Seven-time F1 champion Michael Schumacher has congratulated Ross Brawn and his team for its success in securing the 2009 F1 titles.
Brawn worked alongside Schumacher at Benetton when he secured his first two F1 titles and then followed the German to Ferrari in 1996 – becoming an integral part of the 'dream-team' that carried Schumacher to five consecutive titles from 2000-2004.
Having left Ferrari in 2006, Brawn resurfaced at Honda in late 2007 before taking over the team earlier this season when the Japanese manufacturer quit F1, with the Brackley-based team rising from the ashes as Brawn GP to secure the drivers' and constructors' championship – a feat Schumacher insisted had his full respect.
“Well, the fight for the world championship titles is over already one race prior to the finale,” he wrote on his personal website. “As a fan of F1 I would have wished for a decision at the last race obviously, but on the other side I know from my own experience that being involved, you have a different view on that.
“Congratulations to Jenson Button and Ross and the whole team - what they managed to achieve this year has my full respect. I grant them the titles because if you look at what they have been through you realise what an incredible story this is: just one year ago they thought everything was over. I am extremely happy for Ross who I have known for such a long time now. He deserves this success.”
Schumacher had backed countryman Sebastian Vettel to fight for the title this season, and he again insisted that the Red Bull drivers time would come.
“What a pity obviously for Sebastian, but he still has a lot of time,” he said. “He had a fantastic season and showed that he has everything to become world champion. He must not forget that with all the disappointment now.
“Of course he will see that differently at the moment and will need some days to digest this weekend. But I am sure we will see and hear a lot of good stuff from him in the future."