Irvine 'Ready to Mount WC Challenge'
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Tuesday July 13th, 1999

Ferrari are expected to announce today who will be Michael Schumacher's replacement while he is absent and recuperating. Having invited Mika Salo for a test session today at Monza, the Finn is the most likely candidate for the job.

Ferrari were reluctent to say just how long Schumacher will be absent, with speculations running from anywhere between 3 races to 6, or even the whole season. Schumacher himself said he will most likely be out for two to three months, but intends to be back in his Ferrari cockpit before the season ends. "We do not want to put pressure on Michael to return," said Ferrari spokesman, Tim Walters.

"It may be that we will see him race at Monza, but we will not know that until later. For now all our attention turns to Eddie Irvine. He will be one hundred per cent our number one driver while Michael is not there. Eddie has put in some sterling performances for us this year. We will see what we can do with him and see if we can win the title together."

On that matter, the Irish commented last night: "I've just now got to take it race by race. But people can be assured that I will give it my all for the championship. This is not exactly the way I wanted to be a number one, though, the team needs Michael back. I wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to driving with him again."

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