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Ferrari > Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher

Team Ferrari
Date of Birth 03 January 1969
Nationality German
Car Number 1
Marital Status Married
Personal Profile  

Michael Schumacher is universally regarded as the most talented driver of his generation, with wages at Ferrari which are allegedly more than twice those of the next best-paid driver. He made his Grand Prix debut in 1991 with Jordan, driving one race before being snapped up by Benetton.

The following year he won his first race in Belgium and finished third overall. In 1994 he won his first Drivers' Championship title and successfully defended it the following year. In 1996 he joined Ferrari, finishing third overall despite ever-present aggravation from the car. A year later he was stripped of second place after an incident with Jacques Villeneuve in the last race of the season.

His supreme self-confidence, which is sometimes interpreted as arrogance, and extreme will to win occasionally means that he courts trouble. The most notable incidents being several on-track tangles with Damon Hill during 1995 and 1996, the 1997 event in Jerez with Villeneuve and being prevented from punching David Coulthard in the Spa pitlane during the 1998 Belgium Grand Prix.

1998 and 1999 proved frustrating seasons for Schumacher. In 1998 he battled against Mika Hakkinen for the drivers' title right up to the last race in Japan. He stalled on the starting grid and, in accordance with FIA regulations, had to begin the race from the very back. However, he put in a stunning drive and soon worked his way up to third place, but it was not to be. A shard of debris from an earlier accident punctured his tyre and left him sitting by the side of the track while the Finn collected the title of World Champion.

In 1999 an accident at the British GP left him with a broken leg, and unable to compete in a race until the Malaysian GP. He then faced the worrying prospect of team mate, Eddie Irvine, taking home the crown after he had worked so hard to be the first Ferrari driver to win the championship since 1979. The German returned from his recuperation period in Malaysia vowing to help Irvine, and put in a strong drive to prove his point, but once again the title slipped from Ferrari's grasp at the last race in Japan.

2000 was different, however. He won the first three races of the season, and continued to battle hard for his chance at a third championship crown. A mid-season slump in fortune looked worryingly like it may prevent him, yet again, from taking home the spoils, but an emotional win in Italy, followed by two straight victories in the USA and Japan saw him crowned World Champion for the third time, and the first with Ferrari. His win in Malaysia then helped them retain the constructors' title. The jubilation across Italy reached immense proportions, and Schumacher quickly became a national hero.

This year he is vowing that he will fight for a fourth crown, and that he is fitter and stronger than ever.

Career Highlights
2000 Wins Ferrari's first drivers' championship since 1979, and helps secure the team's constructors' title.
1999

Drives for Ferrari. Crashed out of the British Grand Prix and broke his leg. Won the San Marino and Monaco Grands Prix and finished 5th in the drivers' championship with 44 points.

1998

Drives for Ferrari. Six race wins, two 2nds and two 3rds got Schumacher so close to his third World title, after seemingly having no chance in mid-season. Unfortunately 1998 may be remembered more for his rage in the pits at Spa, and his stall on the grid in Suzuka, than his valiant but ultimately unsuccessful challenge for the title.

1997

Drives for Ferrari. Finishes second in the Drivers' Championship but is disqualified by FIA after colliding with Jacques Villeneuve in the final race of the season.

1996

Joins Ferrari and manages third spot despite a series of mechanical failures.

1995

Wins his second F1 title on the spin with Benetton.

1994

Drives for Benetton. Wins his first Drivers' Championship in controversial style after a collision with nearest rival Damon Hill puts both drivers out of the final race with Hill threatening to pass.

1993 Drives for Benetton. Finishes 4th in the Drivers' Championship with 52 points.
1992 Drives for Benetton. Finishes 3rd in his first full F1 season, winning his maiden grand prix at Spa, Belgium.
1991

Makes his Formula One debut with Jordan, driving one race before moving to Benetton, where he finished the season with four points.

1990 Wins F3 German Championship
1989 Finishes third in F3 German Championship behind Karl Wendlinger and Heinz-Harald Frentzen.



 
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