Former Ferrari and Jaguar driver Eddie Irvine has been sentenced to six months by a judge in Italy for his part in a nightclub brawl.
The case stretches back to December 2008 when Irvine, 48, got into a dispute with the son of a prominent figure in Milan, which led to a brawl in the Hollywood nightclub in Milan. The dispute related to a text message sent by Irvine to an ex girlfriend of Gabriele Moratti, whose mother was once Mayor of Milan.
Neither man is expected to actually serve the jail sentence, as it has been appealed and that is likely to take the case into 2015; beyond the statute of limitations, according to commentators covering the case.
Irvine raced in F1 between 1993 and 2002, participating in 145 Grands Prix and winning four times. He was team mate to Michael Schumacher at Ferrari from 1996 to 1999 and almost won the 1999 world championship. He was leading the points table going into the final round against Mika Hakkinen, but lost the title at Suzuka. Since retiring he has built up a substantial business empire, encompassing property and paper businesses.
Ironically his F1 career began with a brawl with Ayrton Senna who was incensed that Irvine battled as Senna lapped him. Senna came looking for Irvine after the race and took a swing at him as the Irishman showed little respect for his position.
Also ironically, Irvine’s older sister Sonia is the owner of the F1 night club franchise “Amber Lounge”, which often sees F1 drivers partying with VIP guests and fans after Grands Prix in some of the more exotic locations on the calendar.