Ecclestone: Schumacher will “always be remembered as a star”

Image courtesy of Michael Schumacher’s FB

MUNICH, Dec 25: Michael Schumacher will always be remembered as a Formula One icon and he also effectively led the Ferrari team during his successful spell there, former Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has said.

Ecclestone, 93, said on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Schumacher’s skiing accident in France that he helped boost the German’s career in its early stages.

Schumacher made his F1 debut in 1991 at the Jordan team but was already at Benetton for the next race and won his first two world titles with them in 1994 and 1995. He then joined Ferrari and won his other five titles with the Scuderia 2000-2004.

“I knew that he was talented. Eddie Jordan was very convinced of him, he had a good eye. Michael surely would have found another cockpit but we took a few shortcuts for Schui. We stole him from Jordan,” Ecclestone recalled.

Looking at Schumacher’s Ferrari era during which he helped the team end a long title drought, Ecclestone said: “One day we were sitting together and I asked him: who is leading this team? And he answered: I am going that.

“He did that well. He could get the best out of the people. He earned the respect of the people, they listened to him. Whenever he said something they knew it was correct. Whatever Michael said, [team principal Jean] Todt followed it.”

Ecclestone said he could not understand why Schumacher retired for the first time in 2006, and named him “quite normal” overall, “simply a nice guy.” 

“I miss him. He is a star and will always be remembered as a star,” Ecclestone said of Schumacher, who has not been seen in public, health status unknown, since the skiing accident on December 29, 2013.