In Brief

F1: Michael Schumacher is hailed for his part in Mercedes’s success

Teams and fans pay tribute to the seven-time champion on his 51st birthday

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has hailed Formula 1 icon Michael Schumacher for the part he played in the team’s future success. 

Schumacher, who is 51-years-old today, won seven F1 world titles and 91 grands prix before retiring in 2006. However, when Mercedes took over the Brawn team in 2010 Schumacher returned to F1 to race for the Silver Arrows for three seasons. 

F1i reports that the German, along with Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug, lobbied the Mercedes-Benz board in 2012 to increase the F1 team’s budget for the 2013 season. 

Wolff was then appointed as Mercedes’s motorsport boss in 2013 and the Silver Arrows have gone on to become one of the most successful teams in F1 history. 

When asked about Schumacher’s impact, Wolff told Motorsport-Total: “Michael has a large share [in Mercedes’s success]. 

“If BrawnGP had not existed, and without Norbert’s vision of a team of his own, with Michael as its star driver, our success story would not have existed. 

“The change in the perception of the board for our project took place at the end of 2012 and at the beginning of 2013.”

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Happy birthday Schumi

F1 teams and fans have used social media to send their best wishes to Schumacher on his 51st birthday. 

In December 2013 the seven-time world champion fell and hit his head in a skiing accident and spent six months in a coma.

Since then he has been cared for at his home near Lake Geneva in Switzerland.

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