Michael Schumacher’s wife has been recalling the moment the two of them spent mulling over a possible move to Ferrari.
Having spent four full seasons at Benetton, two of which he won the world title, Schumacher had caught the eye of one of the sport’s most successful teams.
His time at Benetton had not always been happy and despite 1994 being the year Schumacher won his first of seven World Championships, it was also the year the team found themselves under the microscope and eventually found to have an illegal fuel valve.
These damaging reports had played on Schumacher’s mind so, despite being a two-time World Champion and having another year to go on his contract, the German took note when Ferrari showed their interest.
It was not an easy choice though. Ferrari may have been one of the sport’s most decorated teams but those days seemed a long way off. Before Schumacher joined, Ferrari’s last Drivers’ title came in 1979 and their last Constructors’ in 1983.
Schumacher consulted one of his most trusted advisors, his wife Corinna. The pair married in 1995 and she recently revealed the moment the two of them spent deliberating the move.
“I can still remember what it was like. We were in the garden when Michael asked me: What would you think if we went to [Ferrari]?” she told French TV channel Canal+ in a new documentary.
“‘Yes,’ I said, ‘if you can do that, great!’”
Schumacher would join Ferrari in 1996 where he restored the Scuderia to their former glory. Having convinced Ross Brawn to also leave Benetton and join him, the two helped Ferrari add five Drivers’ Championships and six Constructors’ Championships to their record.
As well as his bond with Brawn, Schumacher also grew close to then-Ferrari team principal Jean Todt and the Frenchman is one of few who has been allowed to visit his former driver since his skiing accident in 2013.
“Michael actually has a very good feeling about who he can rely on,” Corinna said of Todt.
“And I think he already had that with Jean at the time, that he said he wanted to do something with Jean.
“It would be so nice if Michael could tell the whole story of that time, because I wasn’t always there.”
Updates on Schumacher’s current health have been few and far between with the family asking for privacy and Todt said it is now a matter of “how to be well together”.
“Michael is still present in my life and will always remain so, no matter what the situation,” the 76-year-old said. “The question today is how to be well together and how to accompany him and the family.”