Schumacher a 'founding father' of Mercedes, Hamilton success
Michael Schumacher has been hailed as one of the "founding fathers" of Formula 1's modern-day dominators Mercedes by team principal Toto Wolff. The seven-time world champion returned to F1 in 2010 with the newly formed Silver Arrows squad, before departing in 2012 to make way for Lewis Hamilton.
Schumacher failed to add to his record 91 grand prix victories in three seasons with Mercedes, who were formed from the ashes of the championship-winning Brawn GP team.
Mercedes have gone on to win the drivers' and constructors' championships in each of the past five years – Hamilton taking individual honours on four occasions.
The Briton's 11 wins in 2018 moved him to 73 in total, while a fifth world title has put Schumacher very much in Hamilton's sights.
Although Mercedes' success came after Schumacher's second retirement in 2012, Wolff was quick to point out how influential the German icon was in the team's founding years.
"Michael is always present in my personal life and at Mercedes," Wolff told Bild.
"We are always thinking of him. For me he is the most outstanding racer of all time, an incredible personality.
"All of us at Mercedes miss him a lot as a consultant and mentor. Michael is one of the founding fathers of Mercedes' recent success in F1.
"He has helped establish these structures from 2010 to 2012."
Schumacher has not been seen publicly since suffering serious head injuries in a skiing fall in 2013.
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