While he had a World Championship near-miss at Ferrari in 1999, former F1 driver Eddie Irvine (pictured, from his final season in 2002 with Jaguar) also earned notoriety during his Grand Prix career for his outspokenness.
More than a decade after his retirement from the circuit, that quality clearly hasn’t left him.
In an interview with Northern Ireland’s Belfast Telegraph, Irvine sounded off on the FIA’s controversial decision to award double points at the F1 season finale from next year onwards – calling it a sign of “insanity” that has made him realize he’ll never watch another Grand Prix until the rule’s demise.
He wasn’t done there, as he told the Telegraph’s Steven Beacom that “the people involved in those decision have lost the plot.”
“They have no understanding of reality and the people who are in there have been in too long,” he continued. “They have blown up the history of the sport by changing the points, changing the qualifying and now double points for the final race.”
And then came the moment when four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel’s dubbing of the double points rule as “absurd” was thoroughly topped.
“It’s ridiculous, I’ve never heard such a joke in all my life,” Irvine closed. “Talk about tinsel town bulls—!”
At the risk of stating the obvious, that’s probably not what the FIA officials in Paris want to hear. But knowing Irvine, he couldn’t care less.
Time will tell if that quote ends up on a T-shirt like Kimi Raikkonen’s “leave me alone, I know what I’m doing” bit did.
Carlos Sainz Jr.
Teams: Scuderia Toro Rosso (1-16), Renault (17-20)
Car No.: 33
Best Finish: P4 (Singapore)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Championship Position: 9th
Carlos Sainz Jr. has always been compared to Max Verstappen given their relative rise and stint together at Toro Rosso, but the Spaniard began to forge his own impressive path through 2017, securing himself a works drive with Renault in the process.
Alongside the struggling Daniil Kvyat for much of the season, Sainz led Toro Rosso’s charge, scoring 48 of its 53 points with a string of impressive drives. His headline moment came in Singapore when he matched Verstappen’s best result in Toro Rosso colors by finishing fourth, capitalizing on the start-line crash and the wet weather with a strong display.
Sainz’s displays led to a call from Renault, who announced just two days before his star display in Singapore he would be joining up for 2018 on loan from Red Bull. However, the deal was accelerated after a deal was brokered to secure Jolyon Palmer’s departure, allowing Sainz to join up from the United States GP onwards.
Sainz made an immediate impression, completing a perfect race en route to seventh on debut for Renault to secure six points that would prove crucial in the final constructors’ championship standings as the French team beat Toro Rosso to P6 in the standings at the last race of the year.
Red Bull retains an option on Sainz’s future beyond 2018, making him a candidate for a seat with its senior team should Daniel Ricciardo opt to leave. Failing that, Renault could offer Sainz the platform he needs to continue his rapid rise in F1 and establish himself at the front of the pack for many years to come.
Season High: Finishing fourth in Singapore after dodging the start-line drama.
Season Low: Crashing out in his final Toro Rosso appearance on the first lap at Suzuka.