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Last Updated: Friday, 20 May, 2005, 23:26 GMT 00:26 UK
Jordan welcomes Irvine F1 input
Eddie Irvine
Irvine is now a property mogul in America
Former Jordan owner Eddie Jordan has welcomed the possibility of Eddie Irvine buying into the struggling team.

Irvine reportedly heads a consortium keen on investing in the team owned by Russian billionaire Alex Schnaider.

"Formula One is in a situation where it needs characters of the ilk of Eddie Irvine," Jordan told BBC Five Live.

"It is devoid of the kind of style and parties and lifestyle that F1 has been associated with. Eddie is exactly the kind of guy who can deliver that."

Irvine retired from F1 at the end of 2002 after driving for Jordan, Ferrari and Jaguar Racing.

He has since amassed an estimated 60m fortune, mostly from buying and selling property around the world.

"Whatever anyone says about him, he is a dynamic guy, and has done enormously well with his business outside of Formula One," said Jordan, who believes the sport is overly dominated by the manufacturer-backed teams.

It could be the kick-start to make F1 great again
Jordan on Irvine's plans
"I think F1 has lost some of the pizzazz, the excitement and the real euphoria that is often associated with it," Jordan added.

"That is definitely linked to losing a lot of the 'privateer' teams, or moving over to the corporate structure that teams need to keep in touch with the manufacturing teams.

"The manufacturers have made it a spending formula, and they need to be more controlled so there is a good split between private and manufacturing teams.

"Eddie Irvine could be the catalyst for that. If he is seen to be successful by buying back into F1 as a team owner, I for one will be there at the front of the crowd saluting it.

"For me it could be the kick-start to make F1 great again very soon."

Irvine, who started his F1 career with Jordan in 1993, is attending the Monaco Grand Prix on what he called "a fact-finding mission."

Jordan have been owned since January by the Russian-born Canadian billionaire Shnaider, who bought out Eddie Jordan and plans to rename the team Midland next year with a strongly Russian flavour.

F1 has got a bit sad, a bit like old film stars wearing the short skirts but still going to the same parties
Eddie Irvine
Irvine's consortium is reported to be funded by another Russian tycoon.

The Northern Irishman believes he has the attributes to be a team owner if he chooses.

"I think I could do it," he said. "I have seen the best in someone like (Ferrari boss) Jean Todt and I have seen the worst in someone like the Ford Motor Company (Jaguar's owners).

"I think I have learnt a lot more from seeing how badly Ford did it because Todt took such great care in everything...with Todt it went pretty much how it should have done.

"You only learn from your mistakes. Ford showed me how to make mistakes. The Ford experience with Jaguar was much more enlightening but you need to have both."

Irvine also shares Jordan's view that F1 needs more privately-owned teams to challenge the dominace of the manufacturer-backed outfits.

"Formula One needs colour and it is a shame EJ (Eddie Jordan) is not around because he was one of the colourful characters," Irvine added.

"It has got a bit sad, a bit like the old film stars wearing the short skirts but still going to the same parties."




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