Irvine praises Schumacher... again

GUESS what? Eddie Irvine's been full of praise for Michael Schumacher in the wake of his fourth world championship title.

Already this year Irvine has said that anyone who has won the world championship in a Williams in the 1990s did so 'cheaply' as opposed to the way in which Schumacher won his in supposedly inferior machinery - even though the Benetton in which he won the 1994 world championship was proven at mid-point in the season to have been running with illegal driver aids.

Irvine went on to profess himself the only man in the field capable of taking on Schumacher, having spent four seasons as the German's number two at Ferrari before taking a major pay rise as leader of Ford's Formula 1 team, Jaguar Racing.

Now Irvine has claimed that only Michelin can stop Schumacher's world domination by creating a better tire than Bridgestone. "Ferrari's domination will continue as long as Michael is at the team," he said. "I don't see another team doing a better job with the drivers they have. The only thing that can stand in their way is Michelin with Williams. Michelin is the joker in the pack."

Irvine went on to launch another attack on McLaren, the team which opened up talks with the Irishman in 1999 before opting to remain with its present line-up. "I don't think McLaren has lost the plot," Eddie said. "They don't have a driver of Michael's caliber, which has always been the case. They have always previously had a car with a big enough gap to make the difference now they don't."

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