F1 Spotlight - Eddie Jordan

2w ago

14.7K

Edmund Patrick Jordan, OBE was born on 30th March 1948 – also known as EJ – is an Irish former motorsport team boss, businessman and television personality.

Jordan was born in Dublin, the son of Eileen and Paddy Jordan. He has one older sibling, Helen. His father worked as an accountant for the electricity board. At ten months old, Jordan developed a form of pink disease and his family were advised by doctors to move from Dublin to Bray to benefit from the cleaner air and Eddie's condition gradually improved. His childhood nickname was "Flash" as in Gordon, as his surname rhymed.

Jordan began his education at Saint Anne's Pre-School in Milltown and later spent eleven years at the Synge Street Christian Brothers School, where he and his fellow students would be regularly beaten if it was felt that they were not studying hard enough. Despite this experience, Jordan found the level of education to be high. While at school Eddie briefly considered becoming a priest, though this idea, together with that of his family for him to enter dentistry, was dismissed. He ended up taking a six-week accountancy course at the College of Commerce, Dublin, and then began working for the Bank of Ireland as a clerk. During a banking strike in Dublin in 1970, he spent the summer on the island of Jersey, working as an accountant by day and doing bar work in the evenings. It was at this time that he first encountered kart racing, later having his first (unofficial) races there at St Brelade's Bay.

Upon his return to Dublin, Jordan bought himself a kart and began racing. He entered the Irish Kart Championship in 1971 and won it.

Loading...

In 1974, Jordan moved up to the Irish Formula Ford Championship and in 1975 to Formula Three, but was forced to sit out of the 1976 season after a crash at Mallory Park shattered his left leg. After his injuries had healed, he switched to Formula Atlantic, winning three races in 1977. He also won the Irish Formula Atlantic Championship in 1978. Jordan and Stefan Johansson raced under the name "Team Ireland" in British Formula Three in 1979, and Jordan also drove in one Formula Two race. During the same year he also managed to do a small amount of testing for McLaren. Quite the busy year.

At the end of 1979, despite being short of money, Jordan founded his first team - Eddie Jordan Racing, with David Leslie and David Sears driving in 1981 at various events in and around Great Britain. In 1982, his primary driver was James Weaver. In 1983, Weaver ran in the European F3 series and Jordan hired Martin Brundle, who finished second to Ayrton Senna in British F3. In 1987 the team employed Johnny Herbert, who proceeded to win the British Formula Three Championship.

"I'm never afraid to say what I think so on this occasion, I'm going to abstain."

Eddie Jordan

Jordan also entered a Formula 3000 team, whose first wins came with drivers Herbert and Martin Donnelly in 1988, before, in 1989 the Jordan F3000 team dominated the season with Jordan driver Jean Alesi winning the championship. During 1989, he hired Reynard Chief Designer Gary Anderson, initially as Donnelly's engineer and later to oversee operations of the team, joining full-time in February 1990.

Eddie founded Jordan Grand Prix in 1991 with Anderson as Chief Designer. The team quickly gained its respect and punched above their weight on a number of occasions during the season. Jordan gave Michael Schumacher his Formula 1 debut in the team's debut season, though after just one race for the team, Schumacher was lured away to rivals Benetton.

In 1998 the team achieved its best ever result when drivers Damon Hill and Ralf Schumacher finished first and second at the Belgian Grand Prix. Due to its tumultuous nature, that Grand Prix is widely regarded as a classic F1 race where you just don’t know what’s going to happen next.

In 1999, Jordan achieved their F1 zenith when Heinz-Harald Frentzen became a genuine contender for the championship, though he ultimately finished third.

After losing their Honda engine partnership deal to the BAR team in 2002 and numerous difficulties within the team, Jordan was forced to switch to expensive Cosworth engines. The added burden of this plus the reduction of their sponsorship income soon added up and the lack of funds made his team go from bad to worse in 2003. Against all probabilities, Jordan delivered an improbable race win in Brazil 2003 courtesy of Giancarlo Fisichella. This was his first win but the last Formula One victory for both the Ford Motor Company and the Jordan team.

In 2001, Jordan sued Vodafone for allegedly breaking a three-year sponsorship agreement worth $150 million, the loss of the deal and the cost of the case, led to further setbacks for Team Jordan.

The Jordan team fell from a high of third in the constructors championship in 1999 and, despite the sponsorship from Trust computers and new drivers Nick Heidfeld and rookie Timo Glock for 2004, Jordan were in serious trouble. Eddie Jordan retained complete ownership of his team until 2004, eventually selling the team to the Midland Group.

It has been suggested that his rejections of rumoured approaches for buy outs (most notably from Peugeot and Honda) may have cost the team greater success.

After a break away from the sport, Jordan returned to the F1 scene in 2009 as a pundit for BBC Sport F1 coverage. On February 11, 2016, it was announced that he would be one of the new presenters for Top Gear and in March 2016 he was announced as Channel 4's lead analyst for C4F1 .

Loading...

Jordan has broken many stories before they were due to be confirmed; these include Lewis Hamilton's move to Mercedes, Michael Schumacher's return in 2010 and Felipe Massa's departure from Ferrari. Nobody quite knows how he does it.

Jordan loves rock and roll music, and he plays the drums with his band - "Eddie & The Robbers". Away from motorsport, Eddie is reportedly a fan of Celtic (where he is said to be a shareholder in the club,) Coventry City and Chelsea. His other sporting interests include golf and horse racing and he has held memberships of both the Royal Dublin Golf Club and the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Jordan also worked on a TV series called Eddie Jordan's Bad Boy Racers. In 2007 he was appointed Chairman of Rally Ireland, a round of the World Rally Championship.

Jordan has been awarded two awards in Ireland, honorary doctorates from the University of Ulster and Dublin Institute of Technology. He has also received the James Joyce Award from the Literary and Historical Society of University College Dublin, in honour of his contribution to motorsport in Ireland.

In March 2012, it was announced that Jordan had received an honorary OBE for services to charity and motor racing.

Away from motorsport and his television work, he has several other business interests owned partly or wholly by himself.

Jordan is a patron of the child cancer charity CLIC Sargent - the UK's leading cancer charity for children, young people and their families.

Jordan published an autobiography, "An Independent Man", in May 2007.

He is married to Marie and they have four children. The couple mainly live in Ireland, though EJ also has properties in London and Monaco, where he keeps his yacht.

Eddie is undoubtedly one of the biggest characters to come into Formula One - but what do you think? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Join In

Comments (9)

  • I love Eddie Jordan. Everyone should.

      16 days ago
  • Great character. He brought so much joy to everyone especially Irish motorsport fans. Glad to hear he has reaped the rewards of his years in such a challenging sport.

      16 days ago
Loading...
Loading...
9