Michael Schumacher first announced his retirement at the end of the 2006 season, leaving behind the greatest Formula 1 legacy. However, the seven-time world champion made a surprising comeback with Mercedes in 2010.
Contrary to public opinion, his comeback was not very impressive; he could only add one more podium to his tally during the three-year stint with the Silver Arrows. Lewis Hamilton later took over his seat at Mercedes.
Recently, the Brackley team launched a series on YouTube where we get a deeper understanding of the team. The first episode in ‘The Silver Arrows Story’ was about the W01 car, as Justin recalls Schumacher‘s involvement within the team.
“He was one of the most down-to-earth drivers he ever knew,” Justin recalled about Schumacher. “In fact, on the first day in the garage, he knew everybody’s name.”
Michael Schumacher knew the team back at the factory
The German legend was scheduled to return to Formula 1 with Ferrari in 2009 after Felipe Massa’s injury. However, a personal injury stopped the much-awaited reunion. As a result, Schumacher made a comeback next year with Mercedes and he made sure to know the team on the grid and back in the factory.
“You often hear stories of how Michael used to walk around different departments at the factory to gain an understanding of what they brought to the car and the performance,” explained Justin.
Schumacher finished his last season with Mercedes in P13 on the standings with 49 points. However, the champion’s immense experience went a long way to set the scene for Mercedes’ comeback to Formula 1.
In 2013, Schumacher was replaced by Lewis Hamilton as the hybrid era was on the cusp. Mercedes have dominated the Formula 1 grid since 2014 and have claimed every single drivers’ and constructors’ championship. Surely the team will look forward to extending their record by claiming their eighth consecutive championship next season.