Michael Schumacher brought Mercedes together during his time at the Silver Arrows, Williams team principal James Vowles has told the Sky Sports F1 Podcast.
Vowles, who has been involved in Formula 1 since 2001, was Mercedes chief strategist during Schumacher’s time at the team between 2010 and 2012.
He also worked with Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and George Russell, before leaving Mercedes at the end of last year to become Williams team boss
Schumacher made a surprise return to F1 in 2010 after three seasons out from the sport, but was not the same driver as he was during his Benetton and Ferrari championship-winning years.
The German had one podium in his comeback, at the 2012 European GP, and was fastest in Qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix the same season. However, he was often second-best to team-mate Rosberg.
“Michael was this incredible individual. He had an aura and a presence with him as well, completely different to what you see externally,” said Vowles.
“Within the team he was there to help us, help the team move forward. He brought the team close together. He knew everyone’s birthdays, he sent flowers to respective partners and really looked after individuals in a great way
“What it meant is the team were really pushing for him to be successful and that wasn’t through any other mechanism than him being himself.
“He also knew his performance was perhaps not quite at the same level, but he made up for it in terms of the amount of work and dedication he put in. From that, Nico learned a lot and conversely, Lewis learned a lot from Nico.