Michael Schumacher – the most influential in the history of F1May 14, 2020
Ten days on the official website of Formula 1 there was a survey of fans who chose the most influential person in the history of the championship. The former head of Formula 1 Bernie Ecclestone, and the most titled racer in history, seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, reached the final of the vote.
On the day of the 70th anniversary of Formula 1, the results of the vote were summed up – with a result of 61%, Michael Schumacher won. For Bernie Ecclestone voted 39% of the fans.
On the way to the final, Michael won the vote against Niki Lauda (56% versus 44%), Ayrton Senna (52% versus 48%), Juan Manuel Fangio (72% versus 28%) and Enzo Ferrari (54% versus 46%).
British expert Mark Hughes explains why Schumacher can rightfully be considered the most influential person in history: “Michael Schumacher’s status is based on something more than his racing records. Its influence extends far beyond the racetracks.
He used his ability to fly a car to change his fate. He was more than just a hired employee of the team, and these qualities allowed him not only to agree to Ferrari’s offer to move from Benetton to them, but to do it on his own terms, taking with him the authors of Benetton’s success – Ross Brown and Rory Burn.
Jean Todt recognized Michael’s vision of what the future of Ferrari should look like and how the team should work. This allowed Scuderia to transform from a glamorous loser to the greatest Formula 1 team the world has ever seen.
Even for a two-time world champion, such confidence and strength of character, allowing Ferrari to dictate their terms, look amazing. The most influential Formula 1 team obeyed the wishes of their rider, whom they considered their lifeguard. History has shown that they were right.
The methods that he used to rally the team around him were not dictatorial. As in Benetton, he established close relationships with employees, learned their names, asked about their families, and knew their birthdays. In turn, they gave Michael everything that they could, so that he squeezed the maximum out of the car.
His performance and physical fitness were at a completely new level for everyone. His understanding of personal and organizational processes contributed to success – he deeply delved into the features of the car, which helped in working with a racing engineer.
Michael was adored by his entourage, and he was often disliked by rivals. This was a consequence of his approach: “He who is not with me is against me.” This setting played a role in how ruthlessly he behaved on the track. New sports rules were introduced, among other things, in order to prevent some of the incidents that Schumacher allowed while wheel to wheel fighting. However, he always found a way to get around the wording, just as engineers found ways to get around the technical regulations.
Such behavior inevitably divided both sports and fans into two camps. This increased the tension between the teams and played a role in the suspicion that his cars might not comply with the regulations. For the fans, Michael turned into a fantastic racer, thanks to which Formula 1 significantly expanded its audience.
There was always drama around Michael, and it was exciting. Few people managed to rise as high as Michael did. ”
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