Former F1 team principal turned media pundit Eddie Jordan has been bestowed an honorary OBE in recognition for his services to charity and motorsport.
The Irishman – who turns 64 tomorrow – founded the Eddie Jordan Racing team in 1979 to compete in the junior categories. By the mid-1980s, his outfit was a force in the British formula 3 scene, and so he made the jump into Formula 3000 in 1988.
In 1989, his lead driver Jean Alesi won the championship, and the success propelled him to set up the Jordan Grand Prix F1 team, which made its debut in the 1991 championship season.
Its 191 chassis, decked out in a beautiful ‘Irish’ green livery in deference to lead sponsors 7Up and Fuji Film, punched well above its weight on a number of occasions, finishing fifth in the Constructors’ Championship standings. His team also gave Michael Schumacher his Grand Prix debut at the Belgian Grand Prix, but the German was poached by Benetton after that event.
After several years of promise, the team finally broke through for its maiden win in 1998, and in 1999 Heinz-Harald Frentzen was a dark horse for the championship title, having claimed wins in France and Italy.
Despite securing works Honda power for the 2000-2 seasons, the team’s form faded and the loss of several key sponsors only added to its gloomy prospects. A flukey win at the 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix would be the team’s last proper success, and he sold the team to the Midland group during the 2004-5 off-season.
Today, the colourful rocker now works as a pundit for the BBC’s F1 coverage.
“What a wonderful moment in my life,” he said of the award.
“I am hugely surprised and greatly overjoyed to receive this magnificent honour, however it would not have been possible without the help of my family, the Jordan Grand Prix F1 team, CLIC Sargent and in more recent times the BBC F1 team.”
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