Michael Schumacher didn’t need F1 contract clause like Lewis Hamilton – Bernie Ecclestone

Michael Schumacher says he ‘never felt good enough’ in 2013

Michael Schumacher didn’t need an F1 contract clause over his partner during his time with Ferrari, according to Bernie Ecclestone. The Formula One icon has spoken out amid uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton’s future within the sport.

Schumacher dominated F1 during his time with Ferrari.

After winning with Benetton in 1994 and 1995, the German then changed teams and added five more triumphs to his collection.

Currently, Hamilton’s future with Mercedes is up in the air.

Though both parties have indicated they’re willing to come to an agreement over a new contract, it still remains unsigned.

Reports have suggested Hamilton wants a contract clause that will allow him to have a say on his Mercedes partner going forward.

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And Ecclestone has claimed Schumacher required no such clause, telling F1-insider: “Michael didn’t even need a contract clause for that.

“He was the clear No 1, with him Ferrari wanted to return to the glory days.

“That’s why Jean Todt always asked him in advance whom he would like as a team-mate. Michael could live well with Eddie Irvine, Rubens Barrichello and Felipe Massa.

“If Michael had objected, they wouldn’t have ended up at Ferrari.”

Ecclestone also thinks Hamilton is replaceable, adding: “I would have made it quite clear to Lewis – either you take what we offer you now or you leave it.

“Everyone is replaceable. Only one person decides who drives here and that’s me.

“In 1983 we [Brabham] became World Champion with Nelson Piquet. I had to decide who would drive alongside him in 1984.

“We had an extremely good test with a young Brazilian driver called Ayrton Senna. I wanted him.

“When Nelson heard about it, he really got upset and reacted like a defiant child. He absolutely did not want Senna as a team-mate. He immediately recognised his potential. But I didn’t care.”

Meanwhile, former F1 team coach Eddie Jordan recently expressed a belief that Mercedes would be wrong to let Hamilton go.

“Mercedes are probably saying a lot of this is to do with the car and we’ve given him an outstanding chance to be World Champion because he has the best car. That’s not in dispute,” Jordan told the BBC.

“However, if they think they can replace Lewis Hamilton with another driver and have the same element of success then I think they are deluded.

“And one thing’s for sure – Mercedes and Wolff will not be easily deluded. He’s a very smart guy.

“He knows exactly the value of Lewis Hamilton and I think they will sit down and come to a good solution because the world of F1 needs Lewis Hamilton in it. He’s the jewel in the crown.”

Jordan also said it was “a problem” that an eighth consecutive World Championship for Mercedes in 2021 appears to be a foregone conclusion.

“The sport is in a difficult situation because nobody can put their finger on Mercedes,” added the Irishman. “They do it better than anyone else.

“Max Verstappen won the last race but that shouldn’t confuse people into thinking it will be much more open.

“Mercedes have the best people and the best engine, so how can they not win the Championship? That’s a problem for me.

“It’s difficult to find the right sponsorship and you’re just not going to compete with that.”

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