Eddie Irvine has ruffled a few feathers at BAR Honda by insisting that Jenson Button would be no match for Michael Schumacher were they to become team-mates next season.
The former Ferrari driver, who missed out on winning the F1 title in 1999 by just two championship points to McLaren’s Mika Hakkinen, said the rumours circulating around Silverstone over the weekend suggesting that Button was about to replace Rubens Barrichello were ‘laughable’.
“There is no surer way of seeing your value plummet, than being constantly upstaged by someone with the same machine,” he said.
“That is why any suggestion Jenson will go to Ferrari next season is laughable. Michael Schumacher would just blow him away. And that would not be a great career move.
“Anyway, Ferrari are not interested in Jenson. The man they really have their eye on is McLaren’s Kimi Raikkonen.”
Irvine, who partnered Schumacher at Ferrari from 1996 to 1999, once compared the experience to being constantly hit around the head with a cricket bat.
Ferrari boss Jean Todt said the story about Button joining the team next was “zero percent true”, whilst Barrichello said it was just B**l S**t”.