“That Meeting Is Now Always at 8 o’ Clock” – Major Ferrari F1 Changes Due to Michael Schumacher Revealed by Binotto

Published 11/03/2021, 11:04 AM EDT
Michael Schumacher, Grand Prix of Italy, Monza, 13 September 1998. (Photo by Paul-Henri Cahier/Getty Images)


Of all the versions people have of the impact Michael Schumacher had at Ferrari, perhaps the most fitting is from Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto.

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Binotto joined the team in 1995 and saw the German driver, take the Prancing Horse to the very top. In his time in Italy, it wasn’t just records that changed because of Michael Schumacher, but the whole environment and workplace culture.

Binotto, in an episode of the Beyond the Grid podcast, as reported by GP Blog, describes how Ferrari employees used have an installation lap at 9 AM before proceeding to the day ahead. But when Michael Schumacher arrived, the time changed.

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”Since Michael, that meeting is now always at 8 o’clock.”

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)

And times literally changed for the team in Maranello.

Not having won a title since 1983, with Michael Schumacher, Ferrari ascended to arguably the greatest era of domination in F1 history.

Ferrari literally adjusted to Michael Schumacher

In Schumacher’s first test at the famous Fiorano circuit, Binotto recalled an incident.

“I can still remember that first test of his in Fiorano. He didn’t manage that first corner and immediately after the test he asked Jean Todt if the corner could be adjusted. He didn’t want to see that corner again, because it wasn’t the same as a single championship corner.”

And that’s what happened. Ferrari adjusted the track according to their new driver.

He also managed it, because in 1996 the track was modified.”

Now some might compare Ferrari and Schumacher’s era to that of the current Mercedes and Hamilton, which is a fair comparison. In fact, the modern dominating duo might soon completely surpass the former in all statistics and records.

But the true impact in sports isn’t just making and breaking records. It’s things beyond statistics.

And to change those things, along with shifting the numbers, is a rarity, especially in Ferrari’s case.

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Because Ferrari isn’t a team that bends to a driver’s demands, no matter who it is.

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Yet, for Schumacher, they somehow made an exception. Perhaps because they knew, the German himself was an exception in a sport full of greats.

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Shaharyar

199 articles

Shaharyar is a Formula 1 & NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. A Graduate in Journalism from Amity University, he has been a passionate follower of motorsports for the better part of the decade. A Max Verstappen and Ferrari supporter, he dreams of a pairing of the two in the future.

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