Irvine Coy on Team Boss Comeback

Former F1 driver Eddie Irvine played his cards close to his chest as speculation swirled on Friday that he was plotting a comeback as a Formula One team boss

Irvine Coy on Team Boss Comeback

"I don't know. There's a lot of rumours going around. Formula One's exciting this year isn't it?" the Northern Irishman said in the Monaco paddock when asked about a possible interest in his old Jordan team.

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

Irvine, World Champion Michael Schumacher's teammate at Ferrari for four seasons from 1996, retired at the end of 2002 after Jaguar did not renew his contract.

The millionaire playboy is a regular at the glamour highlight of the season but his unexpected appearance at the last San Marino and Spanish Grands Prix set tongues wagging.

His explanation that he had a lot of girlfriends in Barcelona and liked the Italian pasta was not entirely convincing.

Irvine was in the Minardi motorhome on Friday but team boss Paul Stoddart said the visit was purely social.

"We were joking about boats and planes and cars and girls," said the Australian. "But apparently he's got some investor with him because everyone's said to me did you meet the investor. I genuinely didn't.

"I think maybe the action is next door, it's not with us," he added, gesturing at neighbours Jordan.

Looking Around

Irvine, runner-up in the 1999 Championship with Ferrari, told BBC Radio that he was just looking around but felt more than capable to run a team should he feel so inclined.

"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)," he declared.

"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 said Formula One was skewed towards manufacturer-backed teams now, although Red Bull had done a good job since buying Jaguar.

"They are biting at the tail of the good guys which is the least they are expecting to do, which I think is great for F1 because I think the manufacturers are a bit stuffy to a certain extent," he said.

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

"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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