Michael Schumacher’s former manager Willi Weber claims he begged the seven-time Formula One World Champion not to return in 2010.
Schumacher, who turns 50 tomorrow, retired in 2006 but made a shock comeback with the then burgeoning Mercedes team three years later.
However, the most successful driver in Formula One history was without his long-term manager Weber for his return.
Speaking to German newspaper Abendzeitung, he said: “Not at all. I summoned him and said ‘Please don’t do it. You can only lose’,” when asked if he encouraged Schumacher to return.
“He was a seven time world champion with nothing to prove. But he really wanted to drive.
“I thought it’s fine that he drives, but it will be without me.”
Weber insisted that the disagreement did not sour their relationship, and that they remained great friends away from the track.
“Not at all,” he told Abendzeitung.
“We still had a contract until 2014, but I just didn’t want to go around the world anymore.
“I am a person who sees that everything in life has its time. And what Michael and I did in almost 20 years, that was our F1 time.
“You cannot repeat that or bring the past back to life.
“We separated as friends and then spoke hundreds of times on the phone or together for coffee or dinner.”