Ex-boss claims Michael Schumacher nearly retired in 1994

Flavio Briatore revealed that Michael Schumacher seriously considered ending his career after Ayrton Senna’s death.

After Ayrton Senna’s death in 1994, Michael Schumacher considered ending his career as a racing driver, while the German was driving for the Benetton team led by Italy’s Flavio Briatore, with whom he won his first two world championship titles in F1.


“[Michael] Schumacher was the ‘Pavarotti’ of Formula 1, but he changed after Ayrton Senna’s death. He seriously considered stopping car racing, but fortunately for us, he stayed. “Flavio Briatore told the German newspaper Kölner Express.

Finally, Michael Schumacher continued his career as a Formula 1 driver and joined Scuderia Ferrari two years later.

He relaunched the Maranello team with 72 of his 91 career wins and five world titles between 2000 and 2004, making him the most successful man in motor sport history in the top category.

More recently, the Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won his sixth Formula 1 title and has the potential to match or even surpass Michael Schumacher’s record in the coming years. Particularly when considering the utter dominance of the Mercedes manufacturer in Formula 1 today.


Last weekend, Hamilton moved to within one of the German legend’s tally of seven Formula 1 championships by claiming his sixth at the US Grand Prix, prompting former team owner Eddie Jordan to claim Lewis Hamilton is ‘in a different league’ from Michael Schumacher due to his lack of politics.

“Everyone has their own view on this, but I am of the view he’s already surpassed Michael,” he told British radio station talkSPORT.

“Michael started with me so there is a love affair there, but there is a situation some people may not fully grasp.”



“At the time I handled people like [Rubens] Barrichello, [Eddie] Irvine, [Giancarlo] Fisichella and [Jean] Alesi, and every time we went to sign a contract with Michael Schumacher or Ferrari it always had conditions in it, where what we saw in Austin wouldn’t have been allowed to happen.

“Lewis, if he had in his contract the same things, he would have had to be able to pass [Valtteri] Bottas [to win the race].

“You can’t have that in a competitive sport, where one part of the team dictates to the other. For me, that is a flaw factor for Michael.

“Seven world championships… how many would he have won if he hadn’t had the influence and support of the other people in the team?

“And I’m not just talking about team members – I’m talking about the drivers.

“Lewis is already in a different league, in my opinion. He’s done it on his own,” the Irishman added. “What he has done has brought great pride to his family and his people, and he can be justifiably proud.”



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