Flavio, Michael and me…
Riccardo Patrese recalls his time at Benetton in 1993 and his relationship with both Flavio Briatore and Michael Schumacher.
“After Monza in 1992, I believed there was no longer a place for me at Williams, Mansell had not yet decided to go to the IndyCar, so I signed for Benetton.”
“Flavio Briatore said he had to have me, he could not live without me, because of my knowledge of the active Williams. But after three or four races Briatore was saying I was not quick enough, it was time for me to go on pension. There were a lot of problems with the car, but I was not complaining publicly, it’s not my way of doing things, I was just talking to the team and trying to solve them. And Michael Schumacher is very good in a bad car, that is where he can destroy his team-mate, so Briatore concluded I was just making excuses, because Schumacher was quicker than me.”
“In fact, by mid-year they discovered a bad problem with the car, they realized I had been right, and suddenly it became much better and from then on I got good results. But Briatore still wanted me to go. With Michael I always got on well. As we now know, he was special. After me, Verstappen, Lehto, Herbert, none of them found it easy racing with Schumacher.”