FORMER Ferrari driver Eddie Irvine has been sentenced to six months in prison following a conviction for his part in a brawl in a Milan nightclub in 2008.
The 48-year-old, who spent nine years as a Formula One star, was found guilty along with Gabriele Moratti, the son of a former Milan mayor, of causing mutual injury in the VIP area at the city’s Hollywood nightclub.
Both parties denied being the aggressor, accusing each other of using a glass during the brawl, and are expected to appeal.
And according to Moratti’s lawyer Vincenzo Saponara neither is likely to end up spending time behind bars, with the appeal set to result in the convictions being reduced to suspended sentences.
The cause of the fight has also been the subject of debate, with Saponara denying they had fought over a woman.
“It’s easy to say they fought because of jealousy over a woman, that they were two men who were rivals for her,” he said.
“It’s a nice story, but in reality that’s not the case.”
Irvine enjoyed 26 podium finishes in 145 races for Jordan, Ferrari and Jaguar.
All four of his career race wins came during the 1999 season for Ferrari where Irvine finished second in the World Championship behind McLaren’s Mika Hakkinen.
Irvine retired in 2003 and runs an indoor sports facility in his native Northern Ireland.
■ Best World Championship finish: Second in 1999
■ Career grand prix wins: Four
■ Podium finishes: 26
■ British Formula Ford champion 1987