Michael Schumacher is now part of the FIA’s Hall of Fame after a ceremony honoured him and 32 other world champs, including Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel, and Fernando Alonso, in Paris on Monday.
Sadly, Schumacher wasn’t able to attend due to his health following a near-death incident whilst skiing in the French Alps in 2013.
Many of the elite were humbled by their inclusion. Fernando Alonso took to Twitter to say it was “an emotional night.”
Jean Todt, the FIA President who worked with Schumacher at Ferrari, said that: “We miss Michael,” at the ceremony and wished he was fit enough to attend.
Todt also took time to speak about his time working closely with the German driver, and provided new information which gives an inside perspective of some of Michael Schumacher’s private uncertainties.
It may come as a surprise to many to find the often-considered driver with a big ego was actually very reserved and shy.
“He’s a shy guy. He looks arrogant, but he’s shy,” said Todt, speaking of his close friend who he guided on his way to dominating F1 in the early noughties.
The ex-Ferrari general manager enjoyed a world first with Schumacher as the pair won five consecutive World Championships from 2000 to 2004, and he told the story of his first words to Schumacher after his first title in 2000.
“I took him to the podium, and I said ‘Michael, our racing life will never be the same.”
Todt considered that to be the strongest moment in his career and it was clear it was a stepping stone to greater things for both men.
But, perhaps more interesting was the revelation that Schumacher had doubts about one part of his career and it came straight after the first title.
"Another thing to show what Michael is like: when he was finishing the 2000 season as champion, we were starting the 2001 season.
"He asked me, 'would you allow me to do some testing in Fiorano to make sure I am still able to drive?'
"He was always full of doubt, whether he was a good driver or not. He made his testing, and he was not too bad..."
Quite remarkable for a man who has just broken a 21-year wait for Ferrari to win a World Championship.
Well, he didn’t do too badly on that test run, according to Todt, and went on to become perhaps the greatest F1 driver of all-time.
Sabine Kehm, Michael Schumacher’s manager, accepted the Hall of Fame award for her client, claiming: “I’m just a poor replacement this evening… He would feel honoured.”
Schumacher continues to recover in private at his home close to Lake Geneva, but we're sure this honour would make the apparent shy driver beam with pride.
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