Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher (/ˈʃuːmɑːkər/; German: [ˈmɪçaːʔeːl ˈʃuːmaxɐ] (listen); born 3 January 1969) is a retired German racing driver who raced in Formula One for Jordan Grand Prix, Benetton and Ferrari, where he spent most of his career, as well as for Mercedes upon his return to the sport. Widely regarded as one of the greatest Formula One drivers ever,[1][2][3][4] and regarded by some as the greatest of all time,[5][6] Schumacher is the only driver in history to win seven Formula One World Championships, five of which he won consecutively. The most successful driver in the history of the sport, Schumacher holds the records for the most World Championship titles (7), the most Grand Prix wins (91), the most fastest laps (77) and the most races won in a single season (13), and according to the official Formula One website (Formula1.com), Schumacher was "statistically the greatest driver the sport has ever seen" at the time of his retirement from the sport.[7]

After success in karting as a child, Schumacher won titles in Formula König and Formula Three before joining Mercedes in the World Sportscar Championship. In 1991 his Mercedes-funded race debut for the Jordan Formula One team resulted in Schumacher being signed by Benetton for the rest of that season. He finished third in 1992 and fourth in 1993, before becoming the first German World Drivers' Champion in 1994 by one point over Damon Hill, albeit in controversial circumstances. In 1995 he repeated the success, this time with a greater margin. In 1996 Schumacher moved to Ferrari, who had last won the Drivers' Championship in 1979, and helped them transform into the most successful team in Formula One history, as he came close to winning the 1997 and 1998 titles, before breaking his leg at the 1999 British Grand Prix, ending another title run.

Schumacher won five consecutive drivers' titles from 2000 to 2004, including an unprecedented sixth and seventh title. In 2002 Schumacher won the title with a record six races remaining and finished on the podium in every race. In 2004 Schumacher won twelve out of the first thirteen races and went on to win a record 13 times as he won his final title. Schumacher retired from Formula One in 2006, after finishing runner-up to Renault's Fernando Alonso.[8] Schumacher returned to Formula One in 2010 with Mercedes. He produced the fastest qualifying time at the 2012 Monaco Grand Prix, and achieved his only podium on his return at the 2012 European Grand Prix, where he finished third. In October 2012 Schumacher announced he would retire for a second time at the end of the season.[9]

His career was frequently controversial, as he was twice involved in collisions in the final race of a season that determined the outcome of the World Championship, with Damon Hill in 1994 in Adelaide, and with Jacques Villeneuve in 1997 in Jerez.[10] Schumacher is an ambassador for UNESCO and has been involved in numerous humanitarian efforts throughout his life, donating tens of millions of dollars to charity.[11] Schumacher and his younger brother, Ralf, are the only siblings to win races in Formula One, and they were the first brothers to finish 1st and 2nd in the same race, a feat they repeated in four subsequent races.

On 29 December 2013 Schumacher suffered a traumatic brain injury in a skiing accident. He was placed in a medically induced coma for six months until 16 June 2014. He left the hospital in Grenoble for further rehabilitation at the University Hospital of Lausanne.[12] On 9 September 2014, Schumacher was relocated to his home where he continues to receive medical treatment and rehabilitation privately.[13] As of 2016 he remained unable to walk or stand.[14][15]

Michael Schumacher
Schumacher china 2012 crop
Schumacher at the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix
Born3 January 1969 (age 50)
Hürth, West Germany
Formula One World Championship career
NationalityGermany German
Active years19912006, 20102012
TeamsJordan, Benetton, Ferrari, Mercedes
Entries308 (306 starts)
Championships7 (1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004)
Wins91
Podiums155
Career points1,566
Pole positions68
Fastest laps77
First entry1991 Belgian Grand Prix
First win1992 Belgian Grand Prix
Last win2006 Chinese Grand Prix
Last entry2012 Brazilian Grand Prix
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Years1991
TeamsTeam Sauber Mercedes
Best finish5th in C2 (1991)
Class wins0

Early years

Reynard F 903-001 1990 Michael Schumacher Formula 3 EMS
Schumacher's title-winning German Formula Three car from 1990

Schumacher was born in Hürth, North Rhine-Westphalia, to Rolf Schumacher, a bricklayer,[16] and his wife Elisabeth. When Schumacher was four, his father modified his pedal kart by adding a small motorcycle engine. When Schumacher crashed it into a lamp post in Kerpen, his parents took him to the karting track at Kerpen-Horrem, where he became the youngest member of the karting club. His father soon built him a kart from discarded parts and at the age of six Schumacher won his first club championship. To support his son's racing, Rolf Schumacher took on a second job renting and repairing karts, while his wife worked at the track's canteen. Nevertheless, when Michael needed a new engine costing 800 DM, his parents were unable to afford it; he was able to continue racing with support from local businessmen.[17]

Regulations in Germany require a driver to be at least fourteen years old to obtain a kart license. To get around this, Schumacher obtained a license in Luxembourg at the age of 12.[18]

In 1983, he obtained his German license, a year after he won the German Junior Kart Championship. From 1984 on, Schumacher won many German and European kart championships. He joined Eurokart dealer Adolf Neubert in 1985 and by 1987 he was the German and European kart champion, then he quit school and began working as a mechanic. In 1988 he made his first step into single-seat car racing by participating in the German Formula Ford and Formula König series, winning the latter.[19]

In 1989, Schumacher signed with Willi Weber's WTS Formula Three team. Funded by Weber, he competed in the German Formula 3 series, winning the title in 1990. He also won the Macau Grand Prix. At the end of 1990, along with his Formula 3 rivals Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Karl Wendlinger, he joined the Mercedes junior racing programme in the World Sports-Prototype Championship. This was unusual for a young driver: most of Schumacher's contemporaries would compete in Formula 3000 on the way to Formula One. However, Weber advised Schumacher that being exposed to professional press conferences and driving powerful cars in long distance races would help his career.[18] In the 1990 World Sportscar Championship season, Schumacher won the season finale at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in a SauberMercedes C11, and finished fifth in the drivers' championship despite only driving in three of the nine races. He continued with the team in the 1991 World Sportscar Championship season, winning again at the final race of the season at Autopolis in Japan with a SauberMercedes-Benz C291, leading to a ninth-place finish in the drivers' championship. He also competed at Le Mans during that season, finishing 5th in a car shared with Karl Wendlinger and Fritz Kreutzpointner. In 1991, he competed in one race in the Japanese Formula 3000 Championship, finishing second.[19]

Formula One career

Schumacher was noted throughout his career for his ability to produce fast laps at crucial moments in a race and to push his car to the very limit for sustained periods.[20] Motor sport author Christopher Hilton observed in 2003 that a "measure of a driver's capabilities is his performance in wet races, because the most delicate car control and sensitivity are needed", and noted that like other great drivers, Schumacher's record in wet conditions shows very few mistakes: up to the end of the 2003 season, Schumacher won 17 of the 30 races in wet conditions he contested.[21] Some of Schumacher's best performances occurred in such conditions, earning him the nicknames "Regenkönig" (rain king)[22] or "Regenmeister" (rain master),[20][23] even in the non-German-language media. He is known as "the Red Baron", because of his red Ferrari and in reference to the German Manfred von Richthofen, the famous flying ace of World War I. Schumacher's nicknames include "Schumi",[24] "Schuey"[25] and "Schu".[26] Schumacher is often credited with popularising Formula One in Germany, where it was formerly considered a fringe sport.[27] When Schumacher retired in 2006, three of the top ten drivers were German, more than any other nationality and more than have ever been present in Formula One history. Younger German drivers, such as Sebastian Vettel, felt Schumacher was key in their becoming Formula One drivers.[28] In the latter part of his Formula One career, and as one of the senior drivers, Schumacher was the president of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association.[29] In a 2006 FIA survey, Michael Schumacher was voted the most popular driver of the season among Formula One fans.[30]

Jordan (1991)

Jordan 191 rain
Schumacher testing the Jordan 191

Schumacher made his Formula One debut with the Jordan-Ford team at the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix, driving car number 32 as a replacement for the imprisoned Bertrand Gachot. Schumacher, still a contracted Mercedes driver, was signed by Eddie Jordan after Mercedes paid Jordan $150,000 for his debut.[31]

Belgian Grand Prix debut

The week before the race, Schumacher impressed Jordan designer Gary Anderson and team manager Trevor Foster during a test drive at Silverstone. His manager Willi Weber assured Jordan that Schumacher knew the challenging Spa track well, although in fact he had only seen it as a spectator. During the race weekend, teammate Andrea de Cesaris was meant to show Schumacher the circuit, but was held up with contract negotiations. Schumacher then learned the track on his own, by cycling around the track on a fold-up bike he had brought with him.[32] He impressed the paddock by qualifying seventh in this race. This matched the team's season-best grid position, and out-qualified 11-year veteran de Cesaris. Motorsport journalist Joe Saward reported that after qualifying "clumps of German journalists were talking about 'the best talent since Stefan Bellof'".[33] Schumacher retired on the first lap of the race with clutch problems.[34]

Benetton (1991–1995)

Michael Schumacher 1992 Monaco
Schumacher driving for Benetton at the 1992 Monaco Grand Prix

Following his Belgian Grand Prix debut, and despite an agreement in principle between Jordan and Schumacher's Mercedes management that would see the German race for the Irish team for the remainder of the season, Schumacher was engaged by Benetton-Ford for the following race. Jordan applied for an injunction in the UK courts to prevent Schumacher driving for Benetton, but lost the case as they had not yet signed a final contract.[35]

1991–1993

Schumacher finished the 1991 season with four points out of six races. His best finish was fifth in his second race, the Italian Grand Prix, in which he finished ahead of his teammate and three-time World Champion Nelson Piquet.

At the start of the 1992 season the Sauber team, planning their Formula One debut with Mercedes backing for the following year, invoked a clause in Schumacher's contract that stated that if Mercedes entered Formula One, Schumacher would drive for them. It was eventually agreed that Schumacher would stay with Benetton, Peter Sauber said that "[Schumacher] didn't want to drive for us. Why would I have forced him?".[36] The year was dominated by the Williams of Nigel Mansell and Riccardo Patrese, featuring powerful Renault engines, semi-automatic gearboxes and active suspension to control the car's ride height.[37] In the "conventional" Benetton B192 Schumacher took his place on the podium for the first time, finishing third in the Mexican Grand Prix. He went on to take his first victory at the Belgian Grand Prix, in a wet race at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, which by 2003 he would call "far and away my favourite track".[38] He finished third in the Drivers' Championship in 1992 with 53 points, three points behind runner-up Patrese.

The Williams of Damon Hill and Alain Prost also dominated the 1993 season. Benetton introduced their own active suspension and traction control early in the season, last of the frontrunning teams to do so.[39] Schumacher won one race, the Portuguese Grand Prix where he beat Prost, and had nine podium finishes, but retired in seven of the other 15 races. He finished the season in fourth, with 52 points.

1994–1995: World Championship years

Benetton B 194 4841
Schumacher drove the Benetton B194 to his first World Championship in 1994.
Michael Schumacher 1995 Britain 2
Schumacher driving for Benetton at the 1995 British Grand Prix

The 1994 season was Schumacher's first Drivers' Championship. The season, however, was marred by the deaths of Ayrton Senna (witnessed by Schumacher, who was directly behind in 2nd position) and Roland Ratzenberger during the San Marino Grand Prix, and by allegations that several teams, but most particularly Schumacher's Benetton team, broke the sport's technical regulations.[40][41]

Schumacher won six of the first seven races and was leading the Spanish Grand Prix, before a gearbox failure left him stuck in fifth gear. Schumacher finished the race in second place.[42] Following the San Marino Grand Prix, the Benetton, Ferrari and McLaren teams were investigated on suspicion of breaking the FIA-imposed ban on electronic aids. Benetton and McLaren initially refused to hand over their source code for investigation. When they did so, the FIA discovered hidden functionality in both teams' software, but no evidence that it had been used in a race. Both teams were fined $100,000 for their initial refusal to cooperate. However, the McLaren software, which was a gearbox program that allowed automatic shifts, was deemed legal. By contrast, the Benetton software was deemed to be a form of "launch control" that would have allowed Schumacher to make perfect starts, which was explicitly outlawed by the regulations. However, there was no evidence to suggest that this software was actually used.[43]

At the British Grand Prix, Schumacher was penalised for overtaking on the formation lap. He then ignored the penalty and the subsequent black flag, which indicates that the driver must immediately return to the pits, for which he was disqualified and later given a two-race ban. Benetton blamed the incident on a communication error between the stewards and the team.[44] Schumacher was also disqualified after winning the Belgian Grand Prix after his car was found to have illegal wear on its skidblock, a measure used after the accidents at Imola to limit downforce and hence cornering speed.[45] Benetton protested that the skidblock had been damaged when Schumacher spun over a kerb, but the FIA rejected their appeal because of the pattern of wear and damage visible on the block.[46]

These incidents helped Damon Hill close the points gap, and Schumacher led by a single point going into the final race in Australia. On lap 36 Schumacher hit the guardrail on the outside of the track while leading. Hill attempted to pass, but as Schumacher's car returned to the track there was a collision on the corner causing them both to retire.[47] As a result, Schumacher won a very controversial championship, the first German to do so (Jochen Rindt raced under the Austrian flag). At the FIA conference after the race, the new World Champion dedicated his title to Ayrton Senna.[48]

In 1995 Schumacher successfully defended his title with Benetton. He now had the same Renault engine as Williams. He accumulated 33 more points than second-placed Damon Hill. With teammate Johnny Herbert, he took Benetton to its first Constructors' Championship and became the youngest two-time World Champion in Formula One history.[49]

The season was marred by several collisions with Hill, in particular an overtaking manoeuvre by Hill took them both out of the British Grand Prix on lap 45, and again on lap 23 of the Italian Grand Prix. Schumacher won nine of the 17 races, and finished on the podium 11 times. Only once did he qualify worse than fourth; at the Belgian Grand Prix, he qualified 16th, but nevertheless went on to win the race.

Ferrari (1996–2006)

In 1996, Schumacher joined Ferrari, a team that had last won the Drivers' Championship in 1979 and the Constructors' Championship in 1983, for a salary of $60 million over 2 years. He left Benetton a year before his contract with them expired; he later cited the team's damaging actions in 1994 as his reason for opting out of his deal.[50] A year later Benetton employees Rory Byrne (designer) and Ross Brawn (Technical Director) joined Ferrari.[51]

Ferrari had previously come close to the championship in 1982 and 1990. The team had suffered a disastrous downturn in the early 1990s, partially as its famous V12 engine was no longer competitive against the smaller, lighter and more fuel efficient V10s of its competitors. Various drivers, notably Alain Prost, had given the vehicles labels such as "truck", "pig", and "accident waiting to happen".[52] Furthermore, the poor performance of the Ferrari pit crews was considered a running joke.[27] At the end of 1995, though the team had improved into a solid competitor, it was still considered inferior to front-running teams such as Benetton and Williams.[53] Schumacher declared the Ferrari 412T good enough to win the Championship.[54]

Schumacher, Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne, and Jean Todt (hired in 1993), have been credited as turning this once struggling team into the most successful team in Formula One history.[55][56] Three-time World Champion Jackie Stewart believes the transformation of the Ferrari team was Schumacher's greatest feat.[57] Eddie Irvine also joined the team, moving from Jordan.[58] During winter testing, Schumacher first drove a Ferrari, their 1995 Ferrari 412 T2, and was two seconds faster than former regulars Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger had been.[59]

1996–1999

Schumacher finished third in the Drivers' Championship in 1996 and helped Ferrari to second place in the Constructors' Championship ahead of his old team Benetton. He won three races, more than the team's total tally for the period from 1991 to 1995. Early in the 1996 season the car had reliability trouble and Schumacher did not finish six of the 16 races. He took his first win for Ferrari at the Spanish Grand Prix, where he lapped the entire field up to third place in the wet.[18] Having taken the lead on lap 19, he consistently lapped five seconds faster than the rest of the field in the difficult conditions.[59] In the French Grand Prix Schumacher qualified in pole position, but suffered engine failure on the race's formation lap.[61] However, at Spa-Francorchamps, Schumacher used well-timed pit-stops to fend off Williams's Jacques Villeneuve. Following that, at Monza, Schumacher won in front of the tifosi.

Michael Schumacher 1997
Schumacher celebrates a second-place finish at the 1997 German Grand Prix
Schumacher and Coulthard in the 1998 British Grand Prix
Schumacher battles with David Coulthard at the 1998 British Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve vied for the title in 1997. Villeneuve, driving the superior Williams FW19, led the championship in the early part of the season.[62] However, by mid-season, Schumacher had taken the championship lead, winning five races, and entered the season's final Grand Prix with a one-point advantage. Towards the end of the race, held at Jerez, Schumacher's Ferrari developed a coolant leak and loss of performance indicating he may not finish the race.[63] As Villeneuve approached to pass his rival, Schumacher attempted to provoke an accident, but got the short end of the stick, retiring from the race. Villeneuve went on and scored four points to take the championship. Schumacher was punished for unsportsmanlike conduct for the collision and was disqualified from the Drivers' Championship.[64][65]

In 1998, Finnish driver Mika Häkkinen became Schumacher's main title competition. Häkkinen won the first two races of the season, gaining a 16-point advantage over Schumacher. Schumacher then won in Argentina and, with the Ferrari improving significantly in the second half of the season, Schumacher took six victories and had five other podium finishes. Ferrari took a 1–2 finish at the French Grand Prix, the first Ferrari 1–2 finish since 1990, and the Italian Grand Prix, which tied Schumacher with Häkkinen for the lead of the Drivers' Championship with 80 points, but Häkkinen won the Championship by winning the final two races. There were two controversies; at the British Grand Prix Schumacher was leading on the last lap when he turned into the pit lane, crossed the start finish line and stopped for a ten-second stop go penalty. There was some doubt whether this counted as serving the penalty, but, because he had crossed the finish line when he came into the pit lane, the win was valid. At Spa, Schumacher was leading the race by 40 seconds in heavy spray, but collided with David Coulthard's McLaren when the Scot, a lap down, slowed in very poor visibility to let Schumacher past. After both cars returned to the pits, Schumacher leaped out of his car and headed to McLaren's garage in an infuriated manner and accused Coulthard of trying to kill him.[66] Coulthard admitted five years later that the accident had been his mistake.[66]

Schumacher's efforts helped Ferrari win the Constructors' title in 1999. He lost his chance to win the Drivers' Championship at the British Grand Prix at the high-speed Stowe Corner, his car's rear brake failed, sending him off the track and resulting in a broken leg.[67] During his 98-day absence, he was replaced by Finnish driver Mika Salo. After missing six races he made his return at the inaugural Malaysian Grand Prix, qualifying in pole position by almost a second. He then assumed the role of second driver, assisting teammate Eddie Irvine's bid to win the Drivers' Championship for Ferrari.[68] In the last race of the season, the Japanese Grand Prix, Häkkinen won his second consecutive title. Schumacher would later say that Häkkinen was the opponent he respected the most.[69]

2000–2004: World Championship years

Michael Schumacher 2001 Canada
Schumacher won his fourth World title in 2001.
Mschumacher 2002
Schumacher driving the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro F2002 at the 2002 French Grand Prix, the race at which he clinched the 2002 Drivers' Championship, setting the record for the fewest races in locking up the title

During this period Schumacher won more races and championships than any other driver in the history[70] of the sport. Schumacher won his third World Championship in 2000 after a year-long battle with Häkkinen. Schumacher won the first three races of the season and five of the first eight. Midway through the year, Schumacher's chances suffered with three consecutive non-finishes, allowing Häkkinen to close the gap in the standings. Häkkinen then took another two victories, before Schumacher won at the Italian Grand Prix. At the post race press conference, after equalling the number of wins (41) won by his idol, Ayrton Senna, Schumacher broke into tears.[71] The championship fight would come down to the penultimate race of the season, the Japanese Grand Prix. Starting from pole position, Schumacher lost the lead to Häkkinen at the start. After his second pit-stop, however, Schumacher came out ahead of Häkkinen and went on to win the race and the championship.[72]

In 2001, Schumacher took his fourth drivers' title. Four other drivers won races, but none sustained a season-long challenge for the championship. Schumacher scored a record-tying nine wins and clinched the World Championship with four races yet to run. He finished the championship with 123 points, 58 ahead of runner-up Coulthard. Season highlights included the Canadian Grand Prix, where Schumacher finished 2nd to his brother Ralf, thus scoring the first ever 1–2 finish by brothers in Formula One;[73] and the Belgian Grand Prix in which Schumacher scored his 52nd career win, breaking Alain Prost's record for most career wins.[74]

In 2002, Schumacher used the Ferrari F2002 to retain his Drivers' Championship. There was again some controversy, however, at the Austrian Grand Prix, where his teammate, Rubens Barrichello was leading, but in the final metres of the race, under team orders, slowed down to allow Schumacher to win the race.[75] The crowd broke into outraged boos at the result and Schumacher tried to make amends by allowing Barrichello to stand on the top step of the podium. At the United States Grand Prix later that year, Schumacher dominated the race and was set for a close finish with Barrichello. At the end he slowed down to create a formation finish with Barrichello, but slowed too much allowing Barrichello to take the victory.[76] In winning the Drivers' Championship he equalled the record set by Juan Manuel Fangio of five World Championships. Ferrari won 15 out of 17 races, and Schumacher won the title with six races remaining in the season, which is still the earliest point in the season for a driver to be crowned World Champion.[77] Schumacher broke his own record, shared with Nigel Mansell, of nine race wins in a season, by winning eleven times and finishing every race on the podium. He finished with 144 points, a record-breaking 67 points ahead of the runner-up, his teammate Rubens Barrichello. This pair finished nine of the 17 races in the first two places.[78]

Michael Schumacher Ferrari 2004
Schumacher at Indianapolis in 2004, where he won the 2004 United States Grand Prix

Schumacher broke Juan Manuel Fangio's record of five World Drivers' Championships by winning the drivers' title for the sixth time in 2003, a closely contested season. The biggest competition came once again from the McLaren Mercedes and Williams BMW teams. In the first race, Schumacher ran off track, and in the following two, was involved in collisions.[79][80][81] He fell 16 points behind Kimi Räikkönen. Schumacher won the San Marino Grand Prix and the next two races, and closed within two points of Räikkönen. Aside from Schumacher's victory in Canada, and Barrichello's victory in Britain, the mid-season was dominated by Williams drivers Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya, who each claimed two victories. After the Hungarian Grand Prix, Michael Schumacher led Montoya and Kimi Räikkönen by only one and two points, respectively. Ahead of the next race, the FIA announced changes to the way tyre widths were to be measured: this forced Michelin, supplier to Williams and McLaren among others, to rapidly redesign their tyres before the Italian Grand Prix.[82] Schumacher, running on Bridgestone tyres, won the next two races. After Montoya was penalised in the United States Grand Prix, only Schumacher and Räikkönen remained in contention for the title. At the final round, the Japanese Grand Prix, Schumacher needed only one point whilst Räikkönen needed to win. By finishing the race in eighth place, Schumacher took one point and assured his sixth World Drivers' title, ending the season two points ahead of Räikkönen.[83]

In 2004, Schumacher won a record twelve of the first thirteen races of the season, only failing to finish in Monaco after an accident with Juan Pablo Montoya during a safety car period when he briefly locked his car's brakes. He clinched a record seventh drivers' title at the Belgian Grand Prix. He finished that season with a record 148 points, 34 points ahead of the runner-up, teammate Rubens Barrichello, and set a new record of 13 race wins out of a possible 18, surpassing his previous best of 11 wins from the 2002 season.[84]

2005–2006

Lap4 Canada2005 McLaren and Ferrari
Schumacher battling with Kimi Räikkönen during the 2005 Canadian Grand Prix

Rule changes for the 2005 season required tyres to last an entire race,[85] tipping the overall advantage to teams using Michelins over teams such as Ferrari that relied on Bridgestone tyres.[86] The rule changes were partly in an effort to dent Ferrari's dominance and make the series more interesting.[27] The most notable moment of the early season for Schumacher was his battle with Fernando Alonso in San Marino, where he started 13th and finished only 0.2 seconds behind the Spanish driver.[87] Less than halfway through the season, Schumacher said "I don't think I can count myself in this battle any more. It was like trying to fight with a blunted weapon.... If your weapons are weak you don't have a chance."[88] Schumacher's sole win in 2005 came at the United States Grand Prix. Before that race, the Michelin tyres were found to have significant safety issues. When no compromise between the teams and the FIA could be reached, all but the six drivers using Bridgestone tyres dropped out of the race after the formation lap.[89] Schumacher retired in six of the 19 races. He finished the season in third with 62 points, fewer than half the points of World Champion Alonso.[90]

2006 became the last season of Schumacher's Ferrari career. After three races, Schumacher had just 11 points and was already 17 points behind Alonso. He won the following two races. His pole position at San Marino was his 66th, breaking Ayrton Senna's 12-year-old record.[91]

Schumacher was stripped of pole position at the Monaco Grand Prix and started the race at the back of the grid. This was due to his stopping his car and blocking part of the circuit while Alonso was on his qualifying lap; he still managed to work his way up to 5th place on the notoriously cramped Monaco circuit. By the Canadian Grand Prix, the ninth race of the season, Schumacher was 25 points behind Alonso, but he then won the following three races to reduce his disadvantage to 11. After his victories in Italy (in which Alonso had an engine failure)[92] and China, in which Alonso had tyre problems,[93] Schumacher led in the championship standings for the first time during the season. Although he and Alonso had the same point total, Schumacher was in front because he had won more races.[93]

Michael Schumacher 2006 Brazil last overtaking cropped
Schumacher overtakes Kimi Räikkönen for 4th with three laps to go of his final race for three years at Interlagos, having dropped to 19th early on

The Japanese Grand Prix was led by Schumacher with only 16 laps to go, when, for the first time since the 2000 French Grand Prix, Schumacher's car suffered an engine failure. Alonso won the race, giving himself a ten-point championship lead. With only one race left in the season, Schumacher could only win the championship if he won the season finale and Alonso scored no points.[94]

Before the Brazilian Grand Prix, Schumacher conceded the title to Alonso.[95] In pre-race ceremonies, football legend Pelé presented a trophy[96] to Schumacher for his years of dedication to Formula One.[97] During the race's qualifying session, Schumacher had one of the quickest times during the first session and was fastest in the second session; but a fuel pressure problem prevented him from completing a single lap during the third session, forcing him to start the race in tenth position.[98] Early in the race Schumacher moved up to sixth place. However, in overtaking Alonso's teammate, Giancarlo Fisichella, Schumacher experienced a tyre puncture caused by the front wing of Fisichella's car.[99] Schumacher pitted and consequently fell to 19th place, 70 seconds behind teammate and race leader Felipe Massa. Schumacher recovered and overtook both Fisichella and Räikkönen to secure fourth place. His performance was classified in the press as "heroic",[100] an "utterly breath-taking drive",[101] and a "performance that ... sums up his career".[102]

2007–2009: retirement at Ferrari

Thanks Michael 2006 Brazil
BMW Sauber with "Thanks Michael" messages towards Michael Schumacher on the back of their cars, Schumacher and Peter Sauber worked together in sports cars before entering F1 in 1992

While Schumacher was on the podium after winning the 2006 Italian Grand Prix, Ferrari issued a press release stating that he would retire from racing at the end of the 2006 season.[103] Schumacher confirmed his retirement.[8] The press release stated that Schumacher would continue working for Ferrari. It was revealed on 29 October 2006 that Ferrari wanted Schumacher to act as assistant to the newly appointed CEO Jean Todt.[104] This would involve selecting the team's future drivers. After Schumacher's announcement, leading Formula One figures such as Niki Lauda and David Coulthard hailed Schumacher as the greatest all-round racing driver in the history of Formula One.[105] The tifosi and the Italian press, who did not always take to Schumacher's relatively cold public persona, displayed an affectionate response after he announced his retirement.[106]

2007: Ferrari adviser

Schumacher attended several Grands Prix during the season. He drove the Ferrari F2007 for the first time on 24 October at Ferrari's home track in Fiorano, Italy. He ran no more than five laps and no lap times were recorded. A Ferrari spokesman said the short drive was done for the Fiat board of directors who were holding their meeting in Maranello.[107]

Schumacher test
Schumacher at Finali Mondiali celebrations in the F2007

During the 2007 season, Schumacher acted as Ferrari's adviser and Jean Todt's 'super assistant'.[108] On 13 November 2007 Schumacher, who had not driven a Formula One car since he had retired a year earlier, undertook a formal test session for the first time aboard the F2007. He returned in December 2007 to continue helping Ferrari with their development programme at Jerez circuit. He focused on testing electronics and tyres for the 2008 Formula One season.[109]

2008: Ferrari road car development

In 2007, former Ferrari top manager Ross Brawn said that Schumacher was very likely and also happy to continue testing in 2008; Schumacher later explained his role further saying that he would "deal with the development of the car inside Gestione Sportiva" and as part of that "I'd like to drive, but not too often".[110]

During 2008 Schumacher also competed in motorcycle racing in the IDM Superbike-series, but stated that he had no intention of a second competitive career in this sport.[111] He was quoted as saying that riding a Ducati was the most exhilarating thing he had done in his life, the second most being sky diving.[112]

2009: planned Massa substitution

In his capacity as racing advisor to Ferrari, Schumacher was present in Budapest for the Hungarian Grand Prix when Ferrari driver Felipe Massa was seriously injured after being struck by a suspension spring during qualifying. As it became clear that Massa would be unable to compete in the next race at Valencia, Schumacher was chosen as a replacement for the Brazilian driver[113] and on 29 July 2009, Ferrari announced that they planned to draft in Schumacher for the European Grand Prix and subsequent Grands Prix until Massa was able to race again.[114] Schumacher tested in a modified F2007 to prepare himself[115] as he had been unable to test the 2009 car due to testing restrictions. Ferrari appealed for special permission for Schumacher to test in a 2009 spec car, but Williams, Red Bull and Toro Rosso were against this test.[116][117] In the end, Schumacher was forced to call off his return due to the severity of the neck injury he had received in a motorcycle accident earlier in the year.[118] Massa's place at Ferrari was instead filled by Luca Badoer and Giancarlo Fisichella.[119]

50th birthday commemoration

The Ferrari Museum in Maranello, Italy stated it was planning an exhibition, that would commence on his birthday and span a few months "both as a celebration and a mark of gratitude to the most successful Prancing Horse driver ever".[120]

Mercedes (2010–2012)

In December 2009 it was announced that Schumacher would be returning to Formula One in the 2010 season alongside fellow German driver Nico Rosberg in the new Mercedes GP team.[121] The new Mercedes team was their first majority involvement in an F1 team since 1955. Schumacher stated that his preparations to replace the injured Massa for Ferrari had initiated a renewed interest in F1, which, combined with the opportunity to fulfil a long-held ambition to drive for Mercedes and to be working again with team principal Ross Brawn, led Schumacher to accept the offer once he was passed fit.[121][122] After a period of intensive training medical tests, it was confirmed that the neck injury that had prevented him driving for Ferrari the year before had fully healed.[121] Schumacher signed a three-year contract, reportedly worth £20m.[121]

Schumacher's surprise return to F1 was compared to Niki Lauda's in 1982 at age 33 and Nigel Mansell's return in 1994 at age 41. Schumacher turned 41 in January 2010 and his prospects with Mercedes were compared with the record set by the oldest F1 champion Juan Manuel Fangio who was 46 when he won his fifth championship.[121]

2010: return from retirement

Michael Schumacher 2010 Malaysia 2nd Free Practice
Schumacher practising for the Malaysian Grand Prix from which he retired with a faulty wheel nut

Schumacher's first drive of the 2010 Mercedes car – the Mercedes MGP W01 – was at an official test in February 2010 in Valencia. He finished sixth in the first race of the season at the Bahrain Grand Prix. After the Malaysian race, former driver Stirling Moss suggested that Schumacher, who had finished behind his teammate in each of the first four qualifying sessions and races, might be "past it".[123] Many other respected former Formula One drivers thought otherwise, including former rival Damon Hill, who warned "you should never write Schumacher off".[124] GrandPrix.com identified the inherent understeer of the Mercedes car, exacerbated by the narrower front tyres introduced for the 2010 season, as contributing to Schumacher's difficulties.[125] Jenson Button would later claim that Mercedes's 2010 car was designed for him, and that their differing driving styles may have contributed to Schumacher's difficulties.[126]

Mercedes upgraded their car for the Spanish Grand Prix where Schumacher finished fourth. At the Monaco Grand Prix Schumacher finished sixth after passing Ferrari's Fernando Alonso on the final corner of the race when the safety car returned to the pits. However, he was penalised 20 seconds after the race by the race stewards dropping him to 12th. The stewards judged the pass to be in breach of the FIA's sporting code. Mercedes's differing interpretation of the regulation would later lead to it being clarified by the FIA.[127]

Schumacher abu dabi 2010
Schumacher's 2010 season ended with a first lap crash at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

In Turkey, Schumacher qualified fifth, and finished fourth in the race, both his best results since his return. In European Grand Prix in Valencia, Schumacher finished 15th, the lowest recorded finish in his career.[128] In Hungary, Schumacher finished outside the points in eleventh, but was found guilty of dangerous driving at 180 mph (290 km/h) while unsuccessfully defending tenth position against Rubens Barrichello. As a result, he was demoted ten places on the grid for the following race, the Belgian Grand Prix, where he finished seventh, despite starting 21st after his grid penalty.

At the season finale in Abu Dhabi, Schumacher was involved in a major accident on the first lap, which occurred after a spin. In recovering from the incident Vitantonio Liuzzi's car collided with Schumacher, barely missing his head.[129][130] Nobody was hurt in the crash, but Schumacher said the crash had been "frightening".[131]

He finished the season 9th with 72 points. Before, it had happened only in his début in 1991 that he finished without a win, pole position, podium or fastest lap.

2011

Michael Schumacher 2011 Malaysia FP1 2
Schumacher at the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix

Schumacher's first points of 2011 were scored in Malaysia; he later came sixth in Spain and had a strong race at the Canadian Grand Prix finishing fourth, after running as high as second in a wet race. Schumacher was passed late in the race by eventual winner Jenson Button.[132]

2011 Canadian GP Friday 18
Schumacher finished fourth in the Canadian Grand Prix.

Schumacher clashed with Vitaly Petrov in Valencia, and with Kamui Kobayashi in Britain, and marked the 20th anniversary of his Formula One début at the Belgian Grand Prix. Despite starting last in Belgium, Schumacher raced well and finished fifth. Schumacher again raced well in Italy, duelling with Lewis Hamilton for fourth place. The Japanese Grand Prix saw Schumacher lead three laps during the race, marking the first time he had led a race since 2006.[133] In doing so, he became the oldest driver to lead a race since Jack Brabham in 1970.[134]

At the Indian Grand Prix Schumacher started well and finished fifth after overtaking Rosberg at the end of the race. Schumacher diced again with Rosberg in Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, battling over sixth position on the first lap. Schumacher finished the season in eighth place in the Drivers' Championship, with 76 points.[135]

2012: final season

2012 Australian Grand Prix 10
Schumacher climbs out of his car after spinning off during the final practice session at the Australian Grand Prix. He retired from the race with gearbox problems.

Schumacher was again partnered by Rosberg at Mercedes for the 2012 season.[136] Schumacher retired from the inaugural race of the season Australian Grand Prix, and scored a point in the second round in Malaysia.[137] In China Schumacher started on the front row alongside Rosberg on pole, but retired due to a loose wheel after a mechanic's error during a pit stop.[138]

After causing a collision with Bruno Senna in Spain, Schumacher received a five-place grid penalty for the Monaco Grand Prix. Schumacher was fastest in qualifying in Monaco; but started sixth owing to his penalty.[139] He later retired from seventh place in the race.[140]

Michael Schumacher pole lap monaco 2012
Schumacher qualified fastest at the 2012 Monaco Grand Prix.

At the European Grand Prix, Schumacher finished third in the race, his only podium finish since his return to F1 with Mercedes. At the age of 43 years and 173 days, he became the oldest driver to achieve a podium since Jack Brabham's second-place finish at the 1970 British Grand Prix. Further records were set by Schumacher in Germany, where he set the fastest lap in a Grand Prix for the 77th time in his career, and in Belgium where he became the second driver in history to race in 300 Grands Prix.[141]

Michael Schumacher, United States Grand Prix, Austin 2012
Schumacher at the 2012 US Grand Prix

Schumacher's indecision over his future plans in F1 led to him being replaced by Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes for the 2013 season.[142] In October 2012, Schumacher announced he would retire for a second time at the conclusion of the season.[143] The following week he was quoted as saying: "There were times in the past few months in which I didn't want to deal with Formula One or prepare for the next Grand Prix."[144] The season and his 21-year F1 career concluded with the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix, in which Schumacher finished seventh. He placed 13th in the 2012 Drivers' Championship.[145]

Helmet

Schumacher, in conjunction with Schuberth, helped develop the first lightweight carbon helmet. In 2004, a prototype was publicly tested by being driven over by a tank; it survived intact.[146] The helmet keeps the driver cool by funneling directed airflow through fifty holes.[147] Schumacher's original helmet sported the colours of the German flag and his sponsor's decals. On the top was a blue circle with white astroids.[148] From the 2000 Monaco Grand Prix, in order to differentiate his colours from his new teammate Rubens Barrichello, Schumacher changed the upper blue colour and some of the white areas to red.[149] For the Brazilian Grand Prix race of 2006 (at the time intended to be his final Grand Prix), he wore an all-red helmet that included the names of his ninety-one Grand Prix victories.[150] For the 2011 Belgian Grand Prix, Schumacher's 20th anniversary in Formula One, he wore a commemorative gold-leafed helmet.[151] The helmet, very similar to his current helmet, included the year of his début to the present, and the years of his seven World titles. For the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix, Schumacher's 300th Grand Prix appearance, he wore a special platinum-leafed helmet with a message of his achievement.[152]

Schumi 1994 Helmet

Helmet for the 1994 season (Benetton); Schumacher used the Bell helmet for 9 years in Formula One, from the 1992 Canadian Grand Prix to 2001 Australian Grand Prix.

Michael Schumacher 1995 helmet 2015 Grand Prix Museum

Bell helmet for the 1995 season (Benetton); Schumacher even kept using this white-coloured helmet after moving to Ferrari in 1996 until he switched its colour to red at the 2000 Monaco Grand Prix.

Michael Schumacher helmet Museo Ferrari

Schuberth helmet for the 2002 season (Ferrari); At the 2001 Malaysian Grand Prix, Schumacher switched his helmet from Bell to Schuberth though there was a contract with Bell for the 2001 season. From the 2001 season, Schumacher continued to use the Schuberth helmet until his last race in Formula One.

Schumacher 2011 helmet

Schuberth helmet for the 2011 season (Mercedes GP); Schumacher kept using a red-coloured helmet at Silver Arrows. Chinese dragon illustration and a Chinese character "" ("power") are inscribed on the back of the helmet.

Honours

Michael-Schumacher-S
Turns 9–10 of the Nürburgring were renamed after Schumacher in 2007.

Schumacher was honoured many times during his career. In April 2002, for his contributions to sport and his contributions in raising awareness of child education, he was named as one of the UNESCO Champions for sport,[153] joining the other eight, which include Pelé, Sergey Bubka and Justine Henin. He won the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award twice, in 2002 and 2004 for his performances in the 2001 and 2003 seasons respectively. He also received nominations for the 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007 awards.[154] He shares the record for having the second-most nominations for the award with Roger Federer with six nominations, and is eclipsed only by Tiger Woods who has been nominated seven times. He holds the distinction of having the most nominations for a motorsport athlete, (Fernando Alonso has been nominated only twice, Sebastian Vettel three times, and Valentino Rossi five times) and being the only motorsport athlete to have won the award more than once.[155]

In honour of Schumacher's racing career and his efforts to improve safety and the sport, he was awarded an FIA Gold Medal for Motor Sport in 2006.[156] In 2007, in recognition of his contribution to Formula One racing, the Nürburgring racing track renamed turns 8 and 9 (the Audi and Shell Kurves) as the Schumacher S,[157] and a month later he presented A1 Team Germany with the A1 World Cup at the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport 2007 awards ceremony.[158] He was nominated for the Prince of Asturias Award for Sport for 2007, which he won both for sporting prowess and for his humanitarian record.[159][160]

In 2008, the Swiss Football Association appointed long-time Swiss resident Schumacher as the country's ambassador for the 2008 European football championship.[161]

On 30 April 2010, Schumacher was honored with the Officier of Légion d'honneur title from French prime minister François Fillon.[162]

On 13 November 2014, Schumacher was awarded the Millennium Trophy at the Bambi Awards.[163]

Racing controversies

Championship-deciding collisions

Going into the 1994 Australian Grand Prix, the final race of the 1994 season, Schumacher led Damon Hill by a single point in the Drivers' Championship. Schumacher led the race from the beginning, but on lap 35 he went off track and hit the wall with his right side wheels,[164] returning to the track at reduced speed, and with car damage, but still leading the race. At the next corner Hill attempted to pass on the inside, but Schumacher turned in sharply and they collided. Both cars were eliminated from the race and, as neither driver scored, Schumacher took the title.[165] The race stewards judged it a racing accident and took no action against either driver, but public opinion is divided over the incident, and Schumacher was vilified in the British media.[166][167][168]

At the 1997 European Grand Prix at Jerez, the last race of the season, Schumacher led Williams's Jacques Villeneuve by one point in the Drivers' Championship. As Villeneuve attempted to pass Schumacher at the Dry Sac corner on lap 48, Schumacher turned in and the right-front wheel of Schumacher's Ferrari hit the left sidepod of Villeneuve's car. Schumacher retired from the race as a result, but Villeneuve finished in third place, taking four points and so becoming the World Champion.[164] The race stewards did not initially award any penalty, but two weeks after the race Schumacher was disqualified from the entire 1997 Drivers' Championship after an FIA disciplinary hearing found that his "manoeuvre was an instinctive reaction and although deliberate not made with malice or premeditation. It was a serious error."[65] Schumacher accepted the decision[169] and admitted having made a mistake.[170] Schumacher's actions were widely condemned in British, German, and Italian newspapers.[166][170] This made Schumacher the only driver in the history of the sport, as of 2019, to be disqualified from a Drivers' World Championship.[171]

Team orders

2002 Austrian GP
Rubens Barrichello makes way for Schumacher at the end of the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix

Historically, team orders have always been an accepted part of Formula One. However, in the final metres of the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix, Schumacher's teammate, Rubens Barrichello, slowed his car under orders from Ferrari to allow Schumacher to pass and win the race.[75] Although the switching of positions did not break any actual sporting or technical regulation, it angered fans and it was claimed that the team's actions showed a lack of sportsmanship and respect to the spectators. Many argued that Schumacher did not need to be "given" wins in only the 6th race of the season, particularly given that he had already won four of the previous five Grands Prix, and that Barrichello had dominated the race weekend up to that point. At the podium ceremony, Schumacher pushed Barrichello onto the top step,[75] and for this disturbance, the Ferrari team incurred a US$1 million fine.[172] Later in the season at the end of the 2002 United States Grand Prix, Schumacher slowed down within sight of the finishing line, allowing Barrichello to win by 0.011 seconds, the 2nd closest margin in F1 history. Schumacher's explanation varied between it being him "returning the favour" for Austria (now that Schumacher's title was secure), or trying to engineer a dead-heat (a feat derided as near-impossible in a sport where timings are taken to within a thousandth of a second).[173] The FIA subsequently banned "team orders which interfere with the race result",[174][175] but the ban was lifted for the 2011 season because the ruling was difficult to enforce.[176]

Dangerous driving

During his spell in Sauber, in the 1991 Sportscar World Championship, Schumacher was involved in a serious incident with Derek Warwick in that year's 430 km of Nürburgring. While trying to set his flying lap in qualifying, Schumacher encountered Warwick's Jaguar on a slow lap resulting in lost time for Schumacher. As retaliation for being in his way, Schumacher swerved the Sauber into Warwick's car, hitting the Jaguar's nose and front wheel. Enraged by the German's attitude, Warwick drove to the pits and chased a fleeing Schumacher on foot through the Sauber pits. He eventually caught up with Schumacher, and it took intervention from Jochen Mass to prevent Warwick physically assaulting Schumacher.[177]

Toward the end of the 2010 Hungarian Grand Prix, Rubens Barrichello attempted to pass Schumacher down the inside on the main straight. Schumacher closed the inside line to force Barrichello onto the outside, but Barrichello persisted on the inside at 180 mph (290 km/h), despite the close proximity of a concrete wall and Schumacher leaving him only inches to spare. Barrichello said "It is the most dangerous thing that I have been through", and "There is not a rule for that, but between ourselves we should take a line, stick to it and that's it." Schumacher said that "Obviously there was space enough to go through. We didn't touch, so I guess I just left enough space for him to come through." Ross Brawn said "at the end of the day he gave him enough space. You can argue that it was marginal, but it was just tough – tough racing." A range of ex-drivers and commentators were highly critical of Schumacher. Although there was no accident, the race steward, the same Derek Warwick of the 1991 Nürburgring incident, wanted to black flag Schumacher since that "would have shown a better example to our young drivers". The Hungaroring incident was ruled to be dangerous and Schumacher received a 10 place grid penalty for the next race. Schumacher accepted the decision, and apologised.[178][179][180][181][182][183]

Other incidents

In 1994, suspicion of foul play by the Benetton team (who were eventually found to have been responsible for some technical violations over the course of the season) was said to have troubled Ayrton Senna that season. For example, in the words of his then teammate, Damon Hill, Senna had chosen to stay at the first corner of the Aida circuit following his retirement from the Pacific Grand Prix. After listening to Schumacher's Benetton B194 as it went past, Senna "concluded that there was, what he regarded, as unusual noises from the engine".[184] The FIA subsequently issued a press release setting out action that it required teams to take before the German Grand Prix, given that various cars were found to have an advanced engine management systems emulating launch and traction control.[185][186]

In 1995, Schumacher and Williams driver David Coulthard were disqualified for fuel irregularities, after a switch to Renault engines and Elf oils.[187] On appeal, both drivers had their results and points reinstated, but both teams lost the points the results would normally have earned in the Constructors' Championship.[188]

The 1998 Canadian Grand Prix saw Schumacher accused of dangerous driving when his exit from the pit-lane forced Heinz-Harald Frentzen off the track and into retirement. Despite receiving a 10-second penalty, Schumacher recovered and won the race.[189]

Two laps from the finish of the 1998 British Grand Prix, Schumacher was leading the race when he was issued a stop-and-go penalty for overtaking a lapped car (Alexander Wurz) during the early moments of a Safety Car period. This penalty involves going into the pit lane and stopping for 10 seconds, and the rules state that a driver must serve his penalty within three laps of the penalty being issued. On the third lap after receiving the penalty, Schumacher turned into the pit lane to serve his penalty, but as this was the last lap of the race, and as Ferrari's pit box was located after the start/finish line, Schumacher technically finished the race before serving the penalty.[190] The stewards initially resolved that problem by adding 10 seconds to Schumacher's race time, then later rescinded the penalty completely due to the irregularities in how the penalty had been issued.

During qualifying for the 2006 Monaco Grand Prix, Schumacher set the fastest time, but his car stopped in the Rascasse corner on the racing line, leaving the corner partially blocked, while his main contender for the season title, Fernando Alonso, was on his final qualifying lap. Schumacher stated that he simply locked up the wheels going into the corner and that the car then stalled while he attempted to reverse out.[191] Alonso believed he would have been on pole if the incident had not happened,[192] and Schumacher was stripped of pole position by the race stewards and started the race at the back of the grid.[191] In the same qualifying session, Giancarlo Fisichella was similarly found to have blocked David Coulthard from improving his time, but Fisichella was only demoted five places on the grid.[193] At the 2010 Monaco Grand Prix, the safety car was deployed after an accident, involving Karun Chandhok and Jarno Trulli, and pulled into the pits on the last lap. Schumacher passed Alonso before the finish line. Mercedes held that "the combination of the race control messages 'Safety Car in this lap' and 'Track Clear' and the green flags and lights shown by the marshals after safety car line one indicated that the race was not finishing under the safety car and all drivers were free to race."[194] However, an FIA investigation found Schumacher guilty of breaching Safety Car regulations and awarded him a 20-seconds penalty, which cost him six places.[195]

Personal life

Schumacher's younger brother Ralf is also a racing driver. He competed in Formula One for ten years, starting from 1997 until the end of 2007.[16] Their step-brother Sebastian Stahl has also been a racing driver.[196]

In August 1995, Michael married Corinna Betsch.[197] They have two children, a daughter Gina-Marie, born 20 February 1997 and a son Mick, born 22 March 1999. He has always been very protective of his private life[198] and is known to dislike the celebrity spotlight. The family moved to a newly-built mansion near Gland, Switzerland in 2007, covering an area of 650-square-metre (7,000 sq ft) with a private beach on Lake Geneva and featuring an underground garage and petrol station.[199] On 19 January 2019, Michael's son Mick Schumacher was announced as a driver for the Ferrari Driver Academy.[200]

Schumacher and his wife own horse ranches in Texas[201] and Switzerland.[202]

The family has two dogs – one stray that Corinna fell in love with in Brazil, and an Australian Shepherd named "Ed" whose arrival in the family made headlines. In fact, in 2007, Schumacher personally drove a taxi through the Bavarian town of Coburg to collect the dog and enable the family to make their return flight to Switzerland.[203] Both Schumacher and the taxi driver were reprimanded by local police.[204]

One of his main hobbies was horse riding, and he played football for his local team FC Echichens. He has appeared in several charity football games[205] and organised games between Formula One drivers.[206]

On 23 June 2003, Schumacher was appointed as an Ambassador-at-Large for the Most Serene Republic of San Marino.[207][208]

Schumacher is a special ambassador to UNESCO and has donated 1.5 million euros to the organization.[209] Additionally, he paid for the construction of a school for poor children and for area improvements in Dakar, Senegal. He supports a hospital for child victims of war in Sarajevo, which specialises in caring for amputees. In Lima, Peru he funded the "Palace for the Poor", a centre for helping homeless street children obtain an education, clothing, food, medical attention, and shelter. He stated his interest in these various efforts was piqued both by his love for children and the fact that these causes had received little attention. While an exact figure for the amount of money he has donated throughout his life is unknown, it is known that in his last four years as a driver, he donated at least $50 million.[11] In 2008, it was revealed that he had donated between $5M and $10M to the Clinton Foundation.[210]

Since his participation in an FIA European road safety campaign, as part of his punishment after the collision at the 1997 European Grand Prix, Schumacher continued to support other campaigns, such as Make Roads Safe, which is led by the FIA Foundation and calls on G8 countries and the UN to recognise global road deaths as a major global health issue. In 2008, Schumacher was the figurehead of an advertising campaign by Bacardi to raise awareness about responsible drinking, with a focus on communicating an international message 'drinking and driving don't mix'. He featured in an advertising campaign for television, cinema and online media, supported by consumer engagements, public relations and digital media across the World.[211]

On the eve of the 2002 British Grand Prix, on behalf of Fiat, Schumacher presented a Ferrari 360 Modena to the Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar at Silverstone.[212]

On 21 June 2009, Schumacher appeared on the BBC's motoring programme Top Gear as the Stig.[213] Presenter Jeremy Clarkson hinted later in the programme that Schumacher was not the regular Stig, which the BBC subsequently confirmed. Schumacher was there on that occasion because Ferrari would not allow anyone else to drive the unique black Ferrari FXX that was featured in the show.[214]

During his interview with Clarkson, Schumacher stated that his road cars are a Fiat 500 Abarth, and a Fiat Croma, which is his family car.[215]

Finance and sponsorship

In 2004, Forbes magazine listed him as the second highest paid athlete in the world.[216] In 2005, Eurobusiness magazine identified Schumacher as the world's first billionaire athlete. His 2004 salary was reported to be around US$80 million.[217] Forbes magazine ranked him 17th in its "The World's Most Powerful Celebrities" list.[218] A significant share of his income came from advertising. For example, Deutsche Vermögensberatung paid him $8 million over three years from 1999 for wearing a 10 by 8 centimetre advertisement on his post-race cap.[219] The deal was extended until 2010.[220] He donated $10 million for aid after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.[221] His donation surpassed that of any other sports person, most sports leagues, many worldwide corporations and even some countries.[222] Schumacher's bodyguard Burkhard Cramer and Cramer's two sons were killed in the tsunami.[223]

In 2010, his personal fortune was estimated at £515 million.[224] He reportedly received a salary of £21 million each year from the Mercedes team, plus a further £9 million in endorsements.[225]

2013 skiing accident

On 29 December 2013, Schumacher was skiing with his 14-year-old son Mick, descending the Combe de Saulire below the Dent de Burgin above Méribel in the French Alps. While crossing an unsecured off-piste area between Piste Chamois and Piste Mauduit,[226][227] he fell and hit his head on a rock, sustaining a serious head injury despite wearing a ski helmet. According to his physicians, he would most likely have died if he had not been wearing a helmet.[228] He was airlifted to Grenoble Hospital where he underwent two surgical interventions.[229] Schumacher was put into a medically induced coma because of traumatic brain injury; his doctors reported on 7 March 2014 that his condition was stable.[230][231] On 4 April 2014, Schumacher's agent reported that he was showing "moments of consciousness" as he was gradually withdrawn from the medically induced coma, adding to reports by relatives of "small encouraging signs" over the preceding month.[232]

In mid-June 2014, he was moved from intensive care into a rehabilitation ward. By 16 June 2014, Schumacher had regained consciousness and left Grenoble Hospital for further rehabilitation at the University Hospital (CHUV) in Lausanne, Switzerland.[233] On 9 September 2014, Schumacher left CHUV and was brought back to his home for further rehabilitation.[13] In November 2014, it was reported that Schumacher was "paralysed and in a wheelchair"; he "cannot speak and has memory problems".[234] In a video interview released in May 2015, Schumacher's manager Sabine Kehm said that his condition is slowly improving "considering the severeness of the injury he had".[235]

In September 2016, Felix Damm, lawyer for Schumacher, told a German court that his client "cannot walk", in response to false reports from December 2015 in German publication Die Bunte that he could "walk a couple of steps".[14][15] In December 2016 Schumacher's manager stated that "Michael's health is not a public issue, and so we will continue to make no comment in that regard".[236]

Racing record

Career summary

Season Series Team Races Wins Poles F/Laps Podiums Points Position
1988 European Formula Ford 1600 Eufra Racing 4 1 1 0 3 50 2nd
German Formula Ford 1600 7 3 0 0 5 124 6th
Formula König Hoecker Sportwagenservice 10 9 1 1 10 192 1st
1989 German Formula Three WTS Racing 12 2 2 0 7 163 3rd
European Formula Three Cup 1 0 0 0 0 N/A NC
Macau Grand Prix 1 0 0 0 0 N/A NC
1990 World Sportscar Championship Team Sauber Mercedes 3 1 0 1 3 21 5th
German Formula Three WTS Racing 11 5 6 4 7 148 1st
European Formula Three Cup 1 0 1 1 0 N/A NC
Macau Grand Prix 1 1 0 0 0 N/A 1st
Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft HWA AG 1 0 0 0 0 0 NC
1991 Formula One Team 7UP Jordan 1 0 0 0 0 0 14th
Camel Benetton Ford 5 0 0 0 0 4
World Sportscar Championship Team Sauber Mercedes 8 1 0 2 2 43 9th
Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft Zakspeed Racing 4 0 0 0 0 0 NC
Japanese Formula 3000 Team LeMans 1 0 0 0 1 6 12th
1992 Formula One Camel Benetton Ford 16 1 0 2 8 53 3rd
1993 Formula One Camel Benetton Ford 16 1 0 5 9 52 4th
1994 Formula One Mild Seven Benetton Ford 14 8 6 8 10 92 1st
1995 Formula One Mild Seven Benetton Renault 17 9 4 8 11 102 1st
1996 Formula One Scuderia Ferrari S.p.A. 16 3 4 2 8 59 3rd
1997 Formula One Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro 17 5 3 3 8 78 DSQ
1998 Formula One Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro 16 6 3 6 11 86 2nd
1999 Formula One Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro 10 2 3 5 6 44 5th
2000 Formula One Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro 17 9 9 2 12 108 1st
2001 Formula One Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro 17 9 11 3 14 123 1st
2002 Formula One Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro 17 11 7 7 17 144 1st
2003 Formula One Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro 16 6 5 5 8 93 1st
2004 Formula One Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro 18 13 8 10 15 148 1st
2005 Formula One Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro 19 1 1 3 5 62 3rd
2006 Formula One Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro 18 7 4 7 12 121 2nd
2010 Formula One Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team 19 0 0 0 0 72 9th
2011 Formula One Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team 19 0 0 0 0 76 8th
2012 Formula One Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team 20 0 0 1 1 49 13th
  • Source: Hilton, Christopher (2006). Michael Schumacher: The Whole Story. Haynes. ISBN 1-84425-008-3.

Complete World Sportscar Championship results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Class Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Pos. Pts
1990 Team Sauber Mercedes C Mercedes-Benz C11 Mercedes-Benz M119 5.0 V8t SUZ MNZ SIL
DNQ
SPA DIJ
2
NÜR
2
DON CGV MEX
1
5th 21
1991 Team Sauber Mercedes C1 Mercedes-Benz C291 Mercedes-Benz M291 3.5 F12 SUZ
Ret
MNZ
Ret
SIL
2
NÜR
Ret
MAG
Ret
MEX
Ret
AUT
1
9th 43
C2 Mercedes-Benz C11 Mercedes-Benz M119 5.0 V8t LMS
5

Complete Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 Pos. Pts
1990 AMG Motorenbau GmbH Mercedes 190 E 2.5-16 Evo II ZOL
1
ZOL
2
HOC
1
HOC
2
NÜR
1
NÜR
2
AVU
1
AVU
2
MFA
1
MFA
2
WUN
1
WUN
2
NÜR
1
NÜR
2
NOR
1
NOR
2
DIE
1
DIE
2
NÜR
1
NÜR
2
HOC
1

Ret
HOC
2

DNS
NC 0
1991 Zakspeed Racing Mercedes 190 E 2.5-16 Evo II ZOL
1
ZOL
2
HOC
1
HOC
2
NÜR
1
NÜR
2
AVU
1
AVU
2
WUN
1
WUN
2
NOR
1

25
NOR
2

Ret
DIE
1

Ret
DIE
2

14
NÜR
1
NÜR
2
ALE
1
ALE
2
HOC
1
HOC
2
BRN
1
BRN
2
DON
1
DON
2
NC 0

24 Hours of Le Mans results

Year Team Co-drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
pos.
1991 Germany Team Sauber Mercedes Austria Karl Wendlinger
Germany Fritz Kreutzpointner
Mercedes-Benz C11 C2 355 5th 5th

Complete Japanese Formula 3000 Championship results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Pos. Pts
1991 Team LeMans Ralt RT23 Mugen SUZ AUT FUJ MIN SUZ SUG
2
FUJ SUZ FUJ SUZ FUJ 12th 6

Complete Formula One results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 WDC Pts
1991 Team 7UP Jordan Jordan 191 Ford HBB 4 3.5 V8 USA BRA SMR MON CAN MEX FRA GBR GER HUN BEL
Ret
14th 4
Camel Benetton Ford Benetton B191 Ford HBA 5 3.5 V8 ITA
5
POR
6
ESP
6
JPN
Ret
AUS
Ret
1992 Camel Benetton Ford Benetton B191B Ford HB 3.5 V8 RSA
4
MEX
3
BRA
3
3rd 53
Benetton B192 ESP
2
SMR
Ret
MON
4
CAN
2
FRA
Ret
GBR
4
GER
3
HUN
Ret
BEL
1
ITA
3
POR
7
JPN
Ret
AUS
2
1993 Camel Benetton Ford Benetton B193 Ford HB 3.5 V8 RSA
Ret
BRA
3
4th 52
Benetton B193B EUR
Ret
SMR
2
ESP
3
MON
Ret
CAN
2
FRA
3
GBR
2
GER
2
HUN
Ret
BEL
2
ITA
Ret
POR
1
JPN
Ret
AUS
Ret
1994 Mild Seven Benetton Ford Benetton B194 Ford Zetec-R 3.5 V8 BRA
1
PAC
1
SMR
1
MON
1
ESP
2
CAN
1
FRA
1
GBR
DSQ
GER
Ret
HUN
1
BEL
DSQ
ITA POR EUR
1
JPN
2
AUS
Ret
1st 92
1995 Mild Seven Benetton Renault Benetton B195 Renault RS7 3.0 V10 BRA
1
ARG
3
SMR
Ret
ESP
1
MON
1
CAN
5
FRA
1
GBR
Ret
GER
1
HUN
11
BEL
1
ITA
Ret
POR
2
EUR
1
PAC
1
JPN
1
AUS
Ret
1st 102
1996 Scuderia Ferrari S.p.A. Ferrari F310 Ferrari 046 3.0 V10 AUS
Ret
BRA
3
ARG
Ret
EUR
2
SMR
2
MON
Ret
ESP
1
CAN
Ret
FRA
DNS
GBR
Ret
GER
4
HUN
9
BEL
1
ITA
1
POR
3
JPN
2
3rd 59
1997 Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F310B Ferrari 046/2 3.0 V10 AUS
2
BRA
5
ARG
Ret
SMR
2
MON
1
ESP
4
CAN
1
FRA
1
GBR
Ret
GER
2
HUN
4
BEL
1
ITA
6
AUT
6
LUX
Ret
JPN
1
EUR
Ret
DSQ‡ 78
1998 Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F300 Ferrari 047 3.0 V10 AUS
Ret
BRA
3
ARG
1
SMR
2
ESP
3
MON
10
CAN
1
FRA
1
GBR
1
AUT
3
GER
5
HUN
1
BEL
Ret
ITA
1
LUX
2
JPN
Ret
2nd 86
1999 Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F399 Ferrari 048 3.0 V10 AUS
8
BRA
2
SMR
1
MON
1
ESP
3
CAN
Ret
FRA
5
GBR
DNS
AUT GER HUN BEL ITA EUR MAL
2
JPN
2
5th 44
2000 Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F1-2000 Ferrari 049 3.0 V10 AUS
1
BRA
1
SMR
1
GBR
3
ESP
5
EUR
1
MON
Ret
CAN
1
FRA
Ret
AUT
Ret
GER
Ret
HUN
2
BEL
2
ITA
1
USA
1
JPN
1
MAL
1
1st 108
2001 Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F2001 Ferrari 050 3.0 V10 AUS
1
MAL
1
BRA
2
SMR
Ret
ESP
1
AUT
2
MON
1
CAN
2
EUR
1
FRA
1
GBR
2
GER
Ret
HUN
1
BEL
1
ITA
4
USA
2
JPN
1
1st 123
2002 Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F2001 Ferrari 050 3.0 V10 AUS
1
MAL
3
1st 144
Ferrari F2002 Ferrari 051 3.0 V10 BRA
1
SMR
1
ESP
1
AUT
1
MON
2
CAN
1
EUR
2
GBR
1
FRA
1
GER
1
HUN
2
BEL
1
ITA
2
USA
2
JPN
1
2003 Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F2002 Ferrari 051 3.0 V10 AUS
4
MAL
6
BRA
Ret
SMR
1
1st 93
Ferrari F2003-GA Ferrari 052 3.0 V10 ESP
1
AUT
1
MON
3
CAN
1
EUR
5
FRA
3
GBR
4
GER
7
HUN
8
ITA
1
USA
1
JPN
8
2004 Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F2004 Ferrari 053 3.0 V10 AUS
1
MAL
1
BHR
1
SMR
1
ESP
1
MON
Ret
EUR
1
CAN
1
USA
1
FRA
1
GBR
1
GER
1
HUN
1
BEL
2
ITA
2
CHN
12
JPN
1
BRA
7
1st 148
2005 Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F2004M Ferrari 053 3.0 V10 AUS
Ret
MAL
7
3rd 62
Ferrari F2005 Ferrari 055 3.0 V10 BHR
Ret
SMR
2
ESP
Ret
MON
7
EUR
5
CAN
2
USA
1
FRA
3
GBR
6
GER
5
HUN
2
TUR
Ret
ITA
10
BEL
Ret
BRA
4
JPN
7
CHN
Ret
2006 Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari 248 F1 Ferrari 056 2.4 V8 BHR
2
MAL
6
AUS
Ret
SMR
1
EUR
1
ESP
2
MON
5
GBR
2
CAN
2
USA
1
FRA
1
GER
1
HUN
8
TUR
3
ITA
1
CHN
1
JPN
Ret
BRA
4
2nd 121
2010 Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team Mercedes MGP W01 Mercedes FO 108X 2.4 V8 BHR
6
AUS
10
MAL
Ret
CHN
10
ESP
4
MON
12
TUR
4
CAN
11
EUR
15
GBR
9
GER
9
HUN
11
BEL
7
ITA
9
SIN
13
JPN
6
KOR
4
BRA
7
ABU
Ret
9th 72
2011 Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team Mercedes MGP W02 Mercedes FO 108Y 2.4 V8 AUS
Ret
MAL
9
CHN
8
TUR
12
ESP
6
MON
Ret
CAN
4
EUR
17
GBR
9
GER
8
HUN
Ret
BEL
5
ITA
5
SIN
Ret
JPN
6
KOR
Ret
IND
5
ABU
7
BRA
15
8th 76
2012 Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 W03 Mercedes FO 108Z 2.4 V8 AUS
Ret
MAL
10
CHN
Ret
BHR
10
ESP
Ret
MON
Ret
CAN
Ret
EUR
3
GBR
7
GER
7
HUN
Ret
BEL
7
ITA
6
SIN
Ret
JPN
11
KOR
13
IND
22
ABU
11
USA
16
BRA
7
13th 49

Schumacher was disqualified from the 1997 World Drivers' Championship due to dangerous driving in the European Grand Prix, where he caused an avoidable accident with Jacques Villeneuve. His points tally would have placed him in second place in that year's standings.[65]
Driver did not finish the Grand Prix, but was classified as he completed over 90% of the race distance.

Formula One records

Schumacher holds the following records in Formula One:

Record Date first achieved Current Record
Most Championship titles 2003 7
Most consecutive titles 20002004 5
Most races left in the season when becoming World Champion 2002 6
Most career wins[237] 2001 Belgian Grand Prix 91
Most wins in a season 2004[N 1] 13
Most wins with the same team[238] 2002 Brazilian Grand Prix 72
Most pole positions at the same Grand Prix Japan 19941995, 19982002, 2004[N 2] 8
Most wins at the same Grand Prix France 19941995, 19971998, 20012002, 2004, 2006 8
Most seasons with a win 19922006 15
Most consecutive seasons with a win 19922006 15
Most second places[239] 2004 Italian Grand Prix 43
Most consecutive top two finishes Brazil 2002Japan 2002 15
Most podium finishes 2002 British Grand Prix 155
Most podium finishes in a season 2002[N 3] 17
Most consecutive podium finishes 2001 United States Grand Prix2002 Japanese Grand Prix 19
Most races finished in the points 2002 Italian Grand Prix 221
Most races led 2001 Belgian Grand Prix 142
Most laps led 2001 French Grand Prix 5,111
Longest distance led (km) 2001 French Grand Prix 24,148
Most fastest laps 2001 Australian Grand Prix 77
Most fastest laps in a season 2004[N 4] 10
Most hat-tricks (pole, win and fastest lap) 2002 Japanese Grand Prix 22
Most hat-tricks in a season[240] 2004[N 5] 5
Most races with a single constructor 2005 European Grand Prix 181
Footnotes
  1. ^ Record shared with Sebastian Vettel (2013).
  2. ^ Record shared with Ayrton Senna, who took eight poles in San Marino, and Lewis Hamilton who got his eighth pole position at the Australian Grand Prix in 2019.
  3. ^ Record shared with Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton although Schumacher did so with fewer total races in the season (2002).
  4. ^ Record shared with Kimi Räikkönen (2005 and 2008).
  5. ^ Record shared with Alberto Ascari in 1952.

Books and films

  • Allen, James (1999). Michael Schumacher: Driven to Extremes. Bantam Books. ISBN 978-0-553-81214-5.
  • Allen, James (2007). Edge of Greatness. Headline. ISBN 978-0-7553-1678-6.
  • Collings, Timothy (2004). The Piranha Club. Virgin Books. ISBN 978-0-7535-0965-4.
  • Collings, Timothy (2005). Team Schumacher. Highdown. ISBN 978-1-905156-03-0.
  • Domenjoz, Luc (2002). Michael Schumacher: Rise of a genius. Parragon. ISBN 978-0-7525-9228-2.
  • Henry, Alan (ed.) (1992). Autocourse 1992–93. Hazleton Publishing. ISBN 978-0-905138-96-1.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  • Henry, Alan (1996). Wheel to Wheel: Great Duels of Formula One Racing. Weidenfeld Nicolson Illustrated. ISBN 978-0-7538-0522-0.
  • Hilton, Christopher (2003). Michael Schumacher: The greatest of all. Haynes. ISBN 978-1-84425-044-8.
  • Hilton, Christopher (2006). Michael Schumacher: The Whole Story. Haynes. ISBN 978-1-84425-008-0.
  • Kehm, Sabine (2003). Michael Schumacher. Driving Force. Random House. ISBN 978-0-09-189435-1.
  • Matchett, Steve (1995). Life in the Fast Lane: The Story of the Benetton Grand Prix Year. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. ISBN 978-0-297-81610-2.
  • Matchett, Steve (1999). The Mechanic's Tale: Life in the Pit Lanes of Formula One. Osceola, Wisconsin: MBI Pub. ISBN 978-0-7603-0754-0.
  • Williams, Richard (1999). The Death of Ayrton Senna. Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-0-7475-4495-1.

Schumacher had a voice role in the Disney/Pixar film Cars. His character is himself as a Ferrari F430. The French film Asterix and Obelix at the Olympic Games features Schumacher in a cameo role as a chariot driver called Schumix.

See also

References and notes

All race and championship results (1991–2006) are taken from the official Formula 1 website (Formula1.com).[241]

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External links

1997 Formula One World Championship

The 1997 FIA Formula One World Championship was the 51st season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 1997 FIA Formula One World Championship, which commenced on 9 March and ended on 26 October after seventeen races. The Drivers' Championship was won by Jacques Villeneuve and the Constructors' Championship was awarded to Williams-Renault.

The 1997 Formula One calendar featured two new events in the Luxembourg Grand Prix, as well as the Austrian Grand Prix, the latter of which returned to the calendar after a ten-year absence. The only race exiting the calendar was the Portuguese Grand Prix after 12 years raced at the Autodromo do Estoril.

The championship was decided under highly controversial circumstances as championship leader Michael Schumacher deliberately rammed Villeneuve whilst trying to defend his race lead in the final round of the championship at the European Grand Prix at Jerez, Spain. Schumacher came to a halt in the gravel trap and was deemed at fault for the accident by FIA – being punished by being stripped of his 2nd place in the championship. Villeneuve finished third in the race in spite of the contact. Schumacher still kept his five race wins. Villeneuve won seven races, but would never win a Formula One Grand Prix again before his 2006 retirement. 1997 also saw the retirement of Gerhard Berger after many years in the sport, as well as the first race wins for Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Mika Häkkinen.

As of 2018, this was the last time the championship was won by a non-European driver.

2000 Belgian Grand Prix

The 2000 Belgian Grand Prix (formally, the LVIII Foster's Belgian Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held on 27 August 2000 at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Stavelot, Belgium. It was the thirteenth race of the 2000 Formula One season, and the 58th Belgian Grand Prix. The 44-lap race was won by McLaren driver Mika Häkkinen, who started from the pole position. Michael Schumacher finished second in a Ferrari, and Williams driver Ralf Schumacher was third.

The race began behind the safety car, and when the car returned to the pit lane Häkkinen built a comfortable lead over Jarno Trulli. As the track dried and his rivals made pit stops, Häkkinen maintained his lead until a lap-13 spin gave Michael Schumacher the lead for most of the remainder of the race. By the 34th lap Schumacher's tyres began to degrade; he drove off the racing line to cool them, which allowed Häkkinen to close the gap. On lap 41 Häkkinen overtook Michael Schumacher for the lead, lapping BAR driver Ricardo Zonta and maintaining the lead to win. Although Rubens Barrichello set the fastest lap time in the other Ferrari, he was hampered by a poor qualifying performance and retired with a fuel-pressure problem thirteen laps from the finish.

Häkkinen's victory extended his lead in the Drivers' Championship to six points over Michael Schumacher, with Coulthard a further seven points behind. Barrichello's retirement dropped him to twenty-five points behind Häkkinen. In the Constructors' Championship, McLaren extended their lead to eight points over Ferrari with four races remaining in the season.

2000 Canadian Grand Prix

The 2000 Canadian Grand Prix (formally the XXXIIX Grand Prix Air Canada) was a Formula One motor race held on 18 June 2000 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It was the eighth round of the 2000 Formula One World Championship and the 38th Canadian Grand Prix. The 69-lap race was won by Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher after starting from pole position. His teammate Rubens Barrichello finished second with Giancarlo Fisichella third for the Benetton team.

Michael Schumacher started from pole position alongside McLaren driver David Coulthard. Barrichello began from third, alongside Coulthard's teammate Mika Häkkinen. The front two of Michael Schumacher and Coulthard battled for first place until Coulthard served a ten-second stop-go penalty on lap 14 as his mechanics worked on his car 15 seconds before the race began. Just before half distance, Michael Schumacher made an early pit stop allowing Barrichello to take the lead until his own pit stop on lap 43. By this time rain began to fall causing drivers to make the switch to wet-weather tyres. Michael Schumacher retained his lead throughout and took the victory 0.1 seconds ahead of Barrichello.

The victory was Michael Schumacher's fifth of the season, his fourth at the circuit, and the result meant that he extended his lead in the Drivers' Championship to twenty-two points in front Coulthard, with Häkkinen a further two points behind. Ferrari also extended their lead in the Constructors' Championship, eighteen points ahead of McLaren. Benetton, on 18 points, pushed their rivals Williams down to fourth place, with nine races of the season remaining. 100,000 people attended the race.

2000 Formula One World Championship

The 2000 FIA Formula One World Championship was the 54th season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It commenced on 12 March and ended on 22 October after seventeen races. Michael Schumacher became Ferrari's first World Drivers' Champion for 21 years having clinched the Drivers' title at the penultimate race of the season. Ferrari successfully defended its Constructors' title. This season marked the first for future world champion Jenson Button.

The season was, for the third consecutive year, a close battle between Ferrari and McLaren. Schumacher won the first three races and dominated the first part of the season as McLaren had reliability issues. Then misfortune struck Schumacher, who retired from three consecutive races with both Mika Häkkinen and David Coulthard scoring big. Häkkinen then surged to win two races in a row, leaving him six points clear of Schumacher who faced a fifth consecutive season at Ferrari without titles since 1996. Schumacher fought back winning the final four races of the season in convincing fashion, recording pole position on all those occasions. The title was sealed in Japan on 8 October, after a classic straight fight between Schumacher and Häkkinen, with Schumacher passing Häkkinen at the final pit stop and then holding out in front.

2000 French Grand Prix

The 2000 French Grand Prix (formally the LXXXVI Mobil 1 Grand Prix de France) was a Formula One motor race held on 2 July 2000 at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, Magny-Cours, Burgundy, France. It was the ninth race of the 2000 Formula One season and the 86th French Grand Prix. The 72-lap race was won by McLaren driver David Coulthard after starting from second position. His teammate Mika Häkkinen finished second with Rubens Barrichello third for the Ferrari team.

Coulthard started the race alongside Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher who began from pole position. Barrichello began from third on the grid and overtook Coulthard going into the first corner. Michael Schumacher maintained his start line advantage and kept the lead after the first round of pit stops. During the course of the second stint of the race, Michael Schumacher began to struggle with tyre wear, allowing Coulthard to close the gap and passed him on lap 40. Coulthard maintained his lead through the second round of pit stops and won the race. Michael Schumacher retired on lap 59 with an engine failure promoting Häkkinen into second position. Barrichello took third, ahead of BAR driver Jacques Villeneuve in fourth.

The race was Coulthard's third victory of the season, his first at Magny-Cours, and the result meant that he reduced Michael Schumacher's points advantage in the Drivers' Championship to twelve points. Häkkinen remained third on 38 points, six ahead of Barrichello. In the Constructors' Championship, McLaren's one-two finish allowed them to narrow the gap to Ferrari to be six points behind, with eight races of the season remaining.

2000 Malaysian Grand Prix

The 2000 Malaysian Grand Prix (formally the II Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held on 22 October 2000 at the Sepang International Circuit, in Sepang. It was the 17th and final race of the 2000 Formula One season, and the second Malaysian Grand Prix. The 56-lap race was won by Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher after starting from pole position. David Coulthard finished second for the McLaren team with Michael Schumacher's teammate Rubens Barrichello third.

Mika Häkkinen, driving for McLaren, started from second position alongside Michael Schumacher. However, Häkkinen was forced to serve a ten-second stop-and-go penalty because he was judged to have jumped the start. Häkkinen climbed back up to fourth place, his final finishing position. Coulthard, who started third, moved into the lead until the first round of pit stops. Michael Schumacher and teammate Barrichello traded the leading during their second stops with the former retaining the lead. Michael Schumacher held off a challenge from Coulthard in the closing stages of the Grand Prix to secure victory.

Michael Schumacher's win was his ninth of the season, matching the record set by himself in 1995, and Nigel Mansell in 1992. Schumacher also tied Mansell's record of 108 points. Ferrari was confirmed as Constructors' Champions as McLaren could not pass its points total in the final race. Coulthard's second-place finish helped to secure him third position in the World Drivers' Championship. The Grand Prix was Pedro Diniz and Johnny Herbert's final race; the Englishman retired after 160 race starts.

2000 Spanish Grand Prix

The 2000 Spanish Grand Prix (formally the XLII Gran Premio Marlboro de España) was a Formula One motor race held on 7 May 2000 at the Circuit de Catalunya, Montmeló, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It was the fifth round of the 2000 Formula One season and the 42nd Spanish Grand Prix. The 65-lap race was won by McLaren driver Mika Häkkinen who started from the second position. His teammate David Coulthard finished second and Rubens Barrichello finished third in a Ferrari.

Michael Schumacher started from the pole position and held off a challenge from Häkkinen on the first lap. He maintained the lead until his first pit stop on lap 24 when a refueller was struck by his rear tyre, allowing Häkkinen to take over the lead until his pit stop two laps later. Michael Schumacher kept the lead for a further twenty-one laps as he and Häkkinen made their second pit stops together, with Häkkinen emerging in front because Schumacher experienced a slow pit stop. Häkkinen kept the lead for the remaining twenty-three laps to win the race.The victory was Häkkinen's first of the season, and put him into second place in the World Drivers' Championship, fourteen points behind Michael Schumacher. Coulthard's second-place finish meant that he dropped to third, and Barrichello third place moved him ahead of Ralf Schumacher. In the World Constructors' Championship, McLaren's one-two finish allowed them to move within seven points from leaders Ferrari. Williams remained in third on 15 points, with twelve races remaining in the season.

2000 United States Grand Prix

The 2000 United States Grand Prix (formally the XXIX SAP United States Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held on 24 September 2000 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was the fifteenth race of the 2000 Formula One season and the 34th United States Grand Prix. The 73-lap race was won by Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher after starting from pole position. His teammate Rubens Barrichello finished second with Jordan driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen third.

McLaren driver David Coulthard started second, alongside Michael Schumacher. However, Coulthard was forced to serve a ten-second stop-go penalty on lap eight because he moved forward into the lead before the start. Michael Schumacher's main rival in the championship, Mika Häkkinen, started from fourth but retired with an blown engine on lap 26. Michael Schumacher thus had an unchallenged lead and was able to clinch his seventh win of the season, despite a spin in the final stages of the race.

As a consequence of the race, Michael Schumacher retook the lead in the Drivers' Championship by eight points over Häkkinen. Coulthard's fifth place in the Grand Prix eliminated his hopes of winning the Championship, and reduced his lead over fourth-placed Barrichello to eight points. In the Constructors' Championship, Ferrari took over the lead held by McLaren and established a ten-point advantage, with two races of the season remaining.

2001 Formula One World Championship

The 2001 FIA Formula One World Championship was the 55th season of FIA Formula One racing. It featured the FIA Formula One World Championship which commenced on 4 March 2001 and ended on 14 October after seventeen races. Michael Schumacher won the Drivers' title with a record margin of 58 points, after achieving nine victories and five second places and Ferrari won the Constructors' award. The season marked the reintroduction of traction control, with the FIA permitting its use starting at the Spanish Grand Prix. Traction control had been banned since 1994. Schumacher also broke the all-time Formula One Grand Prix wins record during the season, his victory at the Belgian Grand Prix marking his 52nd career win.

Future world champions Fernando Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen made their Grand Prix debuts in Melbourne, for Minardi and Sauber respectively. Colombian former CART champion Juan Pablo Montoya also made his F1 debut at Williams.

There were new beginnings for French companies Renault and Michelin. After four years out of the sport since 1997, Renault returned to supply engines to the Benetton team, while Michelin's comeback as a tyre supplier provided Bridgestone with competition for the first time since Goodyear left the sport at the end of the 1998 season. At the other end of the spectrum fellow French company Peugeot withdrew from the sport after seven years since 1994 following a disastrous season in 2000 as engine supplier to Prost. The assets of Peugeot's Formula One programme were purchased by Asia Motor Technologies France and the 2000-spec powerplants were rebadged as Asiatechs and supplied to Arrows free of charge.

At the end of the season, double world champion Mika Häkkinen announced his intention to take a one-year sabbatical in 2002; eventually this became full-time retirement. Also racing for the last time in 2001 was Jean Alesi, who passed the 200 race mark shortly before his final Grand Prix in Japan. Veteran British commentator Murray Walker gave his final commentary at the United States Grand Prix (which would also turn out to be Mika Häkkinen's last victory in the sport).

The Prost and Benetton names disappeared from the sport at the end of 2001; Prost folded due to a lack of finances while Benetton was re-branded as Renault after the French manufacturer bought the team outright.

The championship was won with ease by Michael Schumacher, who finished 58 points clear of David Coulthard in second place. It was Schumacher's fourth world championship, equalling Alain Prost's total. With Michael Schumacher's teammate, Rubens Barrichello, tallying 11 podiums throughout the season, Ferrari also won the Constructors' Championship by a substantial margin. Unlike the previous title-winning season, Schumacher was very consistent throughout the campaign and scored his nine wins more spread evenly out through the season. His title was sealed with four races remaining after a commanding win in Hungary. Coulthard's title challenge looked strong early on, winning two of the first six races and being neck and neck with Schumacher for the title lead. He also qualified on pole position in Monaco, only to stall on the grid. With Schumacher winning the race and Coulthard recovering only to fifth, it was a turning point of the season. Coulthard would not win again for the rest of the year and had dropped off massively by mid-season as Schumacher kept either winning or finishing second with few exceptions all season.

Williams drivers Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya both scored their maiden wins in the sport, at San Marino and Italy respectively. The younger Schumacher added victories in Canada and Germany, giving the team four wins in total, marking a return to success for the Oxfordshire team after three years without a victory since 1997. The Schumacher brothers also scored historic family 1–2 finishes in Canada and France.

McLaren secured four wins during the season. These were shared equally among their drivers: Häkkinen winning in Britain and the United States, Coulthard winning in Brazil and Austria.

2001 Spanish Grand Prix

The 2001 Spanish Grand Prix (formally the XLIII Gran Premio Marlboro de Espana) was a Formula One motor race held on 29 April 2001 at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain. It was the fifth round of the 2001 Formula One season. The 65-lap race was won by Michael Schumacher driving a Ferrari car after starting from pole position. Juan Pablo Montoya finished second driving a Williams car with Jacques Villeneuve third for the BAR team.

The race was Schumacher's third win of the season, and the result that he led the Drivers' Championship, eight points ahead of Coulthard and twenty-two ahead of Rubens Barrichello. Ferrari extended their lead in the Constructors' Championship, eighteen points ahead of McLaren and thirty-two ahead of Williams, with 12 races of the season remaining.

2002 Formula One World Championship

The 2002 FIA Formula One World Championship was the 56th season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 2002 FIA Formula One World Championship, which commenced on 3 March and ended on 13 October after seventeen races.

The Drivers' Championship quickly became a battle for second place as Michael Schumacher finished first or second in every race except for the Malaysian Grand Prix, where he finished third, thus achieving a podium position in every race. He won a then-record 11 Grands Prix, surpassing the previous record of 9 wins, jointly held by himself (1995, 2000 and 2001) and Nigel Mansell (1992). He would also set the record for shortest time in which the World Drivers' Championship had been clinched, securing the title with a win at the French Grand Prix, with 6 races to go in the season. Schumacher took the Drivers' Championship by a then-record 67 point margin over teammate Rubens Barrichello, beating his own previous record for the 2001 season (58 points over David Coulthard) and also gained a new point total record with 144 points. Schumacher and Barrichello helped Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro secure the Constructors' Championship with a points total that equalled the combined sum of points attained by all other constructors collectively. For the 2003 championship, the FIA would change the points system.

2003 Formula One World Championship

The 2003 FIA Formula One World Championship was the 57th season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It began on 9 March 2003 and ended on 12 October after sixteen races. World Championship titles were awarded for both drivers and constructors with Michael Schumacher winning the former and Ferrari awarded the latter.The 2003 season saw the introduction of new regulations intended to increase F1's excitement and to help alleviate the financial difficulties of the smaller teams. One-lap qualifying was introduced as a way for smaller teams to get more television exposure. Optional Friday testing at Grand Prix events was introduced in exchange for fewer miles on stand-alone test days. This was intended to give smaller teams a cheaper alternative to these test days, which were to be banned in 2004. Only one type of wet weather tyre was allowed to be used in wet weather races. The points system for both the Constructors' and Drivers' titles was changed from 10–6–4–3–2–1 for the first six finishers at each round to 10–8–6–5–4–3–2–1 for the first eight finishers in an attempt to make the title contests closer.

While Ferrari's Michael Schumacher had won the 2002 championship by 67 points from his teammate Rubens Barrichello, the 2003 season was much closer. For a great part of the 2003 season, several drivers from several teams had mathematical chances of winning the world championship. Eight different drivers won a Grand Prix, amongst them three first time winners. Kimi Räikkönen, driving for McLaren-Mercedes, and Juan Pablo Montoya, driving for BMW Williams, both had a chance of claiming the 2003 championship until late in the season, with Räikkönen still mathematically in contention at the final race, the Japanese Grand Prix. Räikkönen lost the championship to Schumacher by two points, although he won only one race to Schumacher's six. It was Schumacher's sixth World Drivers' title overall, breaking Juan Manuel Fangio's 46-year-old record of five World Drivers' titles. Ferrari's defence of the Constructors' title was challenged throughout the year by Williams and McLaren, one of the few seasons where there were three front-running teams but in the end, Ferrari emerged victorious once again and the team clinched their fifth consecutive World Constructors' title since 1999.

Notable races include the chaotic Brazilian Grand Prix which was hampered by monsoon conditions, and the British Grand Prix where the track was invaded by the now-defrocked priest Neil Horan, who ran onto the Hangar straight, running towards the 250 km/h train of cars, wearing a green kilt and waving religious banners.

After failing to complete the 2002 season due to financial difficulties, the Arrows team had their application for admission to the 2003 championship rejected by the FIA prior to the season start date. No reason was publicly given by the FIA and Arrows subsequently folded after 25 years in Formula One since 1978.

2003 also saw a major leap forward in Formula One safety, with the HANS device being made a mandatory requirement for drivers to wear at all races beginning from the Australian Grand Prix onwards. However, this was not without controversy, as many drivers voiced their complaints about the device, including Barrichello, Jacques Villeneuve, Justin Wilson and Nick Heidfeld.

2004 Formula One World Championship

The 2004 FIA Formula One World Championship was the 58th season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 55th FIA Formula One World Championship, which was contested over eighteen races which ran from 7 March to 24 October 2004.

The championship was dominated by Michael Schumacher and Ferrari, with Schumacher winning the Drivers' Championship for the seventh time. Schumacher's teammate Rubens Barrichello finished the championship in second with Jenson Button coming in third for BAR. Ferrari won the Constructors' Championship for a record 14th time ahead of BAR and Renault.

In this championship, several records were broken. Michael Schumacher won 13 races, breaking his record of 11 race wins in one season from 2002. He also broke the record for most consecutive World Drivers' title (5) and Ferrari broke the record for most consecutive Constructors' titles (6).

2006 Formula One World Championship

The 2006 FIA Formula One World Championship was the 60th season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 57th FIA Formula One World Championship which began on 12 March and ended on 22 October after eighteen races. The Drivers' Championship was won by Fernando Alonso of Renault for the second year in a row, with Alonso becoming the youngest ever double world champion at the time. Then-retiring multiple world champion Michael Schumacher of Scuderia Ferrari finished runner-up, 13 points behind. The Constructors' Championship was won by Renault, which defeated Ferrari by five points.The season was highlighted by the rivalry between Alonso and Schumacher, who each won seven races. Renault and Ferrari drivers dominated the field, victorious in all but one race, and the four second-place finishes not achieved by these two teams were accomplished by McLaren. During this season for the first time since the 1956 season no British constructor won any race and like 1956, only factory teams won all the races during this year. This season marked the beginning of the usage of 2.4L V8 engines in Formula One from the 3.0L V10 engines that were used in the previous seasons, which continued till the end of the 2013 season.

The season saw several changes occurring in the drivers' market starting already in December 2005 as Alonso sealed a move to McLaren for 2007. Then in September, Schumacher announced his retirement from Formula One at the end of the season, with 2003 and 2005 championship runner-up Kimi Räikkönen being announced as his replacement at Ferrari. Among other notable departures included Juan Pablo Montoya, who left McLaren mid-season to pursue a career in NASCAR.

List of Formula One Grand Prix winners

Formula One, abbreviated to F1, is the highest class of open-wheeled auto racing defined by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), motorsport's world governing body. The "formula" in the name refers to a set of rules to which all participants and cars must conform. The F1 world championship season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix, held usually on purpose-built circuits, and in a few cases on closed city streets. The most famous Grand Prix is the Monaco Grand Prix in Monte Carlo. Each winner is presented with a trophy and the results of each race are combined to determine two annual Championships, one for drivers and one for constructors. The World Championship for Drivers is held since 1950, after the Formula One standard was agreed upon in 1946. The Constructors' Championship was added for the 1958 season and has been awarded ever since.

Michael Schumacher holds the record for the most Grand Prix victories, having won 91 times. Lewis Hamilton is second with 80 wins and Sebastian Vettel is third with 52 wins. Kimi Räikkönen holds the distinction of having the longest time between his first win and his last. He won his first Grand Prix in 2003 at the Malaysian Grand Prix, and his last (to date) in 2018 at the United States Grand Prix, a span of 15 years and 212 days. Riccardo Patrese holds the record for the longest period of time between two race wins–more than six-and-a-half years between the 1983 South African Grand Prix and the 1990 San Marino Grand Prix. Mario Andretti had to wait the longest time between his maiden victory at the 1971 South African Grand Prix and his second win–coming five years, seven months and 18 days later at the 1976 Japanese Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel holds the record for the most consecutive wins, having won nine Grands Prix in a row from the 2013 Belgian Grand Prix to the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix. Max Verstappen is the youngest winner of a Grand Prix; he was 18 years and 227 days old when he won the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix. Luigi Fagioli is the oldest winner of a Formula One Grand Prix; he was 53 years and 22 days old when he won the 1951 French Grand Prix.As of the 2019 British Grand Prix, out of the 764 drivers who started a Grand Prix, there have been 107 different Formula One Grand Prix winners. The first Grand Prix winner was Giuseppe Farina at the 1950 British Grand Prix, and the most recent driver to score their first Grand Prix win was Valtteri Bottas.This list includes the winners of the Indianapolis 500 race between 1950 and 1960, as they formed part of the World Championships, even though they were not run by Formula One regulations, nor are they referred to as Grands Prix.

List of Formula One World Constructors' Champions

The Formula One World Constructors' Championship (WCC) is awarded by the FIA to the most successful Formula One constructor over a season, as determined by a points system based on Grand Prix results. The Constructors' Championship was first awarded, as the International Cup for F1 Manufacturers, in 1958 to Vanwall.

Constructors' Championship points are calculated by adding points scored in each race by any driver for that constructor. Up until 1979, most seasons saw only the highest-scoring driver in each race for each constructor contributing points towards the Championship. On only ten occasions has the World Constructors' Champion team not contained the World Drivers' Champion for that season.

In the 61 seasons the Championship has been awarded, only 15 different constructors have won it, with Scuderia Ferrari the most successful, with 16 titles including 6 consecutive from 1999 to 2004. Only five countries have produced winning constructors: United Kingdom (33 championships with 10 different constructors), Italy (16 with Ferrari), Germany (5 with Mercedes), Austria (4 with Red Bull) and France (3 with two constructors). However, all German, Austrian and French titles have seen the winning cars designed and built (except Matra in 1969) and run by teams based in the United Kingdom. Among drivers that have contributed with at least a single point to the constructors' title, Michael Schumacher has the unofficial record, having been involved with seven such titles, six of those consecutively with Ferrari. Schumacher won the world drivers' title on six of those seven occasions.

List of Formula One World Drivers' Champions

The Formula One World Drivers' Championship (WDC) is awarded by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) to the most successful Formula One racing car driver over a season, as determined by a points system based on individual Grand Prix results.

The Drivers' Championship was first awarded in 1950, to Giuseppe Farina. The first driver to win multiple Championships was Alberto Ascari, in 1952 and 1953. The current Drivers' Champion is Lewis Hamilton who won his fifth title in 2018.

A driver secures the World Championship each season when it is no longer mathematically possible for another driver to beat them no matter the outcome of the remaining races, although it is not officially awarded until the end of the season. The Drivers' Championship has been won in the final race of the season 29 times in the 69 seasons it has been awarded. The earliest in a season that the Drivers' Championship has been clinched was in 2002, when Michael Schumacher secured the title with six races remaining.

Overall, thirty-three different drivers have won the Championship, with German Michael Schumacher holding the record for most titles, at seven. He also holds the record for most consecutive Drivers' Championships, winning five from 2000 to 2004. The United Kingdom has produced the most Champions with ten; Brazil, Germany and Finland are next with three each. Of the 33 drivers to win the World Championship, nineteen are still alive. The most recently deceased is Niki Lauda (1949–2019). Among teams, Scuderia Ferrari has produced the most winning drivers with 15.

List of Formula One driver records

This is a list of driver records in the FIA World Championships, since 1950. Drivers who have competed in the 2019 Formula One World Championship are highlighted in bold.

Although the Indianapolis 500 was not run to Formula 1 rules and the 1952 and 1953 Grands Prix were run to Formula 2 rules, these races are included as they were qualifying races for the World Drivers' Championship. Formula 1 races that were not qualification rounds for the World Championship have been ignored.

This page is accurate as of the 2019 British Grand Prix.

Schuberth

Schuberth GmbH is a German producer of safety helmets, producing combat helmets for Bundeswehr, protective headgear for Formula One, motorcycles and industrial workers. The company was founded in 1922 in Braunschweig, in Lower Saxony, and has been producing safety helmets for 90 years. Schuberth is currently based in Magdeburg and employs about 300 employees, producing 1.5 million helmets each year.Schuberth produces motorcycle helmets designed specifically for aerodynamic performance, and produces the helmets BMW Motorrad supplies under their own name. Schuberth first entered Formula One in 2000 using the QF1 helmet worn by Nick Heidfeld, after designing a safer helmet in response to Michael Schumacher's accident at the 1999 British Grand Prix. The helmet, which was lighter than others at the time and featured filters to remove fumes and dust from the air, was taken by more drivers including then World Champion Michael Schumacher, and was gradually developed into the current RF1 model. Currently, Schuberth helmets are used by Fernando Alonso, Nico Hülkenberg, Felipe Massa, Nico Rosberg and Susie Wolff. Schuberth designs all current helmets in their own wind tunnel facilities, to enable maximum aerodynamic efficiency, and employed Michael Schumacher as a consultant for motorcycle helmet design. NASCAR drivers Danica Patrick and Jimmie Johnson also use Schuberth helmets, theirs being variations on the designs used for F1 drivers.Schuberth produces helmets for a variety of industrial purposes, including ballistic protection for soldiers, protection for firefighters and construction workers, producing full face helmets and head protection. The company also produces personal protective equipment, such as facial protection, ear defenders and cold weather equipment.

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