Picture Credit: Twitter

Picture Credit: Twitter

There is perhaps nobody better than Rubens Barrichello to ask about Michael Schumacher during his time with the all conquering Ferrari team of the early 2000s. Schumacher would win five consecutive world titles and Barrichello was along for the ride, if only as second fiddle. In a recent interview, the Brazilian opened up on their relationship, the inside workings of Ferrari at that time and why it was so hard to break through in that dream team. ‘Rubinho’ also spoke about what kind of person and racer Schumacher was, offering a little bit of insight into why the German was so dominant.

Notably, Barrichello is the first to admit that he wasn’t as good as Schumacher while at Ferrari. The Brazilian was left to play second fiddle for the majority of Ferrari’s dominance from 2000 to 2004, and often had to simply watch on as Schumacher won races. ‘Rubinho’ now admits that Schumacher was better than him at the time. He also explained how Schumacher had been at Ferrari for much longer than him, and was very close to Jean Todt, then Director of Ferrari. 

He said, “I always say he was better than me, no doubt…because he was already there from ’96, he had four years, he had gone through the injury, and obviously Jean Todt considered him like a son, so it was tough for someone new to come in and say ‘ok give me the freedom’.”

Barrichello felt that Ferrari was Schumacher’s team

Although the Brazilian and the German had a good relationship, and Barrichello still thinks of Schumacher as a friend, he said that the F1 legend was not a supportive teammate.

“He was never supportive,” Barrichello explained. “He was never there to offer help so I never asked.”

Adding to this, the 51-year-old said that Schumacher was also a bit naive about things.

He said, “Michael was different, he was a bit naive in the way that he worked. So many times we’d finish a meeting and then they’d start another one with just Michael there so I’d took my chair and would just sit there. Eventually I felt that the team was his.”

In 2013, Michael Schumacher suffered a skiing injury which left the legendary driver in a comatose state for six months. Though he eventually recovered from coma, much of his movement and mobility is limited. The German is recovering outside of the public spotlight at his family home in Switzerland.