Ulster man Eddie Irvine has confirmed that he is planning to start his own F1 team from scratch in partnership with Russian billionaire Roustam Tariko, according to The Irish Independent. The team is hoped to be ready in time to compete in the 2008 world championship after the duo failed to secure the purchase of the Jordan F1 team last year.
Speaking to the Irish newspaper Irvine said, “We are looking to start a team from scratch as there are no teams for sale at the moment. It will be a great challenge but Roustan wants to do it and we’ve got the money.”
Adding that he wasn’t entering the sport under any false prentences he said, “If I go back into Formula 1 I am going to be married to it for a long time, but it’s definitely a challenge I want to go with.”
Irvine, who raced for Ferrari, Jordan and Ford during his time as a driver in the sport, was touted to be attempting to buy the Jordan Grand Prix team from former boss and friend Eddie Jordan last year. However the deal never came to a head.
Mr Tariko is a wealthy Russian business man with an estimated fortune of over $4.6 billion. That combined with Irvine’s $164 million is a comfortable financial base for a grand prix team.
“To start up a team is relatively not that expensive. It is running one and making them able to compete with the big boys that costs a lot of money,” said the Ulsterman.
“Your running costs are basically $100 million a year to run a team at a decent level – that’s a decent level, not a great level.”
“It’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be very, very difficult.”
Irvine believes his experience and image of 20 years of racing would be an asset to the team and along with Tariko’s money, it should be a good combination.