Binotto Reveals Ferrari Changed a Track to Suit Michael Schumacher’s Driving Style

Published 01/12/2021, 2:39 AM EST
BARCELONA, SPAIN – NOVEMBER 13: Seven times world champion Michael Schumacher of Germany talks with engineers after test-drives for Ferrari during Formula One testing at the Circuit de Catalunya, in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)


The stories that surround F1 racing legend Michael Schumacher are certainly quite captivating. The German driver emerged as a sensation with Benetton before growing to become a world-class phenomenon at Scuderia Ferrari.

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One such anecdote comes to us courtesy of current Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto. He revealed the time Schumacher took to testing at the team’s private circuit in Fiorano in 1995.

Speaking to a podcast, Binotto stated, “He had his very, very first test not in Estoril, but we did few laps in Fiorano, before going to Estoril. The reason of doing the laps in Fiorano was essentially for the driver with the fit installation in the car, the seat, steering wheel, etc.”

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Michael Schumacher was not capable of turning in the first corner at Fiorano, says Binotto

“I remember that very first test in Fiorano, because he was not capable of turning very first corner of the track. So he was not capable of doing that corner in a proper way and he was slow around Fiorano.”

Compared to the other drivers that had driven there, the seven-time F1 champion found the first corner quite inconvenient. However, such was his conviction that he informed Jean Todt that he wanted a change in the first corner itself!

Binotto continued and said, “And then I remember after the first test, he asked immediately to Jean Todt, ‘the first corner has to be changed. I don’t want to see it anymore’. And the track layout has been changed since that time.

“We changed the layout because the first corner was not representative of any corner of the world championship. So that was the thought,” concluded Binotto.

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Schumacher’s racing instincts and understanding of the sport led him to his glorious F1 career with Ferrari

Despite not having the fastest of cars at Benetton, he clinched the 1994 Drivers’ title beating the likes of Hakkinen, Berger and Hill. From there on, it was clear that his racing intellect beckoned forthcoming greatness.

Michael Schumacher of Germany and Ferrari drives in the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Interlagos in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

The times he struggled in races suffered in comparison to the races and even championships he won in supreme fashion. Perhaps then, there is a reason some deem he was the greatest driver to have graced Formula 1 after all.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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