Grapevine: Irvine Linked with Jordan Buyout

Eddie Irvine, who started his F1 career with Jordan Grand Prix at Suzuka in 1993, has been linked to a possible buyout of the team just months after it was purchased from Eddie Jordan by Russian businessman Alex Shnaider

Grapevine: Irvine Linked with Jordan Buyout

Paddock rumours have surfaced in Monte Carlo suggesting Shnaider is not willing to inject the necessary finance to take the team forward and that he may be willing to offload it if the offer is right.

Irvine, meanwhile, while by no means a regular visitor to F1 since finishing his driving career with Jaguar at the end of 2002, has been in the paddock at both Imola and Barcelona and is due to be in Monte Carlo later in the weekend.

Irvine is independently wealthy due largely to shrewd investments throughout his 10 seasons in F1, but is thought far too shrewd to throw too much of his own money at an F1 team. He is also believed to have Russian business contacts, however.

Since taking over the reins at Jordan, Midland has not been renowned for liberally doling out cash. Earlier in the year, Eddie Jordan had cause to complain that he had not been paid for the part of the sale that included the Brackley wind tunnel.

When the money still did not arrive, Jordan actually sent round security men to evict team personnel and change the locks. Only then were funds forthcoming.

On April 13, a winding-up order was petitioned against Jordan Grand Prix by TT Race Rally Ltd. The company has been responsible for painting the Jordan cars since the team began in F1 in 1991. This was due to be heard in the High Court of Justice (Chancery Division), Manchester District Registry, on June 6, but it is understood that debts owed to the company were settled earlier this week.

While such things are nothing new in the world of Formula One, sources indicate that TT Race Rally is not alone in considering winding-up proceedings against the team and that further actions could be forthcoming.

The team are currently being administered for Shnaider by Colin Kolles, with respected former F3 championship-winning team owner Trevor Carlin looking after the sporting direction.

The Irvine link has been aired by the Setanta TV channel, whose reporters include former F1 driver David Kennedy and ex-Jordan technical director Gary Anderson, both close confidants of Irvine.

Shnaider himself was unavailable on his boat in the Monte Carlo harbour but Carlin, when presented with the possible team sale by Autosport-Atlas, responded: "It is incorrect. There is no story."

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