How Michael Schumacher used $2.4 Million to rescue his brother Ralf
Michael Schumacher paid off about $2.4 Million to get his brother Ralf out of the Jordan F1 team to move to the Williams.
Michael Schumacher facilitated his younger brother, Ralf’s, move to Williams in the 1999 season by paying off $2.4 Million. In the 1990s Jordan was one of the very few teams that fell in with the likes of McLaren and Ferrari.
However, it was not a very popular team among drivers. Ralf became a perfect example of this when he raced at Jordan for one and a half seasons in 1997 and 1998.
Despite being with them for so long the relationship between Ralf and the team began to dwindle. So he wanted to move to Williams.
Onboard Ralf Schumacher’s Jordan-Peugeot 197 for a lap of the Nurburgring. #F1 #F11997 pic.twitter.com/RCsWNvbnge
— F1 1997 (@1997_f1) January 24, 2022
Word around the paddock was that it was mainly due to his teammate at Jordan, Damon Hill. The team favoured Hill more than the young Schumacher. In the 1998 Belgian GP, Schumacher was even forced to give up a potential maiden win in favour of his partner.
So at the end of the year, Ralf joined Williams and replaced replacing Heinz-Harald Frentzen. It came out as a win-win for both the drivers as Frentzen had his best season with Jordan in 1999.
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How Michael Schumacher helped his brother
It seems like Ralf’s move out of the Jordan would not have been possible if it weren’t for his brother Michael.
In an interview with Peter Windsor on YouTube, team owner Eddie Jordan said, “It ended well for all of us because Michael Schumacher paid me two million pounds to tear up the contract with his brother. I was happy to do that, of course.”
“Of course that’s true. No one walks out of Jordan’s door without being paid for it,” Eddie laughed. “In this case, it was Michael Schumacher and it was my way of getting back at him for years.”
By that Jordan was hinting at the 1991 season when Michael had debuted in F1 with the Jordan F1 team. But he moved to Benetton just after one Grand Prix.
It was said that the former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone was involved in the move at that time. Mainly because Ecclestone wanted the German in a much more competitive car straight away.
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