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F1 legend claims controversial team swap cost Schumacher title

F1 legend claims controversial team swap cost Schumacher title

F1 News

F1 legend claims controversial team swap cost Schumacher title

F1 legend claims controversial team swap cost Schumacher title

Eddie Jordan has claimed that Ralf Schumacher would have won a Formula 1 world championship in his career, if only he'd stayed with his team.

The German made the move to Williams in 1999 after his brother Michael bought him out of his Jordan contract, reportedly paying over $2m to do so.

Heinz-Harald Frentzen did an effective swap with Schumacher between the teams, and won two races with Jordan in 1999, proving that the car did have good pace that season.

Ralf Schumacher on the other hand, went on to finish three places behind Frentzen in the 1999 drivers’ standings with sixth and still had a relatively successful career with Williams.

Bad luck plagued some of his stint with the team, and a title charge may have been possible in 2003 if he had been able to avoid a few of his on-track clashes.

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Jordan: You could’ve won the world championship

Speaking on his Formula For Success podcast, Jordan remarked that Schumacher made a mistake by leaving his team prematurely.

“I was never sure how close you were with Michael. But when he came to me at Spa and he says ‘Ralf will never drive for you again,’ and I remember saying to him.

“I kind of took out my palm [and said] ‘look, there’s a contract, there’s a buyout clause in the contract. Pay the money, off he goes. No problem.’ He was quiet and he went.

“Eventually, I believe it was a mistake, because the 1999 car was a world championship winner – you [Ralf], could've won the world championship in that car.

A further three years followed with Toyota after Schumacher left Williams at the end of 2004, before he decided to pull the curtain on his Formula 1 career in 2007, switching to DTM thereafter.

The highest he managed to finish in a championship would be fourth in both 2001 and 2002, although who knows what would have happened if he stayed with Jordan.

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