VALENCIA, Spain, June 23, 2011 (AFP) - Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher on Thursday laughed off comments made by former Ferrari team-mate Eddie Irvine, who had accused him of having "lost his talent".
Irvine, who managed to win four races in four seasons with Ferrari in a journeyman career that saw him start 146 Grands Prix, had been quoted criticising Schumacher in British magazine Autosport.
Schumacher, 42, and back in F1 after retiring in 2006, said he was not shocked by the Northern Irishman's remarks. "No, it is not (frustrating)," he said, when asked if he was irritated by his inability to reproduce the feats of his glory days.
"But we all know Eddie -- he is always good for a nice sentence isn't he? So, for me, this is OK."
Irvine retired from Formula One in 2002 after three fruitless years with the new Jaguar team and is better known for his behaviour and his playboy lifestyle than for his driving prowess.
His most famous afternoon in the sport came when he upset the late Ayrton Senna during the 1993 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, when he made his F1 debut with the Jordan team.
Senna, then with McLaren, accused him of blocking him and lacking respect, and was so upset at Irvine's impertinence that he punched him in a post-race row.
Schumacher has won a record 91 Grands Prix from 274 starts, and Sunday's European Grand Prix will his 275th.