Niki Lauda says that one of the most controversial things about Michael Schumacher was also one of the best things about him.
Have we got a treat for you. We’ve caught Niki Lauda saying on Sky Sports that the very reason many hate Michael Schumacher is the thing that makes him great. All great drivers have to be ruthless to their opponents and the German was no exception. In fact, it was his take-no-prisoners approach that gave him the edge against more lenient competitors.
Although an undeniable prodigy, Schumacher has always been plagued by allegations of less-than-kosher sportsmanship on the track. This was particularly in evidence during the 1994 Grand Prix, where he was accused of cheating all the way to the title. This is something that Niki Lauda doesn’t deny in any way; in fact, he says Schumacher needed to step on the bodies of others on the stepladder to greatness.
Pat Symonds, his former engineer at Benetton, attributes his competitive ruthlessness to his Germanic background. Those of Teutonic extraction are said to have a win-at-all-costs mentality, which very much comes into play during the split-second decision making that dominates Formula One.