How Schumacher’s trust made F1 engineering fun
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How Schumacher’s trust made F1 engineering fun

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Michael Schumacher was only vaguely on the radar of PAT SYMONDS before his Formula 1 debut 30 years ago at Spa. But after the Mercedes sportscar driver's remarkable cameo with Jordan at Spa, Pat became his race engineer at Benetton and the pair forged a partnership that would yield a world championship double

In these columns I generally try to delve into the technical matters that are catching the attention of fans and explain some of the engineering nuance behind them. This month, while keeping the engineering theme, I would like to explain how the race engineer and the driver interact and how the bond between them is an integral part of success.

It is a particularly apt subject as in other parts of the latest issue of GP Racing we reflect on the astonishing debut of Michael Schumacher at Spa 30 years ago. I had the privilege of working with Michael as his race engineer the following year, as he entered his first full season in Formula 1, and was his closest colleague through the next four years, a period that brought us 19 grand prix wins, two drivers' world championships and one constructors' title.

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