While Michael Schumacher’s spell with Mercedes may have failed to yield a Grand Prix victory, current Team Principal Toto Wolff has hailed the seven-time world champion as the ‘founding father’ of the team’s recent Formula 1 success…
Schumacher, who initially announced his retirement from F1 in 2006, ended a three-year hiatus to join the Silver Arrows' relaunched works project in 2010, partnering Nico Rosberg - and Wolff believes his contribution laid the foundations for the squad to claim five consecutive double world championships, from 2014-2018.
Speaking on Thursday, the day Schumacher turned 50, Wolff, who took charge of the Mercedes team for the 2013 season just after the German bowed out of F1 for good, said: "Michael is one of the founding fathers of the success we have had in the last five years. There is no other driver like him and his vast experience contributed tremendously in the development of our team.
“He played a crucial role when we re-joined F1 and was one of the people who laid the foundation for our future success. We're extremely grateful for everything he did for us. Today, we all tip our hats to you - happy birthday, Michael!
"He has (also) had a tremendous impact on Formula One. Not only did he set an incredible record - a record that is yet to be beaten - but he also shaped and changed the sport forever.
“As a driver, Michael took Formula One to a whole new level with his attention to detail and his technical knowledge. He did everything with great determination, from his engineering debriefs to his physical training, and was always searching for new ways to improve his on-track performance."