Former Ferrari chief Ross Brawn has come out in strong support of former colleague and seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher.
Schumacher achieved arguably the most storied career in the sport's history, with a record number of championships and wins to his name. However, along with success came criticism for the German who made a name for himself as a careless driver with a win-at-all-costs attitude.
Some went as far as calling him an appalling character.
The 65-year-old Brawn is one of the few people who can extensively assess the 51-year-old and give a valid opinion. He was technical director at Benetton and Ferrari from 1991 until 2006, a period that witnessed Schumacher's glorious reign at the pinnacle of motorsport.
Brawn told Sky UK's new docuseries Race to Perfection, any enmity towards Schumacher in the cockpit would have been quickly wiped away with his personality out of it.
He adds Schumacher "was a pretty misunderstood character".
"I don't know if he quite enjoyed the impression he created because he was quite an intimidating character in many ways," he says.
"But if you knew him personally he was quite the opposite, very engaging, very personal.
"So many times I introduced him to people who, before they met him, thought he was a despicable, horrible character and you introduce them, and once they got to know him they completely changed.
"I had that happen so many times because there was Michael the racing driver out on the track and there was Michael the human being away from the track."
Brawn and Schumacher reunited in the workplace in 2010 when the German returned to the sport for three more seasons with Mercedes. Brawn was the Team's Principal at the time.
The Brit professes anyone who worked with Schumacher liked him as a person.
"Lots of people who raced against him had a different opinion but nobody I know who ever worked with Michael ever had a bad opinion about him because of his integrity, his commitment, his human side.
"He was a very strong team member of any team he was part of and it's a tragedy what's happened but he's a lovely human being."
Schumacher was in hospital for roughly nine months after being put in a medically-induced coma, following a skiing accident in the French Alps. Since returning home in 2014, little to no information has been revealed about his rehabilitation.
This past weekend prior to the Tuscan Grand Prix, Ferrari's 1000th race, Michael's son Mick Schumacher test drove his father's F2004 Ferrari – the car that won the 2004 Championship with a then record number of points.
At the age of 21, Schumacher junior is currently leading the F2 championship by eight points with six races to go. He is tipped for an F1 drive in 2021.