Eddie Jordan, born in Dublin in 1948, is a former racing driver, team owner and entrepreneur known for his irrepressible optimism and energetic joie de vivre. A host of drivers owe their breaks to Eddie as a champion of young talent. Drivers who have won Grand Prix who have driven for Eddie include Hill, Mansell, Schumacher (Michael) and Senna, also becoming world champions; and Alesi, Barrichello, Boutsen, Fisichella, Frentzen, Herbert, Irvine, Moreno, Schumacher (Ralf), Trulli and Watson.
Eddie's unlikely introduction to motor racing came about in 1970 when as a bank clerk he moved to Jersey because of a Dublin bank strike, and there he experienced kart racing. Eddie returned to Dublin hooked, embarking on a driving career which saw him win karting and Formula Ford races. However, winning the Formula Atlantic Championship sealed his long-term contract as a driver with Marlboro, which paved the way for races in Formula 3, Formula 2 and testing a McLaren Formula 1 car (in 1979). Separately, he drove in the World Sports Car Championship with Porsche and the Pink Floyd BMW car at Le Mans.
Having suffered a number of major accidents Eddie retired from racing to set up his team in 1980 and began his now famous habit of finding young drivers and giving them a chance at success. Having given Senna his first ever Formula 3 drive in 1982 (which was later repeated with Damon Hill in 1985 - both becoming world champions), he signed Martin Brundle to lead the team for the British Championship in 1983 in which they finished second. The team went on to be champions with Johnny Herbert in 1987. Jordan then moved up to Formula 3000 for the years 1988/89/90 winning races with Donnelly, Herbert, Irvine and taking the championship in the 1989 season with Jean Alesi.
Inspired by the success of his junior drivers, Eddie established Jordan Grand Prix in 1990 and entered Formula 1. Read more about Eddie’s Formula 1 history here. Eddie sold Jordan Grand Prix in January 2005. Since then he has developed a portfolio of business interests and presents the BBC's coverage of Formula 1. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Ulster and Dublin's Institute of Technology. These were added to in France by being made an honorary Musketeer, in recognition of winning races in Nogaro, Pau, Le Mans and the prestigious French Grand Prix. He has also spoken at the prestigious Oxford Union.
As well as being inducted into the Irish Motorsport Hall of Fame recently, Eddie has been awarded two prestigious awards in Ireland: the James Joyce Award from the Literary and Historical Society of the University College Dublin, the largest student society in Ireland, to honour his outstanding contribution to motorsport in Ireland; and he received the Gold Medal of Honorary Patronage of the University Philosophical Society of Trinity College, Dublin to honour his contribution to motor racing and his charity work over the years.
On the 28th March 2012, Eddie was awarded an honorary OBE in recognition of his services to charity and motor racing. On being awarded the honorary OBE, Eddie said: “What a wonderful moment in my life. 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 Formula 1 team, CLIC Sargent and in more recent times the BBC Formula 1 team”.
Eddie also was awarded the Freedom of the City of London in September 2021.
Eddie with his OBE at CLIC Sargent's Paul's House