Is the Red Sea Parting?
by Jo Howard
Article is written by and copyright (c) 1999 Jo Howard.
Ferrari haven't won a championship for 20 years, and they make no secret about their desire to win another one. The "problem" (for some) is, that with the absence of Michael Schumacher the burden has fallen onto the shoulders of Eddie Irvine. With the change of drivers and the possibility of the world championship, rifts are developing within the Tifosi. There are those who are delighted to see Ferrari's winning, the next best thing in the absence of their hero. Winning races and the constructors title is not an issue for debate among fans, they all want to see the scarlet cars reign supreme this season. When it comes to the drivers title, there is much division.
Contractually, Eddie Irvine was never supposed to be in the position to win a world title. Now he is, he appears to be having more of the luck that Schumacher never got. Some fans believe that Eddie has improved much over the past two seasons and is now being allowed to let his talent shine. He is a good driver and perfectly capable of winning the title for Ferrari this season. Yet by having the car and the talent he could either have signed a death warrant or have his salvation regarding any future career with the Italian team (there are strong rumours circulating that he has already left to join Jaguar, the renamed Stewart team).
Michael Schumacher was brought to Ferrari to win them the titled, so far he has failed to deliver. Some fans believe that he has lost his focus and been side tracked, although this is a debatable fact. Whilst they want Ferrari to win, they lag behind the other enthusiasts and wish that it was their hero leading the table. There are some who say that the team means nothing to Michael, and that money is his only motivator. Yet Eddie Irvine, and even the retiring Damon Hill have said that money is not what keeps them in the sport. The belief that he should be the one to bring home the first Ferrari crown after the drought is strong. Despite his absence this season, they have kept their allegiance with him. They wish Eddie not to win the world championship for Ferrari and pray for a stoic-like performance from Mika Hakkinen for the rest of the season. Ferrari want the championship, and they don't care who wins it for them. But maybe the fans care too much.
Views expressed in these articles do not necessarily coincide with the views of the F1 Rumors Team.