Formula 1

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Michael Schumacher used a clever test to ensure he was in peak condition for races

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As Michael Schumacher turns 50 this week, it seems fitting to reminisce on the German's unquestionable influence on the sport.

Having revolutionised Formula 1 in more ways than just his success, the German's training methods, even to this day are mimicked by the top athletes in the sport.

It has been revealed that even during test pit stops, Schumacher would take blood samples, which would be analysed in order for the seven-time world champion to replicate his aerobic state during training.

Pat Symonds, who worked with the legendary driver between 1994-95, recounted the lengths Schumacher would go to for success.

"Michael knew fitness was equal to lap time and he broke new ground,” Symonds said, per The Mirror.

"In testing, we'd do race-distance runs, but when we stopped for tyres we would pause before continuing.

"In those breaks, Michael's trainer would take a blood sample.

"By analysing the blood, when Michael next went to the gym he would train to a level that replicated those samples during testing, so he knew his aerobic rate for a distance would be correct."

Grand Prix of Europe

Schumacher also proved to be a master of mind games, choosing to train in front of his rivals in order to possibly intimidate and hamper the confidence of those closest to him on the circuit.

Ross Brawn, the Formula One managing director also spoke on his influence:

“Some of what Michael did was about undermining the enemy and destroying their confidence," Brawn said.

Ferrari team celebratory photo

“Michael would be on the rostrum with two guys wilting, barely able to stand up, and he’d be bouncing around and they would be looking at him thinking: ‘God, what on earth is this creature we’re competing with?"

It was always known that once Schumacher retired from the circuit, he would also leave the spotlight of F1 and the 50-year-old currently resides in the Swiss Alps, as he recovers from his life-changing skiing accident in 2013.

Topics:
Pat Symonds
Ferrari
Mercedes
Formula 1

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