Former Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has spoken about what it was like to work with legendary German Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher.
Domenicali was the head of the famous Italian racing outfit between 2008 an 2014, during which time Schumacher was coming towards the end of his illustrious career with the team.
Before he became team principal, however, Domenicali served as team manager for the Scuderia, helping Schumacher to five of his seven World Championships wins whilst they worked together.
Now, speaking of what it was like to work alongside arguably the sport’s greatest ever driver, the current CEO and President of Lamborghini had nothing but good words to say.
“He never spoke a bad word about the team, even if a mistake was made,” Domenicali was quoted as saying in the Daily Star.
“Internally, he was somethings quite strict, and sometimes also scolded that such a thing cannot happen. But never to the outside”.
Domenicali also spoke about how both himself and the Ferrari team could tell immediately that Schumacher was different to those around him in the sport.
“He was so focused that it immediately became clear to me how big the difference was to the others, both in terms of work ethic, and also in terms of talent.”
When speaking of his relationship with Schumacher, Domenicali also spoke about the immense pressure placed on drivers within the sport, and of how he and Schumacher initially bonded.
“When racers pull down their visors, the live in their own universe, and when the tension gets too big, they’re just human. But such drivers are far too intelligent not to understand what they have done, maybe they just do not admit it to others.
“He [Schumacher] was a bit cold at first, he had a different mentality, but the relationship grew with each passing day. Michael had such charisma, it went far beyond that of a driver.
“Step by step, he also understood that his role was more than that of a driver.”
Schumacher is retired from the sport, and currently recovering at home from a skiing accident suffered in December 2013.