MARCH 12, 2002
Irvine and Jaguar
IN the days after Melbourne, several of the British tabloid newspapers ran stories suggesting that Eddie Irvine was considering leaving Jaguar Racing at the end of the season unless performance improves dramatically. This would not really be a surprise given that Jaguar's performance has been pretty depressing, despite Irvine's fortunate run to fourth place in Melbourne. At the same time, Jaguar is not likely to be in a position to afford to meet Irvine's wage demands, which are believed to be in the region of $12m a year. The Ulsterman signed his three-year deal with Ford back in 1999 when Ford was a happier place and it is hard to imagine that the company would consider renewing such a deal at a time when the talk in Detroit is of the need for economy.
Irvine may find that he will have to reduce his demands for payment as $12m is more than most F1 teams are willing to pay for a top driver.