Briatore: F1 fortunate Schumacher didn't quit racing after Senna's death

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Flavio Briatore says Formula 1 was fortunate that Michael Schumacher decided not to stop racing after the death of Ayrton Senna.

Today (Wednesday), marks 25 years since the German controversially claimed his first world title after colliding with Damon Hill in the decider at Adelaide.

In many ways, that moment marked a changing of the guard after the horrifying death of Senna at Imola earlier in 1994, but it may not have happened had Michael taken the decision to end his career.

“Schumacher was the Pavarotti of driving a car,” the Italian said in a documentary marking the anniversary on Germany's RTL.

“He changed after the death of Ayrton Senna. He seriously considered whether to stop motor racing.

“Fortunately for us all, he stuck with it. Hill was not a Championship driver, he completely messed it up.”

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It was with Briatore's Benetton team that Schumacher won two of his seven F1 titles before making the shock decision to join Ferrari in 1996.

In many ways, the brand was a bit like the Red Bull of its time and Flavio explained the decision to take on the man who'd become a legend really came out of necessity.

“The truth is we did not have the money to hire a good driver. A world champion, a star,” he said. "They all laughed at us. That’s why we had to look for an up and coming talent.

“For the established Formula 1 teams, we were a danger. A T-shirt manufacturer that beats all the legends and they complained about us all the time.

“But when they saw Michael in the car, they all shut up.”

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