Irvine: Ralf Has to Deliver

Michael Schumacher's former Ferrari teammate Eddie Irvine has criticised the champion's younger brother Ralf, saying he has to deliver for Toyota this season.

Irvine: Ralf Has to Deliver

Michael Schumacher's former Ferrari teammate Eddie Irvine has criticised the champion's younger brother Ralf, saying he has to deliver for Toyota this season.

"This could be the end for Ralf Schumacher," said the Northern Irishman, assessing the Formula One season's prospects in Autosport magazine on Thursday.

"The guy has had so many chances. He seemed to have a lot of potential, but he doesn't have the drive of his brother. He's less talented and he doesn't have the killer instinct that Michael has.

"He's won races, but who can't win in a Williams, at the front, with the best tyres?," added Irvine. "Sometimes I used to drive the Jaguar round thinking I was a legend. Those races that I was going so well in, Ralf won, because of the tyres. It was nothing else."

Ralf left Williams at the end of last season after six years with the team. He last won a race in France in 2003.

Irvine, who drove for Ferrari from 1996 to 1999 and retired in 2002 after three seasons with Jaguar, remained full of praise for the Italian team and seven times champion Schumacher.

"As for Michael, he's still on top of his game and he's still the best driver in Formula One," he said.

"But if Williams are up there, or McLaren, he could lose races through being under pressure. Nevertheless you'd have to say he's by far the favourite for the title. But I think it's more than likely there are going to be quite a few race winners this year."

The Briton was also critical of compatriot Jenson Button, third overall last season for BAR, and McLaren's Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya.

"Button's out-and-out pace we still have to ask about," he said, while commending him for a fantastic job in 2004. "If you look at his record against teammates, we know he's not Ayrton Senna.

"I think Montoya is going to cause a lot of problems. I think he's going to occasionally beat (Kimi) Raikkonen and stir it all up. But as a season-long challenger, I don't see it - he makes too many mistakes."

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