F1 News - Saturday

Irvine tries to hide gap to McLaren Eddie Irvine has said that the gap between McLaren and Ferrari isn't the 1.5 seconds seen during qualifying. "The big issue in qualifying for me was the brakes but that won't be the case in the race so we...

Irvine tries to hide gap to McLaren

Eddie Irvine has said that the gap between McLaren and Ferrari isn't the 1.5 seconds seen during qualifying.

"The big issue in qualifying for me was the brakes but that won't be the case in the race so we will give them a good run for their money tomorrow." He went on to say the gap was really "half a second because we didn't get it exactly right but in the race it could be completely different situation. We under-performed today. We could have done a 1m 11.5s lap but I kept locking the brakes. Because of the situation of my brakes I couldn't commit to the corners. Sometimes I was locking the fronts and sometimes the rears on different corners. On different laps different things happened. I couldn't get a lap together."

Eddie Irvine has also been denying that he said Schumacher would have to play second to him when he returns "I didn't say it, that is something someone in Germany has made up over his breakfast. It had nothing to do with me. I will be out there trying to beat the two McLarens in every race and the moment Michael comes back it is up to Jean Todt to decide what the story will be. It is not for me to decide."

Coulthard set to stay at McLaren

Norbert Haug has given the biggest suggestion yet that David Coulthard will stay at McLaren next season, saying that there is a "big chance" of him doing so. Coulthard backed this up by saying "All we need is a little bit of paper to make it official, I trust Ron and I trust Norbert, all they are saying publicly is what they have been saying to me privately all along.'

Hakkinen says that Irvine is cracking

Mika Hakkinen has said that he thinks Eddie Irvine is cracking under the pressure of now being Ferrari's number 1.

"Irvine is feeling the big pressure now. He is number one and that could account for what happened today. He has so much more going through his mind now. He has to take all the responsibility. He has to bring the results, he has to be fast. Everyone is looking at him. I don’t like to laugh at other people’s misfortune. In that position it is very difficult to relax, that only comes with experience, having the right support around you and the right management. Whatever he says he is feeling the pressure, believe me. Extremely high pressure. I am not number one at McLaren, David and I are equal, but I have been racing so many years and I know what it is like to be in that position. I am not saying they are doing the wrong thing at Ferrari but the pressure is there on Eddie. Today was a big lesson for him. If he can take it the right way it will make the year very interesting. I haven’t forgotten he is only eight points behind me so I don’t want to speak too soon."

Stephen M Baines http://www.motorsport.org.uk

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Eddie Irvine , David Coulthard , Mika Hakkinen , Norbert Haug , Jean Todt
Teams Ferrari , McLaren