In the 1990s, very few Irish athletes had Eddie Irvine’s star power. The County Down native was one of the biggest names in Formula One and had some legendary battles with the likes of Ayrton sbobet Senna and Michael Schumacher during the sport’s golden age.
Since retiring in 2002, Irvine’s name has remained firmly in the headlines. The 56-year-old has made a name for himself as a playboy, lives an extravagant lifestyle and courts controversy. With all that said, let’s take a look back at Irvine’s career and see what he’s up to today.How was your career in F1?
Irvine showed up as a replacement for the Jordan team at the 1993 Japanese Grand Prix. Controversy soon followed when Irvine engaged in a heated altercation with Ayrton Senna after the race.
Senna, then the biggest name in F1, was furious with Irvine after the young upstart was buttoned mid-race. When the race was over, a scuffle broke out in the pit lane, with Senna hitting Irvine.Irvine was involved in another newsworthy incident early in the 1994 season: he allegedly caused a four-car collision and was subsequently suspended for four races.
After three years with Jordan, Irvine joined Ferrari and became the team’s second-biggest driver behind Michael Schumacher. Irvine struggled for a couple of years before getting his chance to shine in 1999 when a broken leg ruled out Schumacher for much of the season.
Irvine won four races in the 1999 season and came awfully close to winning the World Drivers’ Championship, falling just two points behind eventual winner Mika Hakkinen.However, his efforts were instrumental in Ferrari winning the constructors’ championship for the first time in 16 years.
Eddie never managed to win the championship again. He joined Jaguar in 2000 but only managed two podiums for the team before retiring in 2002.
How is your relationship with Michael Schumacher?
The two Ferrari drivers had ups and downs in their relationship.When they were teammates, they didn’t have the best of relationships.
In their first season together, Irvine couldn’t resist throwing a few darts at Schumacher. After a race in the 1996 season, Irvine said Schumacher’s helmet was oddly shaped: “Because he’s German, he has an oddly shaped head.”
During the 1999 season, the tension between the two was palpable. Things came to a head just days before the 1999 Monaco Grand Prix when Schumacher made the shocking revelation that the two men had had a major argument in the week leading up to the race with Irvine.