Our sports correspondent has an interactive interview with Eddie Irvine, formula one driver between 1993-2002. He shared about his experiences with legendary Michael schumacher at Ferrari and talented Max Verstappen.
As the formula one season is soaring high the sports correspondents at online betting site Betway had an interactive meeting with Eddie Irvine, one of the notorious as well as talented F1 racing drivers of late 90’s . We shared his view on the on track rivalry between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. What is his experience of being a racing companion with Michael Schumacher? And his views on his nearby wins during his career.
What do you think of the 2021 F1 season ?
The 2021 F1 racing has been amazing so far. It is evident that Max Verstappen is the fastest driver in the season , in spite of that you cannot deny that Lewis Hamilton is still the pinnacle one. It’s always thrilling to see the heart throbbing competition between the two highly skilled drivers. I am looking forward to this season, it is gonna be a fantastic one ahead.
Max Verstappen, the flagship driver of Redbull, is in full rage this year. What augmentation do you observe in comparison to last year that let this happen ?
I must say the diligent effort of Verstappen’s driving from the last 6 seasons is now reflecting in his driving abilities. Since he has a track record of fast lap timing on different tracks , he has proved himself as the ruling driver of the grid. Though Verstappen had a plethora of drivers in the team but no one came near to his adroitness in driving. You can compare it with the Michael Schumacher era. Both Verstappen and Lewis are talented and earned acclimation worldwide but the perspicacity of speed and instant decision making capabilities makes Verstappen ahead in the game.
In the 1999 World championship, you competed for the world championship. How do you describe the immense stress for the F1 title ?
I have been under magnanimous pressure for my F1 championship title in 1999. Just for statistics there are about 500-600 workers assiduously working for team ferrari and i was given the responsibility for getting the work done. Therefore you can imagine the level of pressure upon me at that time ,however it is all part of this beautiful sport. Eventually the foremost thing is to focus on the performance and to give the best of yourself. For the record I will say it was an arduous task at that time but we gave our best shot and we came really close to win the championship. I had my last chance to win the championship title but with just 2 points we could make it to the top. It was a pressure of another level and that’s alright because this is what we are paid for.
What are your thoughts on the pressure since it is more than 30 years of your own title push ?
In interview with Eddie Irvine he zealously said that “Technology has made F1 racing more competitive and immersive than ever before but it is not the thrill that it used to be”.
Lewis Hamilton and Verstappen have been in feud with each other at various press conferences. How tough is it to not throw private comments on each other as rivals?
For me it was not very tough to get personal in a feud for F1 racing . I feel “There is nothing fair in love and war” and there is nothing bad in criticizing or getting criticized by rivals. At the end it was all for the team and all fued gets ended with championship.
How is your experience with Michael Schumacher in ferrari , as you have spent your 4 years with the Team !
It was a miraculous experience working with Michael as I got the opportunity to work with the G.O.A.T of F1 racing and I still believe he is one of the best F1 drivers of all time. He used to crush his competition on track with his speed and quirkiness. With time he got old and his lap timings increased but there are rarely any racer out there who matches his skill. Therefore it was my privilege to work with the legendary racer. All racers who were older than Schumacher and had a hefty amount of experience didn’t realize that this guy will rule them soon.
What things had you learnt with each other while racing with Schumacher ?
It is really tough to learn from him as “Michael Schumacher is pure gold of talent”. His dexterity to push his car to its limits was really remarkable and hard to adapt.
Who was your dearest F1 racing partner at the time of your career ?
My only answer would be Michael Schumacer, as we share a very good bonding with each other at work. I have never met a driver like him so focused . We used to work the hardest for our team together and perform every weekend . we used to give our best of the best for our team.
What do you think about Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez using their positions as second drivers?
The responsibility of both drivers is to give their best shot and win the race for the team. Valtteri Bottas has defeated Lewis many times. For Verstappen ,Michael Perez is the rival , though Verstappen has indicated that the game is already over for him. According to my knowledge no one can beat them and it is nearly impossible to take over their immense dominance. Though Lewis Hamilton is getting older, there is no one near his talent as he is a distinguishably talented driver in F1 racing .When is talk about Verstappen he is arguably the baddest driver to be beaten on F1 track because of his speed as well as persistence to work hard.
How well the new viewers of Formula one are getting engrossed with Netflix show “Drive to survive” and Channel 4’s coverage on F1 ?
Netflix has tremendously increased the F1 racing craze among the masses with its show “Drive to survive”. I personally have experienced this as often I travel around the globe from countries to countries , people enthusiastically show their love for F1 racing and their favourite drivers. This is enough evidence for the much hyped popularity of F1 in recent times. Undeniably it is the fact that with the help of social media and other digital platforms, F1 racing has gained a whole new level of audiences and people now enjoy more than ever watching this beautiful sport. I would like to give 10 out of 10 for the marketing of F1 racing.