Those who were born in the 80s and 90s, grew up witnessing Michael Schumacher’s greatness in Formula 1. Michael Schumacher completely dominated the sport in the 2000s until he retired. Starting from 2000, he won 5 consecutive World Championships. He had won 2 more before that which gave him a total of 7 World Championships. Which was the most any Formula 1 driver had won at the time.
When Sebastian Vettel made his Formula 1 debut, he did not have the opportunity to race against Michael Schumacher who had retired a year earlier. However, a surprise comeback after his retirement shocked the paddocks and the fans. In 2010, Michael Schumacher announced that he would return to the sport as a driver with the newly formed Mercedes team.
During this time we saw a lot of great moments between the two Germans. During the 3 years second stint at Formula 1, Michael Schumacher witnessed his fellow countryman Sebastian Vettel completely dominate the sport. Schumacher returned in 2010 and retired for the final time after the 2012 season. Vettel won the Championship in all these 3 years and then another year in 2013,
Did Michael Schumacher help Sebastian Vettel win the 2012 World Championship?
In 2012, Sebastian Vettel had already won 2 Championships. However, he was facing a challenge from Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari. Going into the final Grand Prix in Brazil, Vettel was ahead of Alonso by 13 points. This meant that even if Vettel finished 4th while Alonso won the race, it would mean that Vettel won the Championship.
Vettel was in a good position after qualifying. He started 4th on the grid while Fernando Alonso started in 7th. However, an incident put Vettel in last place at the end of the first lap, at the same time pushing Alonso into 3rd place in a Championship winning position.
There were a number of incidents throughout the race which saw Fernando Alonso take 2nd place towards the end. However, Sebastian Vettel was also making up a lot of positions behind him. Vettel found himself in 7th place when Michael Schumacher was the car ahead of him. To everyone’s surprise, Michael gave way to Vettel so he can have an advantage over Fernando Alonso to win the title. Which he did.
After the race, Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher were seen having a moment during the celebrations. The move was considered to be Michael Schumacher’s final gift to Sebastian Vettel before he retired from the sport for good.
Today Sebastian Vettel shares a close mentor-mentee relationship with Michael Schumacher’s son, Mick. Mick Schumacher also found himself driving in Formula 1 from 2021 to 2022. After the 2022 season, Mick was not able to find a seat for himself. Vettel also retired after the 2022 season.