To be successful as an elite athlete requires skill, dedication, mental strength, physical excellence and backing from the right people. It's necessary to have all of those things to be an all-time great, and, on top of that, something extra still. They must also be a transformative force, redefining what it is to be the best in their chosen discipline and influencing those that follow.
Michael Schumacher had that extra something in abundance, which he proved with five consecutive world championships with Ferrari from 2000-05. But his double title success with Benetton in 1994-95 is too often relegated to the status of little more than a prequel to those glory years. It shouldn't be, though, because this showcased something remarkable about Schumacher that's too often overlooked when we rightly celebrated the galvanising effect he had on Ferrari.
Prior to Schumacher's arrival, Benetton had grown from the days when it failed to qualify 90% of the time in its first season as Toleman back in 1981, to an occasional race winner that was only intermittently a thorn in the side of Williams, McLaren and Ferrari. But it was Schumacher's arrival that led to that changing.