Michael Schumacher’s longtime confidante and manager Willi Weber has slammed Bernie Ecclestone’s recent disparaging comments about the Formula 1 legend.
Ecclestone declared earlier this month that “Schumacher’s problem was he did not know his limits” which clearly irked Weber and no doubt the legion of fans that still idolise the sport’s most successful driver.
The former F1 supremo also added that Shumi’s comeback with Mercedes might not have been good for the German’s legacy, but admitted that at the time it was a big boost to the sport at the highest level.
On this note, Weber told Motorsport-Total, “I discouraged Michael and told him very clearly that in my opinion he cannot win anything, but only lose, as an eighth world champion the risks were very high.”
“He did not let up, he said: What should I do? I’m bored I want to drive. I told him: Do not do it! I was against it and told him so, but it did not help.”
“I told him it was not a good idea, you can only lose. And it was like that, I’m so sorry about how the three years went, I was so sorry, but what am I supposed to do, I could not put ankle-cuffs on him.”
When Schumacher returned to F1 with Mercedes in 2010 with Sabine Khem assisting him with Weber out of the picture. Nevertheless, the pair remained in touch until the seven-time World Champion suffered his terrible accident in December 2013.
Records show that, during the three years with the Silver Arrows, Schumacher did not add to his record 91 wins, and in fact, one podium was the best result he scored during those seasons.
As for Ecclestone’s remarks, Weber fired back, “That’s stupid gossip from Ecclestone. You have to go to the limit as a racing driver and sometimes beyond. Nobody knew this better than Michael, who became the most successful racing driver of all time. Bernie knew that too.”
“I did not expect those comments from Bernie, it’s totally unreasonable for him to say that. Michael took Formula 1 to the limit – or even over it – otherwise, he would not have been world champion seven times. That benefited Formula 1 immensely, during Michael’s time F1 was at a high which they can only wish they had today.”
“It’s a classless comment because, in the years in which Michael was in Formula 1, the sport was booming in a manner it never had before and may never have again,” added Weber.
Big Question: Did Schumi’s Merceds comeback tarnish his legacy?