Former Ferrari boss Ross Brawn has lifted the lid on the truth about claims Michael Schumacher was a “despicable, horrible character”.
The man at the helm during Schumacher’s seven F1 world titles at Ferrari, Brawn says the German driver was a very different person off the track.
‘DISGRACE’: Uproar over Lewis Hamilton 'investigation'
'PEOPLE AT RISK': Hamilton slams F1 over crash 'carnage'
Schumacher gained a reputation as a ruthless driver on the track, which turned a number of fans and fellow drivers off.
The 51-year-old was accused of driving “dangerously” in a win-at-all-costs mentality, however Brawn says Schumacher changed people’s opinions once they met him away from the track.
“I don’t know if he quite enjoyed the impression he created because he was quite an intimidating character in many ways,” Brawn told Sky’s new docu-series ‘Race to Perfection’.
“But if you knew him personally he was quite the opposite, very engaging, very personal.
“So many times I introduced him to people who, before they met him, thought he was a despicable, horrible character and you introduce them, and once they got to know him they completely changed.
“I had that happen so many times because there was Michael the racing driver out on the track and there was Michael the human being away from the track.”
Brawn says everyone who knew Schumacher personally thought the world of him.
“I don’t know of anyone who worked with Michael who had a bad word to say about him,” Brawn said.
“Lots of people who raced against him had a different opinion but nobody I know who ever worked with Michael ever had a bad opinion about him because of his integrity, his commitment, his human side.
“He was a very strong team member of any team he was part of and it’s a tragedy what’s happened but he’s a lovely human being.”
Former boss’ rare Michael Schumacher update
Meanwhile, fellow Ferrari boss Jean Todt has revealed he saw Schumacher last week and says the Formula One hero is fighting to overcome the devastating injuries that have kept him out of public view for almost seven years.
Following a skiing accident on the French Alps in December 2013, Schumacher’s condition has been kept a closely guarded secret from those outside his Lake Geneva home.
FIA president Todt, 74, is among just a handful of visitors to see the 51-year-old.
The Frenchman oversaw five of Schumacher's seven titles as team principal for Ferrari.
On the eve of the Italian constructor's 1000th race, Todt told the PA news agency: “I saw Michael last week. He is fighting.
“My God, we know he had a terrible and unfortunate skiing accident which has caused him a lot of problems.
“But he has an amazing wife next to him, he has his kids, his nurses, and we can only wish him the best and to wish the family the best, too.
“All I can do is to be close to them until I am able to do something, and then I will do it.”