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F1 pays tribute to 7 time World Champion Schumacher at 50

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F1 pays tribute to 7 time World Champion Schumacher at 50

Old 01-04-2019, 02:24 PM
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Default F1 pays tribute to 7 time World Champion Schumacher at 50

F1 pays tribute to Schumacher at 50

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By: Chris Medland | January 3, 2019 6:38 AM The Formula 1 community has been paying tribute to Michael Schumacher on the seven-time world champion’s 50th birthday.Schumacher remains the most successful driver in F1 history based on drivers’ championships and grand prix victories, with 91 wins to his name in a career that spanned 19 seasons. As he turns 50, a number of messages and tributes have been shared by drivers and former colleagues.Lewis Hamilton is closing in on Schumacher’s records having taken his fifth drivers’ title last season and currently having 73 wins to his name, and described the German as one of his idols.“Wishing you a happy birthday, Michael,” Hamilton wrote on Twitter. “50 years of life and a legacy that will last forever. What an honor it is to say that I have raced with you. You’ve always been a true inspiration to me and the entire world. Keep fighting, Champ.”

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Five of Schumacher’s seven titles came at Ferrari alongside Ross Brawn. Then technical director at Maranello, Brawn is now managing director of motorsports at F1 and sees Schumacher as someone who changed the sport.“I think he set completely new standards in Formula 1,” Brawn told F1’s Beyond the Grid podcast. “New standards in terms of fitness, preparation, the level of commitment that drivers needed to give. Just take a small example: his fitness. He just raised the bar so much in that respect.“It’s difficult to compare the physical effort to drive a car now compared to what they used to be but he would finish a race and he wouldn’t be sweating. He’d be leaping around the rostrum and you’d look at the other two drivers on the rostrum and they’d be fatigued and barely able to lift the trophy. I looked at this guy and thought, ‘This is supernatural.’“He raised that standard and it’s now normal. If you look at any driver in Formula 1, their level of fitness is impressive, and he was — to my mind — probably the first one who attained those levels of fitness.“Ayrton (Senna) was a very special driver, but I saw him fatigued. I never saw Michael tired. I can’t remember an occasion where he finished a race and he struggled to get out of the car, but I saw that with Ayrton. Even those races where he did 19 qualifying laps, he still bounced out of the car.”
Three greats: Michael Schumacher (Benetton B193B Ford) leads Ayrton Senna (McLaren MP4/8 Ford) and Alain Prost (Williams FW15C Renault) at the start of the 1993 German GP. (Image by LAT archive)
Asked if Schumacher is the most complete driver he ever worked with, Brawn replied: “For me, yes.

“I didn’t work with Ayrton, I didn’t work with Alain Prost or some of those guys, but for me he was.“For me the most complete driver was Michael, and I think because he was setting new standards in his period. Someone like Lewis — their level of preparation, their level of commitment, etc. — they saw the Michael Schumacher era. They saw what was needed and they found this new reference point that didn’t exist before.”Alongside Brawn, Jean Todt was Ferrari team principal during Schumacher’s dominant years, and the FIA president added his own short message.“For his 50th birthday, affectionate thoughts for Michael Schumacher, the greatest F1 champion in history, with unbroken records,” Todt said. “Michael, you have always been a fighter and you always will be.”
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Old 01-04-2019, 02:26 PM
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Schumacher ‘one of the founding fathers’ of Mercedes success

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By: Chris Medland January 3, 2019 6:58 AM Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says Michael Schumacher had a major impact on the success his team has enjoyed in recent years.The Formula 1 world has been paying tribute to Schumacher on his 50th birthday today, a little over five years since the seven-time world champion suffered severe heard injuries in a skiing accident. Schumacher drove for Mercedes from 2010 (pictured above) through 2012 — the team’s first three years back in F1 — and Wolff says the German had a significant influence in facilitating the recent dominance that has seen the team win five straight drivers’ and constructors’ championship doubles.

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“Michael is one of the founding fathers of the success we have had in the last five years,” Wolff said. “There is no other driver like him and his vast experience contributed tremendously in the development of our team.“He played a crucial role when we rejoined F1 and was one of the people who laid the foundation for our future success. We’re extremely grateful for everything he did for us. Today, we all tip our hats to you — happy birthday, Michael!”
Michael Schumacher speaks with his engineer and Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn before the 2012 British GP. (Image by Steve Etherington/LAT)
Wolff says his first interaction with Schumacher came while he was still involved at Williams, and admits he was star-struck given the 91-time grand prix winner’s record in the sport.“I remember when I first met Michael back in 2012, it was on a flight from Zurich to Singapore. He was sitting next to me and asked me if I was up for a game of backgammon. I think that I’m a decent backgammon player, but he absolutely crushed me in the first two rounds because I was so star-struck.“Once I was over that, my game improved, and we ended up playing and talking for the entire flight. We had a really good and honest conversation and when we landed it felt like I had known him for much longer than I actually did.“Michael has had a tremendous impact on Formula 1. Not only did he set an incredible record — a record that is yet to be beaten — but he also shaped and changed the sport forever. As a driver, Michael took Formula 1 to a whole new level with his attention to detail and his technical knowledge. He did everything with great determination, from his engineering debriefs to his physical training, and was always searching for new ways to improve his on-track performance.”
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