Schumacher's overlooked early brilliance

Schumacher's overlooked early brilliance

When most people think of Michael Schumacher's great moments, they remember his many successes in the red of Ferrari. But his greatness was already evident when he drove in the yellow, green and blue of Benetton

To be successful as an elite athlete requires skill, dedication, mental strength, physical excellence and backing from the right people. It's necessary to have all of those things to be an all-time great, and, on top of that, something extra still. They must also be a transformative force, redefining what it is to be the best in their chosen discipline and influencing those that follow.

Michael Schumacher had that extra something in abundance, which he proved with five consecutive world championships with Ferrari from 2000-05. But his double title success with Benetton in 1994-95 is too often relegated to the status of little more than a prequel to those glory years. It shouldn't be, though, because this showcased something remarkable about Schumacher that's too often overlooked when we rightly celebrated the galvanising effect he had on Ferrari.

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