How Michael Schumacher Once Rescued Felipe Massa from Getting Fired Because of Kimi Raikkonen.bb

How Michael Schumacher Once Rescued Felipe Massa from Getting Fired Because of Kimi Raikkonen

Credits: Imago

Having won his 7th drivers’ world championship in 2004, Michael Schumacher was readying himself to kick back and relax after becoming the driver with the most championships in the history of F1. With Felipe Massa ready to stand under the spotlight in 2007, Schumacher noticed how Ferrari was keen on bringing Kimi Raikkonen to the forefront and sideline Massa. Given the same, he decided to mentor his teammate and make him a championship contender, as revealed in a video on Instagram by The Race.

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To achieve the same, Schumacher decided to retire from F1, leading to Ferrari having to retain Massa as their driver while also showcasing Raikkonen. Schumacher had won everything there was to win in F1, and he had nothing left to lose. As such, the decision to move away from F1 rather instantaneously wasn’t a difficult one for the German former driver.

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In 2007, Kimi Raikkonen became F1’s most exciting talent after entering the sport six years earlier. The Finnish driver showed immense promise and was one of his country’s finest drivers. Ferrari understood what Raikkonen was capable of and wanted to add to their glory by housing another world-class driver.

While Ferrari honed Raikkonen to lift the drivers’ championship, Schumacher took the responsibility of helping Massa shape his career and become a world champion himself. The Brazilian showed incredible performance, and even though Raikkonen won the championship in 2007, Massa would not remove his name from title contention.

Michael Schumacher was an instrument of success

Having won seven world titles, Schumacher had proved his worth to each individual involved in the world of F1. He then became a mentor to Massa and even visited the Brazilian in the paddock before certain races to talk to him and guide him through what his plan of action should be. Ironically, Massa became a prominent figure in the Maranello-based camp despite Raikkonen being the last-ever Ferrari driver to win the championship. Owing to Raikkonen’s retirement, Massa would out-stay the Finnish driver at Ferrari, underlining the irony further.

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Meanwhile, Schumacher would come back to relive his driving days, taking up a vacant driver’s seat at Mercedes. While the stint did not last long and did not prove to be as glorious as Schumacher’s previous tenure in F1, the importance of it cannot be undermined. The German gave valuable input to the team, which became instrumental in guiding them to success, especially with the arrival of two-time world champion Fernando Alonso and the best rookie in history, Lewis Hamilton.

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