But 15 years ago this month he was in the news for a more conventional reason, when some of the leading contenders faltered around him and Irvine picked up his first career Grand Prix victory in Melbourne.
On a day when both of the erstwhile dominant McLaren-Mercedes, driven by Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard, succumbed to mechanical gremlins and Irvine’s Ferrari teammate Michael Schumacher needed a steering wheel replaced, Irvine capitalized to score a surprise win.
The race featured six different teams in the then-six points paying positions. Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Jordan-Mugen Honda) and Ralf Schumacher (Williams-Supertec) completed the podium. Giancarlo Fisichella (Benetton-Playlife), Rubens Barrichello (Stewart-Ford) and F1 debutante Pedro de la Rosa (Arrows) rounded out the top six finishers.
Things have changed since. Although the unpredictable nature that the 2014 Australian Grand Prix presents this week could potentially see six different teams score points, down to 10th place.