• Michael Schumacher had his very first test with Ferrari in 1995
  • Ferrari chief Mattia Binotto reveals how Schumacher struggled to complete a corner turn on the track
  • The team ended up making changes on the track to suit the German driver's driving style

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto witnessed how important Michael Schumacher already was to the Italian team even as a newcomer.

Before becoming Ferrari’s most celebrated driver, Schumacher made his mark in Benetton. In 1996, the German icon officially joined the prominent automobile and motorsport organization, but it was in 1995 when he had his first test with the team.

In a talk with “Beyond The Grid” podcast last month, Binotto vividly recalled how the seven-time world champion had troubles on the track as he was present during Schumacher’s first test with Ferrari in Fiorino.

According to Binotto, other drivers at the time did well, but Schumacher just can’t seem to complete a turn in the very first corner.

Out of frustration, the newest Ferrari star ended up asking the team to change the track’s layout.

“He had his very, very first test not in Estoril, but we did few laps in Fiorano, before going to Estoril,” Binotto recounted. “The reason of doing the laps in Fiorano was essentially for the driver with the fit installation in the car, the seat, steering wheel, etc.”

“I remember that very first test in Fiorano, because he was not capable of turning very first corner of the track,” he continued. “So he was not capable of doing that corner in a proper way and he was slow around Fiorano. And then I remember after the first test, he asked immediately to Jean Todt, ‘the first corner has to be changed. I don’t want to see it anymore’. And the track layout has been changed since that time.”

Because of Schumacher’s request, Binotto revealed that Ferrari had to back it up with the idea that the said corner doesn’t meet the world championship standards.

“We changed the layout because the first corner was not representative of any corner of the world championship,” the 51-year-old stated. “So that was the thought.”

Michael Schumacher
Michael Schumacher retired from Formula 1 in 2012 after returning to the sport for three seasons with Mercedes. Getty Images

Apparently, Ferrari didn’t make a mistake in sticking with Schumacher. Four years after joining the Italian Formula One team, “Schumi” won five consecutive titles from 2000 to 2004 and became one of the greatest race drivers of all time.

It was in 2020 when Mercedes finally broke Ferrari's record with a clean sweep of seven double world titles between 2014 and 2020 led by Schumacher’s lone co-seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Some are convinced that Hamilton has already exceeded the greatness of Schumacher, including FIA president Jean Todt, who was Ferrari’s boss when the latter won five of his seven major titles.

"I feel, and I'm sure I will be quoted for that, the supremacy, the dominance of Mercedes and Lewis is bigger than the one we had at the time with Ferrari and Michael,” Todt recently told