Toto Wolff says Michael Schumacher “is always our thoughts” and has hailed the Formula One icon one of the “founding fathers” of Mercedes’ recent success.
The German giants won a fifth successive Constructors’ Championship crown in 2018.
And in an interview celebrating their success, Wolff heaped praise on the seven-time world champion.
“Michael is always present in my personal life and at Mercedes,” said Wolff, speaking to Bild.
“For me, he is the most outstanding racing driver of all time, an incredible personality.
“We all at Mercedes miss him a lot as a consultant and a mentor.”
© Credits: Getty ImagesSchumacher turns 50 on January 3 but hasn’t been seen in public since a ski accident in 2013.
Schumacher underwent two operations after suffering ‘life-changing’ injuries on December 29 in 2013 when his head hit a rock during a skiing accident on the French Alps.
His condition has been kept a closely-guarded secret by loyal friends and family.
© Credits: 2018 Getty Images”Michael is one of the founding fathers of Mercedes’ recent success in F1,” added Wolff. “He helped establish these [current] structures from 2010 to 2012.”
Schumacher’s son, Mick, is heading into Formula 2 next season with Prema Racing.
The 19-year-old claimed eight victories, 14 podium positions and the European F3 title in 2018.
Asked whether he could soon head into Formula One with Mercedes, Wolff said: “He has won his Formula 3 title with a Mercedes engine in the rear.
“But for now, you have to give him time to develop.
“In our junior program is currently just little space. My priority is to find a seat for Esteban Ocon in Formula One again in 2020. “
© Credits: REUTERSOne thing Wolff was unwilling to compare however was whether his current Mercedes crop are as good as the Ferrari of Schumacher, who won five in a row between 2000 and 2004.
“That’s difficult to compare,” said Wolff. “With this team we have now, it is similar. When I think of how I, as a young man, followed Michael’s time with Ferrari, [I thought] that’s incredible. They were so successful!
“But we must now humbly stay grounded, develop new goals. The competition will do more to beat us. “