When Michael Schumacher saved Felipe Massa’s profession at Ferrari

Michael Schumacher is taken into account by many to be the GOAT in F1. The motive force was a real once-in-a-lifetime expertise and dominated the game like nobody else earlier than him.

He held a lot of the F1 information when he retired. He had essentially the most wins, essentially the most pole positions, essentially the most championships, and the listing goes on. Nonetheless, 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 examine 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 e-book to his identify. He was in his late 30s and like some other sporting entity, Ferrari was on the lookout for a succession plan.

Kimi Raikkonen signed his 2007 F1 car picture on wall display at Cavallino Motors Ferrari Thailand (via Bing B) http://t.co/jLQ0uqJ5nn

The team had started looking for a driver that would succeed the German when either his performance drops off or he retires. On the grid at the time, there were only two drivers that stood out more than anyone else and had gone toe-to-toe with Schumacher on the track.

The first was reigning F1 champion Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard was fresh off the back of a successful campaign in 2005, when he was able to manage his more reliable Renault and grow to be the youngest F1 world champion.

Nonetheless, the Spaniard was already McLaren-bound as Alonso had signed an settlement with Ron Dennis. However, 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. Although Alonso gained 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 longer term 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 workforce 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 simple. He confirmed that every so often he might compete with Schumacher over a single lap but it surely was a bit error-prone and made too many errors.

Massa had proven in Turkey that if given the proper automotive, he might definitely win however these outcomes didn’t come typically for him. For Ferrari, Massa didn’t belong in the identical league as Raikkonen or Schumacher and therefore he was checked out as replaceable.


Michael Schumacher made the ultimate name

Though initially, the considerations have been definitely round the way forward for Felipe Massa, Michael Schumacher too didn’t take the information nicely. This was a transparent signal of Ferrari shifting allegiance after a decade-long partnership.

The top of an period was introduced #OTD in 2006. After successful the Italian Grand Prix, Michael Schumacher revealed in a post-race press convention that he was going to retire from F1 on the finish of that season. https://t.co/jmhLI91BHE

When Schumacher joined the workforce in 1996, one of many circumstances that he had set was the truth that he was going to be the workforce’s lead driver. Your complete workforce was going to be modeled round him with the singular purpose of successful championships.

This situation has helped Ferrari grow to be profitable. The workforce went on to win 5 titles on the trot and had the very best run of any workforce on the time. With Kimi Raikkonen’s arrival, the tides have been turning at Ferrari, and Michael Schumacher took the signing as a harbinger of what was to come back sooner or later.

He didn’t wish to discover himself in a scenario the place he was combating for superiority in opposition to Raikkonen on the identical workforce. Nor was he going to place himself in a scenario the place his management of him at Ferrari was going to be challenged.

Trying 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 resolution, made by the German maintaining the altering ecosystem in thoughts, helped save Massa’s profession.

The Brazilian, in 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 gained the title after which virtually gained the title in 2008.

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Extra from Sportskeeda

Edited by Shubham Banerjee


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