There were some interesting revelations by Nico Rosberg on his “Beyond Victory” podcast. While talking to F1 star Daniel Ricciardo, Rosberg revealed some of the fascinating tactics used by Michael Schumacher.
Nico Rosberg on Michael Schumacher
Rosberg partnered F1 legend Michael Schumacher for 3 years at Mercedes, following which the latter retired from the sport. Rosberg and Schumacher shared a cordial relationship, but not everything was hunky-dory.
Speaking on Beyond Victory, Rosberg said: “I had Michael Schumacher as my teammate. This guy for three years: Mr. Mind Games. He doesn’t even have to think about it, it just comes natural to him. It’s just the way he is,“. Schumacher was known to be a master manipulator who often used underhanded tactics to rattle opponents.
Rosberg referenced one particular incident, which involved Michael Schumacher deliberately using the toilet before a session. Nico Rosberg claimed Michael Schumacher would lock himself in the only toilet in the garage minutes before the session began.
Rosberg recalls, “There’s only one toilet in the garage and so he’s in the toilet and I go down and it’s 10 minutes before and I know that I have my two-minute session now for the last pee then jump in the car and go qualifying”.
Rosberg calls Schumacher ‘Mr. Mind Games’
Rosberg claimed that he could hear someone in the toilet. He assumed that it could not one of the mechanics; they would naturally give him preference to access toilet facilities so close to the qualifying start.
“Here was Michael, in the toilet, leaning against the wall looking at his watch and he knew as long as he made it out with three minutes to go, he could just about jump in the car, put the seat belts on and go before losing actual time and ruining the whole team strategy of qualifying”
Rosberg said he had no other option but to use an oil bucket lying in the corner. “I managed to do what I needed to do but the panic had such an impact on my qualifying. While I’m with my oil bucket, the door opens, Michael chills out, walks out and as soon as he leaves from the corner he starts walking faster because he knows it’s like two seconds to go” reminisced Rosberg.
However, Rosberg claimed these little incidents were a major learning experience and were particularly useful with teammate Lewis Hamilton. Nico Rosberg claimed Schumacher’s tricks made him mentally stronger and enabled him to step up.