The last time Schumacher won at Nürburgring, the race was named the European Grand Prix. And ahead of the Eifel GP this week, shedding light on the German legend’s win would do him full justice.
Michael Schumacher, in the Ferrari 248F1 car, was in the front row alongside Renault’s Fernando Alonso. Teammate Felipe Massa was in P3, aiming to keep up with the leaders.
Schumacher missed pole by around 0.2 seconds to Alonso. But it did not count for much, as just 17 laps into the race, the Renault driver pitted and Schumacher found himself in the lead.
Renault were smart enough to identify that they could not beat Ferrari and Schumacher at Imola. Therefore, ahead of the qualifying at Nurburgring, they filled lesser fuel in Alonso’s car. It worked, with the Spaniard picking up pace to seal pole position with a lap time of 1:29:816.
But it was a case of being short-sighted for Renault. The naturally faster Ferrari just looked to endure more. And seemingly, Schumacher built a good lead in a matter of three laps between Lap 35 and Lap 38.
Perhaps he recognized the threat that Alonso would put in during the latter stages of the race.
The race in Nurburgring saw an unusual number of retirements and accidents. First lap incidents had already taken place, with Vitantonio Liuzzi of the Toro Rosso damaged in a collision with David Coulthard.
Schumacher’s vision ultimately gave him the victory, with Alonso finishing 4.7 seconds behind him. One would certainly debate if it was because of the pit stops, or Schumacher’s own skill.
Regardless, that win saw him close the gap to Alonso, with the German only 11 points behind him after that.
Nearly 15 years on, there will obviously be no Michael Schumacher at the upcoming Eifel GP. However, his talented son is set to commemorate his father’s enormous legacy.
Mick Schumacher would, of course, be racing in Friday’s practice session. The 21-year-old will take the reins of the Alfa Romeo C39, in what will be his first taste of Formula 1.
He will undoubtedly be excited to race in front of his home crowd; not too dissimilar to Schumi Sr.