Michael Schumacher is taken into account by many to be the GOAT in F1. The driving force was a real once-in-a-lifetime expertise and dominated the game like nobody else earlier than him.
He held many of the F1 data when he retired. He had probably the most wins, probably the most pole positions, probably the most championships, and the record goes on. Nevertheless, there was one thing else that the German did in his profession that arguably saved Felipe Massa’s profession.
All of it occurred within the 2006 F1 season when Schumacher was in an intense title battle with Fernando Alonso. On the time, Felipe Massa was in his first season at Ferrari and had changed fellow Brazilian Rubens Barrichello.
So now that we have set the stage, let’s have a look at what occurs and the way Michael Schumacher saved Felipe Massa’s profession at Ferrari.
Ferrari signed Kimi Raikkonen for the 2007 F1 season
On the time, Michael Schumacher was already a seven-time world champion and had each file within the ebook to his identify. He was in his late 30s and like every other sporting entity, Ferrari was searching for a succession plan.
The staff had began searching for a driver that may succeed the German when both his efficiency drops off or he retires. On the grid on the time, there have been solely two drivers that stood out greater than anybody else and had gone toe-to-toe with Schumacher on the monitor.
The primary was reigning F1 champion Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard was recent off the again of a profitable marketing campaign in 2005, when he was capable of handle his extra dependable Renault and turn out to be the youngest F1 world champion.
Nevertheless, the Spaniard was already McLaren-bound as Alonso had signed an settlement with Ron Dennis. Alternatively, there was Kimi Raikkonen. The Finnish driver was somebody Ferrari had set their sights on since his debut with Sauber in 2001.
Raikkonen was additionally a two-time runner-up within the championship and had proven blistering tempo all through his profession. Though Alonso received the title in 2005, within the eyes of many, Raikkonen was the benchmark on the grid that season. By 2006, Ferrari had set their sights on the long run and made the choice to signal the Finn for the 2007 F1 season.
Felipe Massa’s first season was good however not nice
Ferrari’s line-up in 2006 featured Felipe Massa and Michael Schumacher. With Kimi Raikkonen signed up for one of many seats, it meant that one of many two present drivers was going to sit down out in 2007.
Ferrari’s preliminary plans included creating a brilliant staff with Schumacher and Raikkonen teaming up. Massa was going to be the reserve driver and even get dropped from this system altogether.
One of many causes behind that was the truth that the Brazilian’s first season, though fairly good, didn’t make him plain. He confirmed that every so often he might compete with Schumacher over a single lap however was a bit error-prone and made too many errors.
Massa had proven in Turkey that if given the best automobile, he might actually win however these outcomes didn’t come usually for him. For Ferrari, Massa didn’t belong in the identical league as Raikkonen or Schumacher and therefore was checked out as replaceable.
Michael Schumacher made the ultimate name
Though initially, the issues had been actually round the way forward for Felipe Massa, Michael Schumacher too didn’t take the information properly. This was a transparent signal of Ferrari shifting allegiance after a decade-long partnership.
When Schumacher joined the staff in 1996, one of many circumstances that he had set was the truth that he was going to be the staff’s lead driver. The complete staff was going to be modeled round him with the singular goal of successful championships.
This situation has helped Ferrari turn out to be profitable. The staff went on to win 5 titles on the trot and had the very best run of any staff on the time. With Kimi Raikkonen’s arrival, the tides had been turning at Ferrari, and Michael Schumacher took the signing as a harbinger of what was to return sooner or later.
He didn’t need to discover himself in a scenario the place he was preventing for superiority towards Raikkonen on the identical staff. Nor was he going to place himself in a scenario the place his management at Ferrari was going to be challenged.
Wanting on the winds of change that had been set in movement, Michael Schumacher, on the age of 37, determined to announce his retirement from the game and clearing the parh for Felipe Massa to maintain his seat at Ferrari.
This choice, made by the German maintaining the altering ecosystem in thoughts, helped save Massa’s profession.
The Brazilian, on his half, was capable of show himself as a Ferrari driver within the coming years. He had a powerful 2007 F1 season the place Kimi Raikkonen received the title after which nearly received the title in 2008.