Eddie Jordan believes Michael Schumacher team-mate clause ‘takes away from legacy’

Jamie Woodhouse
Michael Schumacher celebrates his title win at Suzuka in 2000.

Michael Schumacher celebrates his first Ferrari Drivers' World Championship win.

Former Formula 1 team boss Eddie Jordan said he has “always disliked” the team-mate yield clause which Michael Schumacher had in his contracts, suggesting it “takes away a lot from his legacy”.

Schumacher made his F1 debut with the Jordan team back at the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix, before moving on to Benetton where he became a two-time World Champion and then later Ferrari, where he bolstered his tally to a record-equalling seven and became a Ferrari icon.

At Ferrari, Schumacher enjoyed clear No.1 driver status, with former Williams, McLaren and Red Bull driver David Coulthard recalling on the Formula For Success podcast how that was put in front of him in writing.

Eddie Jordan feels Michael Schumacher team-mate clause legacy-tarnishing

Coulthard revealed a previous meeting between he and then Ferrari team principal Jean Todt about the possibility of joining the team, but he could not sign the contract as it would have meant: “If I was running fourth and Michael fifth, then I had to move over and all the way right up to if I was leading.”

And to Jordan’s mind, this team-mate yield clause “takes away a lot” from Schumacher’s “legacy”.

He responded: “When we’re talking about the greats, [Alain] Prost and [Ayrton] Senna and [Nigel] Mansell and Lewis [Hamilton] and of course Max [Verstappen] now, do you think, in terms of legacy, the fact that each of us, you and me both have had to encounter contracts, or visiting a contract with a view to signing it, whereby you always had to move over for Michael Schumacher, I think that takes away a lot from his legacy.

“I really do believe that it has a little stigma on it for me.

“And if I was to say you know Lewis, or Michael Schumacher sure we all know how great Michael was and how quick he was, but I just always disliked that little clause, which said that he [Schumacher’s team-mate] had to move out the way.”

PlanetF1.com recommends

PlanetF1.com’s Hall of Fame: Michael Schumacher – the beating heart of Ferrari

Michael Schumacher: The six biggest controversial moments of his F1 career

Coulthard confirmed that “fair and open competition” was always his clear belief, recalling how he tried to make that point to 1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve, who once got the ump over the fact he had to carry more ballast than Coulthard as a lighter driver.

“I remember Jacques Villeneuve once saying to me he didn’t think it was fair that he had to carry ballast to make him the same weight as me, because he had been made smaller and he felt that was his advantage,” said Coulthard.

“And I remember saying, ‘Jacques, surely you want to beat me because you’re better, rather than you beat me because you’re smaller?’

“I always just wanted fair and open competition and then find out how good or bad you are.”

Coulthard would race in Formula 1 until the end of the 2008 campaign, while Schumacher retired at the end of 2012, following a three-year comeback stint with Mercedes.

Read next: Max Verstappen to follow Lewis Hamilton and join Ferrari? ‘Never say never’