Ralf Schumacher might have received titles identical to Michael : PlanetF1

Franz Tost believes that “in the appropriate place, on the proper time,” Ralf Schumacher would have received F1 World Championships.

Earlier than Tost was staff boss for Purple Bull’s sister staff AlphaTauri (previously Toro Rosso from 2005-2020), the Austrian had labored for BMW as Operations Supervisor.

With BMW a manufacturing facility effort working with Williams, this meant that Tost labored carefully alongside Ralf Schumacher – Michael’s youthful brother, who raced for the staff between 1999 and 2004.

BMW got here onboard with Williams on the finish of the 1999 season, however Tost had already crossed paths with the youthful Schumacher brother throughout their time within the junior classes.

Within the 90s, one of many established routes to System 1 was by Japan’s System Nippon championship (now often called Tremendous System).

Schumacher raced in System 3 for Weber-Trella Stuttgart Racing (WTS), a staff part-owned by Willi Weber – the person who managed the careers of Michael and Ralf. The staff boss of WTS was one Franz Tost, who minimize his staff administration tooth working alongside Weber and Schumacher within the F3 championships earlier than heading to Japan with Ralf.

Ralf was sensationally quick, extremely proficient,” Tost recalled in an interview for Germany’s F1 Insider.

“He realized in a short time and applied every little thing in a short time.”

Franz Tost remembers Ralf Schumacher’s rise to F1

“The spotlight at the start of his profession was profitable the Japanese System Nippon. It was an especially high-quality championship and nearly not possible for a European to win. 

“I went to Japan with Ralf, however he didn’t benefit from the keep there that a lot. As a result of his contract was really designed for 2 years, I mentioned to him: ‘Win the championship within the first 12 months, then you’ll be able to shorten the time in Japan.’ And that’s what he did. 

“Add to that the hard-fought GT championship (referring to Schumacher’s Staff Lark entry within the All-Japan GT Championship, during which he completed second). 

“I can nonetheless bear in mind his prophecy at Silverstone when he was testing the McLaren-Mercedes [in 1996]. It was fitted with Goodyear tires. Ralf was already doing checks with Bridgestone in Japan again then. So he leaned out the window and mentioned, ‘If Goodyear doesn’t provide you with one thing, they’re going to have issues in opposition to Bridgestone.’ That’s what [happened].

Williams' Ralf Schumacher at the 2003 Monaco Grand Prix. Monte Carlo, May 2003.

That confirmed how extraordinarily delicate Ralf was early on as a check driver. Relating to his System 1 time: He had high-quality, extraordinarily quick teammates like Juan-Pablo Montoya (2001-2004) or Jenson Button (2000). And he managed [them]. 

“His downside: he was by no means in the appropriate place on the proper time – in any other case he would have received titles like his brother. What in the end price him his velocity have been two extraordinarily severe accidents. As soon as when testing in Monza (an unseen testing crash on the second Lesmo in 2003) and the crash in Indianapolis (in 2004). You couldn’t simply put that away.”

“Montoya lacked the self-discipline of Schumacher”

With Schumacher proving to have the measure of the highly-rated Juan Pablo Montoya throughout their tenure collectively at Williams between 2001 and 2004, each secured their justifiable share of wins, pole positions, and podiums.

But it surely was solely Montoya who was capable of maintain a title problem when he took on Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher and McLaren’s Kimi Raikkonen for outright glory in 2003. He would in the end lose out, and by no means received one other alternative as Williams fell away from the entrance in 2004 earlier than Montoya departed for an ill-fated stint at McLaren earlier than quitting F1.

But it surely might have been simply as totally different for Montoya, in response to Tost, had he had extra self-discipline in his strategy to racing.

“Like Ralf, Juan was extraordinarily proficient, extraordinarily quick,” he mentioned of the 1999 CART Champion and two-time Indy 500 winner.

“However what Montoya, like everybody else, lacked in comparison with Michael: this complete give attention to System 1. For Michael, there was solely System 1, nothing else.

“Even Ralf was simply distracted on this regard. By way of sheer expertise, Montoya might simply have received a title. However expertise alone isn’t sufficient to win titles in System 1. You must have the mandatory self-discipline to make use of your expertise correctly.”

Is Tost appropriate in his evaluation of Schumacher?

Provided that Williams, along with McLaren, have been definitely a constant thorn within the aspect for the dominant Ferrari squad between 2000 and 2004, it’s definitely doable that Schumacher might have challenged for a title had he been capable of finding somewhat extra consistency.

Actually, on his day, Schumacher proved he had the measure of everybody else on the grid when the gear was below him. However, if he wasn’t totally comfortable with the automotive, he was simply as able to being significantly nameless in a race – a trait he shared with Montoya.

However the Colombian driver definitely appeared to have the higher hand when it comes to extra constant outright velocity and had a sure benefit over his teammate in that he wasn’t associated to Michael. This resulted in a number of contentious moments between the pair, leading to an sometimes fractious relationship that the Schumacher brothers gave the impression to be warier of avoiding.

Following his Williams days, Schumacher’s transfer to Toyota by no means realised the potential the partnership sometimes hinted at and, on the finish of a disappointing 2007, he walked away from the game.

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