‘Had Never Set Eyes on This Track in His Life’: Michael Schumacher’s Enormous ‘Lie’ Before F1 Debut

Published 02/08/2021, 5:05 AM EST
GROSSETO, ITALY – Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher of Ferrari looks on after racing an Italian Air Force fighter, Eurofighter Typhoon at runway AFB, home of 4th Fighter Wing of the Italian Air Force, at Grosseto Airport in Italy. They performed acceleration runs on distances between 500 and 1,500 meters. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)


Before all his glory with Ferrari, Schumacher made his debut in 1991 with the Jordan F1 team. He drove the number 32 and replaced Bertrand Gactoh, hence paving his way to the iconic track in Belgium, Spa. The German began on his journey to leave his mark in the world of F1.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Michael Schumacher, Grand Prix of Hungary, Hungaroring, 19 August 2001. Michael Schumacher ecstatic after his victory in the 2001 Hungarian Grand Prix . (Photo by Paul-Henri Cahier/Getty Images)

He lied to me: Ex-Jordan boss

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Eddie Jordan, the then-team principal of Jordan F1 team revealed in This Sporting Life, what Schumacher did.

He said,” He lied to me, he lied blatantly to me.”

” I asked him, prior to going there, had he been to Spa before? When you ask a racing driver ‘have you been to Spa before?’ you don’t necessarily want him to answer ‘yes, I was there as a tourist’, you want to believe he was a driver there.”

SILVERSTONE – Jordan boss Eddie Jordan during the FIA press conference for the Formula One British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit, Northamptonshire, England. (Photo by: Mark Thompson/Getty Images.)

“But he had never set eyes on this track in his life. He had been there with his father years earlier when he was still doing karting but had never raced there.”

“That’s what makes what he achieved there that particular weekend even more remarkable.”

In the build-up to the race, he had qualified 7th and moved up to P5  but because of a clutch issue; he had to retire from the Grand Prix. The track at Spa is one hardest to master, but the German impressed Jordan.

The road to seven

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – APRIL 04: Motorsport / Formel 1: GP von Bahrain 2004, Manama; Michael SCHUMACHER (GER) / Ferrari gewinnt den Grand Prix (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Michael Schumacher has seven world championship to his new name, a record that was equaled by Britain’s knight Lewis Hamilton. Some don’t consider him to be a worthy of world champion because of his tactic that he used on the track as he took out Damon Hill in a race in 1994 that could decide the title. The other was with Jacques Villeneuve in 1997.

Whichever side you lean on, you can’t deny that is one of the greatest racing drivers of all time. Even if he used dirty tactics, just goes to show the lengths, he was willing to for the prestigious title.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

When McLaren Reportedly Rejected Michael Schumacher for Demanding ‘Number 1’ Status in Shock F1 Switch

6 months ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Arpit Gomes

631 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT