After four successive world championship titles and five team titles with Ferrari, Michael Schumacher must be glad he changed his mind about not wanting to move to the Scuderia back in 1996. Fresh from his first two world crowns with Benetton in...
After four successive world championship titles and five team titles with Ferrari, Michael Schumacher must be glad he changed his mind about not wanting to move to the Scuderia back in 1996. Fresh from his first two world crowns with Benetton in 1994 and 1995, the German apparently didn't see the point of moving to the then-struggling Ferrari team when his manager suggested it. He gave in to Willi Weber's persuasion and the rest, as we know, is history.Ferrari were struggling to win races let alone championships," Weber was quoted as saying by British tabloid The Sun. "He kept saying: 'Why do I want to drive one of those red cars that I keep passing on the track in my Benetton?'"
"There were a lot of other offers around at the time and he felt McLaren or Williams would have given him a better chance of lifting more titles. If we had just been looking at the short term that would have been correct but I was looking at the bigger picture. I knew someone like Michael, given the right people around him and a lot of hard work, could take Ferrari to the very top -- and stay there."
With a record breaking six title in the bag after Suzuka, Schumacher must surely be thanking his manager's advice. But Michael rejects comparisons to former record holder Juan-Manuel Fangio, who claimed five F1 titles in the fifties.
"I am not trying to compare myself to Fangio," said Schumacher. "You cannot compare someone like Fangio with the present day. Fangio is on a level much higher than I see myself. There is absolutely no comparison. What he did stands alone and what we have achieved is also unique. I have such respect for what he achieved."