Irvine doing the perfect job, says Lauda

Eddie Irvine has got the full backing of Jaguar boss Niki Lauda, who says the Ulsterman is doing "a perfect job" for the team

Irvine doing the perfect job, says Lauda

Irvine has faced a barrage from critics saying he is lazy, selfish and more concerned with his playboy lifestyle funded by his whopping Jaguar pay packet than helping improve the team. And there were reports the Austrian triple champion had warned Irvine he faced the sack unless he upped his act.

But Lauda, who was recently appointed overlord of Ford's motorsports division, says the criticisms are unfair. "I have no problem with him whatsoever," he said after practice at the Austrian Grand Prix. "He is doing a perfect job for the team and for us driving the car. Together with Pedro de la Rosa, they are a perfect team. They are doing nothing wrong."

Irvine has been unrepentant over his multi-million pound lifestyle and string of beautiful girlfriends, and on Thursday maintained he had no intention of changing his ways, saying he would still be at Jaguar after his critics within the team had left.

"What he does off the track doesn't concern me," added Lauda. "He can't take the girl in to his Formula 1 car. When he drives he does a perfect job."

Irvine is reported to be one of the highest paid drivers on the Grand Prix grid, earning a cool £6 million a year. Jaguar has yet to score a world championship point this season and Irvine's best finish was 11th in Melbourne.

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