“Michael Schumacher was the best candidate of all”: When 7-time World Champion refused to join Ferrari as executive
|Thu Aug 11 2022
Michael Schumacher is arguably the greatest Ferrari driver of all time, winning five Titles during his time in Maranello.
Schumacher’s journey towards being an all-time great in F1 began when he won two Championships with Benetton. However, he truly set the highest standards after he joined Ferrari in 1996.
He won five Titles with Ferrari and became the most successful driver in F1. He had the most number of race wins in history until Lewis Hamilton broke that record in 2020. Schumacher remained with the Scuderia until 2006, after which he decided it was time for him to leave the sport.
Todt: “Not everyone would have succeeded. 5 long years before winning the World Champion Title with Scuderia Ferrari. With 3 world championships played in the last race. Michael’s greatest strength is setting a target until it is met”.#KeepFightingMichael pic.twitter.com/Cois1WhGJ5
— Michael Schumacher (@_MSchumacher) July 9, 2022
The German driver returned to F1 in 2010, signing with the newly formed team Mercedes. This time his main goal wasn’t to fight for wins or Championships but to help the Silver Arrows find their feet in F1. He remained with the Brackley-based outfit until 2012, after which he retired once again, this time for good.
His career after leaving Ferrari in 2006 however, could have been very different had he accepted a role on the Italian team.
Michael Schumacher was offered the job of Sporting Director of Ferrari
Schumacher being one of the best of all time, had one of the sharpest minds in F1. His input in deciding the team’s strategies and plans for a season could have been incredibly valuable for anyone.
In 2007, Ferrari offered the seven-time World Champion a role as Sporting Director of the Scuderia. According to AMuS, he turned down this offer and decided to stay away from F1 as a whole.
Until 2006, Ross Brawn and Jean Todt were the main bosses at Ferrari. The next year, however, Brawn moved to Honda and Todt decided to take up bigger responsibilities within the Maranello outfit.
— Jean Todt (@JeanTodt) July 28, 2019
Todt is a great friend of Schumacher’s, and he felt that there was no one better for the job than him. As a result, he offered him the role, only for him to turn it down.
“Michael Schumacher was the best candidate of all,” Todt said. “But he has not accepted.”
Todt and Schumacher remain very close friends to this date. Ever since the latter’s tragic accident in 2013, the former FIA President has been one of the few people who have regularly visited and stayed in touch with his family.