The 37-year-old Ulsterman, who started his Formula One career with Jordan in 1993, was sacked by Jaguar last year and his fans were pinning their hopes on a Jordan drive for 2003. But, Jordan boss Eddie Jordan has made it clear he needs to sign a driver who can bring 3 million pounds (5 million dollars) with him to ease their cash problems, putting Eddie firmly out of the running.
In a world where drivers often toe the corporate line, Irvine was always brave enough to say what he felt. But at 37 his time appears to be up and it would be highly unlikely he will be able to find an outfit for next year. Allan McNish, knows what Irvine must feel like having been dropped by Toyota at the end of last season, but has advised the Ulsterman to call it a day.
"I've known Eddie since 1987, since I started racing. One thing is for sure - the driver parades will be much duller now, Allan said. "If you want to get up in the morning and race cars then winning Le Mans is great, if you have the motivation. If you are tired of getting up in the morning and tired of testing in the cold and rain at Silverstone then it's probably best to give up and do something else."