|Eddie Irvine - Ferrari Portait.jpg|
|Formula One career|
Template:Infobox Le Mans driver |} Edmund "Eddie" Irvine, Jr. (born 10 November 1965) is a former racing driver from Northern Ireland. He grew up in Conlig, County Down, and was influenced by his parents, who were also involved in motor racing. His father, Edmund Sr, and his sister, Sonia (now a physiotherapist), worked with him during his career.
His professional racing career began in 1983 and he progressed to Formula Three racing in 1988, before moving on to Formula 3000 in 1989. He got his break in the top of the Formula racing series after he started racing for Jordan in the Formula 3000 series in 1990, and was subsequently picked up by the Jordan Formula One team in 1993. His reputation steadily increased in Formula One, eventually leading Ferrari to sign him to partner Michael Schumacher in 1996.
His most successful season was 1999; Irvine won four races, taking the Drivers' Championship to the last race in which he finished third. In the overall Championship he finished as runner-up to McLaren driver Mika Häkkinen. He left Ferrari the following year for the new Jaguar Racing team and was the only driver to get Jaguar to the podium in their short F1 history; he achieved this feat twice.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Pre-Formula One
- 3 Formula One career
- 4 Retirement
- 5 Nationality
- 6 Personal life
- 7 Racing record
- 8 References
- 9 Bibliography
- 10 External links
Eddie Irvine was born in Newtownards, County Down in Northern Ireland, to Edmund Sr. and Kathleen and spent his childhood in the small village of Conlig. He completed studies in high school Regent House Grammar School, without ever excelling particularly in the results.
Irvine's first taste of motorsport came when his family spent their holidays attending the British Grand Prix. His father also raced in single-seater cars for fun. Irvine originally expressed interest in motorcycles but his father thought the danger that would arise. Irvine worked in an unpaid job in a scrapyard his father owned which would go towards his son's hobby.Template:Sfn
Eddie Irvine's racing career began in Formula Ford, where from 1983 to 1986 he scored several podium finishes. His big break came in 1987 when he signed for the works Van Diemen team and won both RAC and Esso FF1600 championships with a respectable 19 wins out of 36 races, including the prestigious Formula Ford Festival.
His performances in Formula Ford led to a signing in the front running WSR Formula Three team. During the season, it was clear that the Alfa Romeo Engine in Irvine's car did not have a chance of competing with the Toyota and VW powered cars. He finished the year fifth in the standings, without a win, but with 8 podium positions.
After a good showing in the 1988 Macau Grand Prix, where he put his WSR Ralt car on pole position and won the first leg, Irvine signed for the Pacific team for the 1989 International Formula 3000 Championship. In a complicated season for a rookie team, Irvine finished the final standings in ninth place, ahead of his highly rated team mate JJ Lehto, who was already in F1 by mid-season. At the end of the year, Irvine returned to the Macau Grand Prix with his former team (WSR) in one of its Ralt F3 Cars.
For 1990 Irvine signed with Eddie Jordan for a second attempt at the F3000 Championship, this time winning the German round, and finishing the year third in the standings ahead of his team mates, Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Emanuele Naspetti. Again at the end of the season, Irvine stepped back to Formula Three to participate in the 1990 Macau and Fuji rounds, finishing on the podium in both events.
With no opportunities in F1 in sight, Irvine headed for Japan, to compete in the Japanese Formula 3000 Championship. He finished seventh in the standings in 1991, eighth in 1992, and runner-up in 1993, just as he debuted with Jordan Grand Prix at that year's Formula One Japanese Grand Prix.
Formula One career
In the early stages of his F1 career, Irvine was known as a fierce competitor. Even when he had a weaker car with which he only qualified for the rear of the grid, he had a tendency to "try to win a race at the start", often causing himself and others to exit a race in an untimely and untidy fashion. He was also noted for his personality, perhaps best described as anti-authoritarian. He finished 6th and secured a point on his debut Formula One race with Jordan in 1993 at Suzuka.
This race set the theme of controversy for Irvine that would follow him for the next couple of years. Seeing Ayrton Senna coming up behind him in his mirror, Irvine allowed him to pass. However, when Senna could not lap Damon Hill who Irvine was racing against at the time, he felt he was being held up and, amazingly for a rookie against an all-time great, unlapped himself and then tried himself to overtake Hill. Incensed at being held up behind the Irvine–Hill battle for more than a lap, Senna walked into the Jordan motorhome after the race and punched Irvine in the face. Irvine spoke about this when asked about his most memorable moment:
At the first race of 1994, Irvine was involved in a four-car pile up and received a one-race ban which was increased to three for appealing the decision. During the Friday Qualifying in Portugal, Irvine clipped the Williams of Damon Hill which ended his qualifying campaign. The Ulsterman received a warning that another similar incident would see his Super License revoked.
Irvine continued with Jordan until 1995, where he was well matched with his younger, though more experienced team-mate, Rubens Barrichello. His lack of reliability as well as a tendency to get involved in accidents in 1994 meant that the final championship standings did not mirror his speed. Irvine recorded his first podium finish in F1 with a third place (behind Barrichello in 2nd) at the memorable Canadian Grand Prix. Irvine retired from the Hungarian Grand Prix with a mechanical problems with 7 laps remaining.
Irvine's affinity for apparently reckless driving began to dissipate when he moved to the Ferrari team. F1 sports commentators even changed his nickname from "Irv the swerve" to "Steady Eddie" and "Fast Eddie".
As the Formula One world became more technical and the driver personalities less distinctive, his non-conformist approach was generally appreciated.
On 27 September 1995, Irvine signed for Ferrari for 1996 to partner Michael Schumacher. Between 1996 and 1997, Irvine played a clear second driver in the team to Schumacher. In 1996 Schumacher had 59 points and 3 wins, against Irvine's 11 points and no wins.
In 1997, Irvine had an improvement over the previous year. At the Argentine Grand Prix, Irvine scored a then-career best second after a strong challenge to Jacques Villeneuve who was suffering from a stomach ailment. Not counting Schumacher's disqualification from the world championship, the German had 78 points and 5 wins, against Irvine's 24 points and, again, no wins. In both years, Irvine showed comparison with Schumacher was inevitable.
In 1998, Irvine's fitness level was in question as he had suffered from back pain. His seat was adjusted to help combat this problem. Possibly stemming from this, a journalist suggested he was unfit. In stark contrast with the journalist's allegation however, three days prior to the publication of the article, Irvine had recorded one of the highest levels of fitness of an F1 driver. Mid-way through the season, Irvine re-signed for the Scuderia for 1999.
1999 saw Irvine's career reach a peak as, through a combination of circumstance and the culmination of his much improved and matured style and performance during his years at Ferrari, he found himself battling for the world championship following Michael Schumacher's accident at that year's British Grand Prix which saw the German break his leg.
Irvine won the season's opening grand prix in Australia, in a race with significant attrition. With consistent points finishes, subsequent good form, and a rather abnormal series of glaring mistakes by rivals McLaren and reigning World Champion Mika Häkkinen, he was relatively well placed to take up the fight as the team's lead driver alongside Schumacher's replacement, Mika Salo. A further two victories in the Austrian and German Grand Prix rounds increased Irvine's title hopes. The former featured an exciting battle down to the finish with McLaren driver David Coulthard (who did himself no favours after spinning Häkkinen out in the first lap). The latter victory however was rather controversial as it was handed to him by teammate Salo out of sight of TV cameras, although Irvine looked set to pass Salo with or without his help. Salo had outqualified the Irishman, and was ahead of him throughout the race; he inherited the lead after Häkkinen had a botched pitsop and subsequently went out later with a spectacular left rear tyre puncture and crash. Following the race, Irvine handed his victory trophy over to 2nd place Salo as a gesture to show his gratitude.
Irvine added two more high points finishes of 3rd at Hungary and 4th in Belgium, However, by this stage it was clear that the Ferrari team were struggling as both Irvine and Salo began complaining about the car's lack of grip and poor handling (It was suggested that the team's lack of proper development was due to Michael Schumacher's missing presence in the team). As a result, Irvine had threatened to leave the team as he believed Ferrari had not fully supported his campaign for the championship and his cause to have equal lead driver status with Schumacher.
His form more apparent during the Hungarian and Belgian rounds but more so at Ferrari's Home Grand Prix at Monza, where Irvine struggled for pace and finished a lacklustre 6th (in contrast, teammate Salo, whose driving style seemed to suit the Ferrari's lack of grip at high speed tracks, finished 3rd). This streak cost Irvine valuable points although it was somewhat offset by Häkkinen's misfortune in several races during this period (highlighted by a notorious blunder at the aforementioned Italian GP at Monza), but nevertheless, Irvine's lead from a peak 8 points was completely wiped out and both he and Häkkinen were equal coming towards the European Round at the Nurburgring.
On 15 September, Irvine was announced as one of the drivers for the Jaguar team with a three-year contract worth £15 million. He was to be parterned by Johnny Herbert for 2000. The deal came about when Stewart Grand Prix offered Irvine a large offer and representatives from Ford met secretly at the British Grand Prix to discuss the terms.
Irvine looked set for a very good points day and maybe a possible victory after McLaren gave Häkkinen the wrong tyres in a race plagued by rapidly changing weather conditions. Unfortunately the normally flawless Ferrari pitcrew performed badly during Irvine's pitstop and he ultimately finished 7th, out of the points, whereas a resurgent Häkkinen managed to catch and pass Irvine and Marc Gene's Minardi and finish 5th. With a 2 point disadvantage, the returning Schumacher aided him in Malaysia; starting on pole with Irvine behind in 2nd (the Ferraris suddenly fast again), he let his team-mate pass for the win (his 4th of the season) and then proceeded to hold up a visibly exhausted Häkkinen for 2nd place. Then after the race, both Ferraris were disqualified hours after the race as a result of a minor aerodynamic irregularity concerning the cars' bargeboards, seemingly handing the title to Häkkinen, and the constructors' championship to the British team. However, the decision was later overturned and both cars reinstated in the race results, meaning that Irvine headed into the final round leading the 1999 Formula One World Drivers' Championship by just 4 points
In the title showdown at Japan, a finish in front of Mika Häkkinen would guarantee Irvine the title. In the race, Irvine struggled for pace and finished third behind Häkkinen and runner-up Schumacher, handing the championship to the Finn.
Irvine's move to Jaguar secured him the role as the team's lead driver. He did not compete in the Austrian Grand Prix due to abdominal pains. He returned at the German Grand Prix where he finished 10th.
The team learned much from Irvine's experience with Ferrari, but ultimately the Jaguar package was unreliable and uncompetitive. Driving a car much slower than most others, and dogged by the reliability problems, he still managed to get podium results at Monaco and Monza. There were initial concerns of Irvine's future at Jaguar but the team clarified that he would remain for the entire season.
For 2002, Irvine declared his fitness level was higher than his rival competitors when he performed a fitness examination which was higher than many drivers.
Friction in the Jaguar camp and his vocal frustration at the lack of positive development of the car resulted in his contract not being renewed. Irvine was offered a cut in his £6 million salary but an agreement could not be reached. He was considered for a return to Jordan for the 2003 season but, owing to that team's financial problems, he was left without a drive. He was also linked with Minardi. He announced his retirement from Formula One racing that year.
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.
Irvine played himself in the 2004 comedy The Prince and Me, which starred Julia Stiles.
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.
He is now executive producer of a film being produced about Paddy Mayne.
In May 2006, it was announced that Irvine would be one of the celebrities taking part in ITV's 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. Unfortunately, he had to pull out because of a leg injury.
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 2002, Irvine successfully sued TalkSport Radio for "passing off" his image in a print advertisement, as if he had personally endorsed the station. Eight years later, Irvine will front a half-hour programme on the station, the LG Grand Prix Show, alongside regular Sunday evening presenter Andy Goldstein.
By virtue of being born in Northern Ireland, a constituent country of the United Kingdom, Irvine was a British citizen throughout his career. He also held a racing license issued by the National Sporting Authority of the Republic of Ireland. (Drivers are not compelled to obtain their license from their home country.) 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 license, as is the case in other racing series.
This situation created some confusion as to Irvine's nationality when he appeared at podium ceremonies in the Formula One World Championship. At his third podium, a second place for Ferrari at the 1997 Argentine Grand Prix, an Irish Tricolour was mistakenly flown by the race organisers. This led to his family receiving 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. An FIA spokesman said: Template:Cquote
Irvine has self-identified as being Irish: Template:Cquote
He became known for his flirting with various women. including Pamela Anderson.
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 and the relationship became deeper when Drummond split up from her boyfriend.Template:Sfn From the relationship Irvine has a daughter, Zoe. He said that the birth of his daughter was the best moment of his life despite not being a natural lover of babies.
Irvine is seen by many as a playboy in the mould of James Hunt, in contrast to the
sport's modern stars, who 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".
|Season||Series||Team Name||Races||Poles||Wins||Points||Final Placing|
|1983||Misc Formula Ford races||?||20||?||?||?||?|
|1984||Misc Formula Ford races||?||22||2||2||?||?|
|1985||Esso Formula Ford 1600||?||20||3||0||44||10th|
|1986||Misc Formula Ford races||?||17||0||0||?||?|
|1987||Esso Formula Ford 1600||Van Diemen||14||5||6||165||1st|
|RAC Formula Ford 1600||Van Diemen||12||10||8||160||1st|
|Formula Ford Festival||Van Diemen||1||1||1||N/A||1st|
|BBC Formula Ford 2000||Van Diemen||4||2||2||24||2nd|
|1988||British F3 championship||WSR||18||1||0||53||5th|
|Cellnet Formula Three Race||WSR||1||0||0||N/A||R|
|Macau Grand Prix||WSR||1||1||0||N/A||R|
|1989||International Formula 3000||Pacific||10||0||0||11||9th|
|Macau Grand Prix||WSR||1||0||0||N/A||R|
|1990||International Formula 3000||Jordan||11||0||1||27||3rd|
|Macau Grand Prix||WSR||1||0||0||N/A||3rd|
|F3 Fuji Cup||WSR||1||0||0||N/A||3rd|
|1991||Japanese Formula 3000||Cerumo||11||0||1||14||7th|
|1992||Japanese Formula 3000||Cerumo||11||2||1||17||8th|
|24 hours Le Mans||TOM'S/SARD||1||0||0||N/A||9th|
|1993||Japanese Formula 3000||Cerumo||10||4||1||32||2nd|
|24 hours Le Mans||SARD Toyota||1||0||0||N/A||4th|
|24 hours Le Mans||SARD Toyota||1||0||0||N/A||2nd|
Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results
Toyota R36V 3.6L Turbo V8
| Toyota Team Tom's
Kitz Racing Team with SARD
| Roland Ratzenberger
Toyota RV10 3.5 L V10
|Toyota Team Tom's|| Toshio Suzuki
Toyota R36V 3.6 L Turbo V8
|SARD Company Ltd.|| Mauro Martini
Complete Formula One Grand Prix results
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)
Template:Sup Driver did not finish the Grand Prix, but was classified as they had completed over 90% of the race distance.
- Biography f1complete.com. Retrieved on 17-05-08.
- ITV Sport
- Suzuka, 1993
- "Eddie Irvine". F1 Fanatic. http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/f1-information/whos-who/whos-who-i/eddie-irvine/.
- "Motor Racing: Accident-prone Irvine slides closer to ban". The Independent. September 25, 1994. http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/motor-racing-accidentprone-irvine-slides-closer-to-ban-1450917.html.
- Masefield, Fraser (11 February 2010). "My Favourite Race - Eddie Irvine". ESPN. http://en.espnf1.com/f1/motorsport/story/8509.html. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
- Allsop, Derick (September 27, 1995). "Irvine to partner Schumacher at Ferrari". The Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/irvine-to-partner-schumacher-at-ferrari-1603160.html.
- "Villeneuve leaves field ill". Herald-Journal: p. 9. April 14, 1997. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=-oYfAAAAIBAJ&sjid=hs8EAAAAIBAJ&pg=6695,3562162&dq=eddie+irvine&hl=en.
- "Irvine stays at Ferrari". New Straits Times. July 30, 1998. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=1fVOAAAAIBAJ&sjid=xxQEAAAAIBAJ&pg=4489,3134900&dq=eddie+irvine&hl=en.
- "Irvine's Career Steers Into Wide Open Lane". The New York Times. July 31, 1999. http://www.nytimes.com/1999/07/31/sports/31iht-prix.2.t_5.html.
- "Irvine makes it back-to-back wins". Irish Independent. http://www.independent.ie/sport/irvine-makes-it-backtoback-wins-398584.html. Retrieved August 2, 1999.
- "Irvine threatens to quit Ferrari". Associated Press. 1999-08-12. http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=NewsLibrary&p_multi=APAB&d_place=APAB&p_theme=newslibrary2&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0F8A1C55592897D0&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM.
- "Irvine en route to Stewart?". grandprix.com. 26 July 1999. http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns02090.html. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- Allsop, Derek (1999-09-15). "Irvine spearheads Jaguar's grand prix return". The Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/motor-racing/irvine-spearheads-jaguars-grand-prix-return-741245.html.
- "Madiba fuels Irvine's long drive to F1". IOL Sport. http://www.iol.co.za/sport/madiba-fuels-irvine-s-long-drive-to-f1-1.329690. Retrieved October 27, 1999.
- ESPNF1 Staff (1 January 1999). "Hakkinen edges Irvine to claim back-to-back titles". ESPN. http://en.espnf1.com/f1/motorsport/story/11622.html. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
- "Irvine spins out of German Grand Prix". BBC Sport. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/858456.stm. Retrieved July 30, 2000.
- "Jaguar plan to keep Irvine". grandprix.com. 22 March 2001. http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns03929.html. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- "Irvine shapes up for new season". BBC Sport. 2002-01-04. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/1742593.stm.
- "Irvine set to quit F1 after Jordan rejection". Sports Illustrated. 23 January 2003. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/motorsports/news/2003/01/23/irvine_f1/. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- "Jaguar releases Irvine". The Madison Courier. November 2, 2002. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=0LFJAAAAIBAJ&sjid=XhANAAAAIBAJ&pg=4779,3061630&dq=eddie+irvine&hl=en.
- "Warrant Issued For F1 Driver Eddie Irvine". Sky News. 2003-12-11. http://news.sky.com/story/230308/warrant-issued-for-f1-driver-eddie-irvine.
- "Made Not Born Champions: Eddie Irvine Sports Centre". Department for Employment and Learning. http://www.delni.gov.uk/eddie-irvine-sports-centre-case-study.pdf.
- "Who Blair Wins" By: Kelleher, Lynne The Sunday Mirror June 18, 2006 http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4161/is_20060618/ai_n16490721
- Irvine v Talksport. EWHC 367 (Ch).
- "£2,000 win costs Eddie Irvine £200,000". The Telegraph. March 26, 2002. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1388853/2000-win-costs-Eddie-Irvine-300000.html.
- "Irvine to front F1 radio show". autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). 2010-03-31. http://www.autosport.com/news/grapevine.php/id/82563. Retrieved 2010-03-31.
- Villeneuve backs return to 'real racetracks' The Independent. Published on 25-04-08. Retrieved on 21-03-08.
- FIA international sporting regulations para 112
- Ramsey, Chris. Eddie's flag of convenience! The Sun (London, England) April 26, 1997
- "Anderson: 'Irvine Was Too Sweet'". contactmusic.com. 26 June 2006. http://www.contactmusic.com/news-article/anderson-irvine-was-too-sweet_1000853.
- "LOVE OF MY LIFE; Secret daughter of race ace Eddie Irvine.". The Free Library. 5 January 2000. http://www.thefreelibrary.com/LOVE+OF+MY+LIFE%3B+Secret+daughter+of+race+ace+Eddie+Irvine.-a060278893. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
- Egan, Barry (19 May 2002). "Fast Eddie". Irish Independent. http://www.independent.ie/unsorted/features/fast-eddie-501098.html. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
- Irvine, Eddie; Nottage, Jane (2000). Life in the Fast Lane - Eddie Irvine, Jane Nottage. London, England: Random House. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=eKvbk358YG8C&printsec=frontcover&dq=Eddie+Irvine&hl=en#v=onepage&q&f=false.
- The Official Eddie Irvine Website
- Template:IMDb name
|British Formula Ford Champion
|Formula Ford Festival Winner
|Awards and achievements
Template:Autosport British Club Driver of the Year