Ri­vals and col­leagues each re­call one of Michael Schu­macher’s seven ti­tle-win­ning years


1994 Flavio Bri­a­tore Benet­ton team boss

“We were Benet­ton, a T-shirt maker, yet in 1994 we showed up Fer­rari, Mclaren and Wil­liams. The high­light was Barcelona where Michael man­aged to drive and make a re­fu­elling pit­stop, all while stuck in fifth gear. That year will al­ways be in my heart – and I know it is the same for the me­chan­ics, engineers and ev­ery­one who worked at the team.”

1995 Da­mon Hill Wil­liams ti­tle ri­val

“Back in 1995 I went head to head with Michael Schu­macher and I thought he would be tough to beat, but I didn’t re­alise just how tough he was. We had one or two mo­ments along the way, in­clud­ing col­li­sions, and I got thor­oughly beaten. It was a tough one for me, but Michael was on a tra­jec­tory that no one could have imag­ined.”

2000 Jean Todt Fer­rari team boss

“My re­la­tion­ship with Michael is a very spe­cial one. I con­sider him and his fam­ily to be my own fam­ily. In 2000 Michael en­abled Fer­rari to win their first drivers’ ti­tle since 1979. There were many twists and turns, but when I hugged him on the podium I told him our pro­fes­sional life would never be the same. It was the most emo­tional mo­ment of our ca­reer.”

2001 Ste­fano Domeni­cali Fer­rari sport­ing di­rec­tor

“Nine vic­to­ries for Michael, 11 pole po­si­tions and the strong­est car in the field – 2001 was an­other in­cred­i­ble year for us, filled with suc­cess. Our main com­peti­tor that year was Mclaren, but they were suf­fer­ing a lot from re­li­a­bil­ity prob­lems, so we were able to win the ti­tle as early as Bu­dapest [race 13 out of 17]. It was a great pe­riod for the team.”

2002 Rory Byrne Fer­rari chief de­signer

“I have fond mem­o­ries of work­ing with Michael in 2002. He dom­i­nated the cham­pi­onship and won 11 races, which at that stage was a record. He also won the ti­tle in the short­est pos­si­ble time in F1 his­tory [race 11 out of 17]. He fin­ished ev­ery race on the podium and scored more points than the sec­ond- and third-placed driver put to­gether.”

2003 Kimi Räikkö­nen Mclaren ti­tle ri­val

“It was my third sea­son in For­mula 1 and the Mclaren was a pretty good car at that time. We started strong and won the sec­ond race in 2003, but we al­ways knew that Michael and Fer­rari would come back even stronger. I hung on in the cham­pi­onship un­til the very last race and I ended up los­ing the drivers’ ti­tle by just a few points.”

2004 Ross Brawn Fer­rari tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor

“The F2004 was dominant, tak­ing 15 wins. By then our whole sys­tem was re­ally hum­ming: the whole team, the whole company. Rubens Bar­richello had rat­tled Michael at the end of the 2003, but come 2004 Michael was on sen­sa­tional form and we won the ti­tle in Hun­gary. In my new role in F1 it would be dis­as­trous if some­one won the ti­tle that early…”

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