Mercedes’ James Vowles and Ron Meadows describe the ‘heartbreak’ and ‘regret’ they feel for not being able to score a win with Michael Schumacher.
We have already written about Michael Schumacher’s time with Mercedes from 2010 until 2012. The German was described by Toto Wolff as one of the “founding fathers” of Mercedes’ current success, but at the time Mercedes was a struggling midfield outfit that was unable to fight for race wins.
However, Michael did manage to put his car on pole at the 2012 Monaco Grand Prix, and it could have been his best opportunity to finally win a race in a Mercedes. Unfortunately, a five place grid penalty he carried over from the previous race relegated him to P6 on the grid.
“I was over the moon and I think it was one of the best laps he’d probably ever done in his life,” Mercedes Motorsport Strategy Director James Vowles told the Beyond the Grid Podcast.
“But I was heartbroken, truly heartbroken for him that this is a guy that we all wanted to win a race, because he deserved it frankly.
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“And he put so much effort into the team and so much of his life into the team that it was payback for him and that was his opportunity through the year.
“I was heartbroken with the fact that that one race was where he dropped back. I felt for him, I still feel now… he didn’t get all the results that he deserved given the amount he was putting in the team.”
The feeling is shared by Mercedes Sporting Director Ron Meadows.
“Given how he helped us improve, I think certainly my biggest regret was not seeing Michael win a race for us, because he was a different level of driver we’d ever worked with at that point,” Meadows said on the same podcast.
“I really believe we all wanted him to win. It didn’t happen. A couple of years later we couldn’t stop winning and he deserves some of that because the reason we’re winning today, a lot was down to him because he made us better.”