Jeebus I always knew that he was up his own arse but he really showed it in this tv program.. "Schumacher was a mediocre driver with slow reflexes.."
Someone would want to remind Irivine that he only won 4 races whereas Schumacher won 7 championships.
Irvine trying to be controversial I would assume. Someone should have brought up this quote of his.
"The timing is really fantastic. I was really desperate to get out of Ferrari this season, and I am a lucky, lucky guy. I could not have coped with another year because Michael Schumacher is so damn good. He is a back-breaker. He saps you, and the effort of working and competing with him drains you."
To be fair to him though, he was colourful and he, along with Jordan, kindled a massive interest in F1 in Ireland back in the 90's. I remember getting up at all hours to watch F1 back then whereas I don't even watch it at all nowadays.
I watched that a while back, didnt really get that impression, was there not one bit where he said schumacher was basically on another level.
Irvine said something along the lines of: schumacher could drive an unbalanced bad car better than anyone, he was a natural driver and if you gave him a truck he could get it to the front, michael had the ability to drive a car centimeter by centimeter where as I could drive meter by meter.
He said when he had a good car that wasnt a handfull irvine was on the pace with michael, 1999 would be fair proof that he was a decent driver.
Having a bad attitude is what made Irvine such a memorable driver in the first place!
I've seen that show myself and the only criticism he made about schumacher was that he wasn't good at setting up the car. Also when talking about the silverstone 99 incident he said that Michael had slow reaction times.
Other than that he talked about what an amazing talent he was, particularly in the 96 Ferrari which he called "a heap of junk".
Found this episode quite good but the words Legend and Eddie Irvine don't belong in the same sentence.
Id say "Eddie Irvine is a Legend" is a fair statement, possibly not for his on track life though!
I thought irvine was quite fair in that programme. It one of the more interesting ones of the series tbh.
He said, as far as actual driving goes, schumacher was a genius. I dont think anyone knows enough to say he is wrong about the other stuff he said such as, in a good car, he could get closer to schumacher whereas in a heap, schumacher would drag it around while others couldnt. Also, re set up, he said schumacher was not good.
Do you speak of the Eddie Jordan bribed by Ecclestone?
Found the show good all round but he is such an ass, its not even funny. How can the interviewer or camera man keep a straight face with some of the crap he was spouting.
He was wrong, Schumacher still comfortably outperformed Irvine in 1999, that championship was shaping up for another Schumacher v Hakkinen battle until Schumacher broke his leg.
Irvine did turn in a few excellent performances while Schumacher was out, but the main reason he brought himself into the title race was he was very consistent, he finished in the points 14 or 15 times (in 16 races), while Hakkinen suffered three or four mechanical failures and made two uncharacteristic errors while comfortably leading the San Marino and Italian Grand Prix.
Schumacher came back for the last two races, he totally controlled the Malaysian Grand Prix, held up the McLarens and handed the victory on a plate to Irvine, Schumacher couldn't repeat that feat at Suzuka, Hakkinen always had 4 or 5 seconds of a buffer.
It would have been a bit of a travesty had Irvine won that title, he wasn't good enough to go out and win the title on his own in the end, he needed Schumacher to go out and do the hard work for him when it mattered most at the business end of the championship.
I did like him though, a good personality and a decent driver, but not world champion material, and certainly not a legend!
If Hakkinen had an engine failure or some disaster that led to a retirement in Suzuka 99 would Irvine be a legend?
McLaren/Hakkinen gave him plenty of help (as did Salo and Schumacher). I think his inability to pass a Minardi for sixth place at the Nurburgring prevented him from becoming a legend.
Ok, the point I'm making is if something catastrophic happened to Hakkinen in Suzuka or even if he hadn't had mechanical problems himself in Imola he probably would of picked up enough points to win the title. He then would of finished his career with the same number of titles as James Hunt and Nigel Mansell and one more than Stirling Moss. Those 3 are considered legends. Its purely hypothetical and a 'what if' scenario but how we measure who's a legend and who isn't is on very shaky ground.
The number of titles does not define legendary status. It needs to be measured over their whole racing career and the influence they had on the sport over a period of time. Lewis Hamilton also has one title but I would not consider him a legend, whereas Stirling Moss with none would be in my opinion.