Ross Brawn believes Michael Schumacher's legacy is as strong as ever in Formula One five years after his retirement.
Schumacher, F1's most successful driver with 91 race wins and seven world championships, retired in 2012 but Brawn feels his influence is still being felt across the grid. In an interview broadcast three years to the day since the skiing accident which left Schumacher with serious head injuries, Brawn stated that both Ferrari and Mercedes, who have won the last three world championships, owe the German a great deal.
"Michael, for sure, contributed to the organization and structure that has gone on to achieve success at Mercedes," Brawn said in an interview with CNN. "He helped create the success we had at Ferrari and he continued that approach at Mercedes."
Brawn, who oversaw each of the German's title wins as technical director at Benetton and Ferrari, thinks Schumacher's personality and desire to win have created a lasting impact on the grid and at the teams he drove for in his career.
"When you saw a driver as committed as Michael was, and so single minded about success, it dragged you along as well. You knew you couldn't let the side down, and everyone was the same. You knew when you had a driver so focused on achieving success, that motivated other people.
"Michael just being around was a huge motivator for people and to try to emulate that yourself and create the right atmosphere and create the right positive feeling within the team was an important lesson I learned from watching Michael."
"With his knowledge and maturity, sitting with a group of aerodynamicists or vehicle dynamists or tyre people and explaining what was needed was invaluable. He was instrumental in creating the systems that contribute to the success that Mercedes has today."
The Schumacher family has recently launched the 'Keep Fighting' initiative aimed at bringing together fans and those inspired by the legendary driver. Michael's son Mick has signed up for a season of Formula 3 in 2017.