Michael Schumacher has revealed that McLaren boss Ron Dennis was the stumbling block in him ever racing for Mercedes-Benz in Formula One.
The German was brought into F1 by the Stuttgart-based car manufacturer, having raced for them in sportscars, and he was continually surrounded by speculation that he could drive for them in Grands Prix.
That partnership never happened, and Schumacher has revealed that a difference of opinions with Dennis was the root cause of that failure. Without Dennis, he claims, he would almost certainly have driven for Mercedes-Benz.
"I actually had several discussions and meetings with McLaren-Mercedes, for example at Monte Carlo in 1995," said Schumacher in an interview with German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung on Friday. "But I noticed that we really did not fit each other."
When asked whether it was McLaren or Mercedes that was the source of his concern, Schumacher said: "McLaren, or speaking honestly, McLaren boss Ron Dennis. With Mercedes everything ran very well and we would surely have found a way...Ron Dennis had another view of how an F1 team was to function."
Schumacher denied that the difference of opinion was over his desire to be a clear number one in the team.
"I never demanded it, neither contractually nor verbally, in my entire career," he said. "My view is: at the season start both drivers receive the same material and are equal in every regard.
"But as soon as it becomes clear that one driver is faster than the other then the team must support him."