Irvine back on track for Germany

Jaguar's Eddie Irvine has been passed fit to make his return to the cockpit in the German Grand Prix next weekend

Irvine back on track for Germany

Irvine pulled out of last weekend's Austrian Grand Prix after complaining of stomach pains during Friday practice. He was flown to London for tests and replaced in the race by Jaguar test driver Luciano Burti.

An initial diagnosis ruled out appendicitis, but the Ulsterman returned to London for further tests earlier this week. He was released from hospital yesterday (Thursday) with a green light to race at Hockenheim, but has been advised by doctors to rest for a few days.

"I've been given the all-clear, which is a huge relief," said Irvine. "I'm feeling fresh, relaxed and ready to go. Although I've been told to rest for the next couple of days, I'm very keen to get back in the cockpit.

"I'm looking forward to Hockenheim. I have been keeping tabs on the team's Silverstone test this week and we're all encouraged by what has been achieved."

Irvine took time out to pay tribute to Burti, who was thrown in at the deep end after getting the nod late on the Friday afternoon at the A1-Ring. The Brazilian qualified 21st and finished 11th in his first ever Grand Prix.

"Under the circumstances, Luciano did a very good job," said Irvine. "He also made a big contribution to our Silverstone test programme in readiness for Hockenheim."

But despite that vote of confidence, Burti is expected to be passed up as a replacement for the outgoing Johnny Herbert next season. Champ Car ace Dario Franchitti is expected to partner Irvine for 2001.

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