schumacher, and in 1st, his Ferrari replacement and ex-Jordan team-mate, Rubens Barichello. Depsite being a 3rd, Irvine rates this as one of his best podiums due to the reaction of the Tifosi, the lack of competitiveness of his car. He was the only driver on the podium for the entire 2002 season who didn't drive for Ferrari, McLaren or Williams.
Eddie Irvine has always had an interest in property development and through this passion, as well as the practicality, he has built a portfolio of properties around the world. Eddie also owns a pub in Dublin, and since his retirement from F1 has established Northern Ireland's premier indoor sports facility, Eddie Irvine Sports.
These days Eddie keeps a low profile, but can often be found at motorsports events such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed and more recently he's been involved with a group of students' from Queens University Belfast and acts as a patron of it's Queens Formula Racing Team.