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Williams > Ralf Schumacher

Ralf Schumacher

Team Williams
Date of Birth 30 June 1975
Nationality German
Car Number 9
Marital Status Single
Personal Profile  

 
Michael Schumacher's little brother, Ralf, began his Formula1 career in 1997 with the Jordan team, where he stayed for two years. He was initially known for his reckless moves and crashes, but gradually he began to carve out a reputation as a talented young driver.

His dissatisfaction with the Irish team grew, until his brother helped him to negotiate a place at Williams for 1999. This was year that Ralf Schumacher really came into his own. It began in well in Melbourne, where he finished third for his new team. He followed this with fourth place in Brazil and from then on whenever the young German did cross the finishing line it was in a point scoring position, apart from one hiccough in Germany. He showed a maturity of driving he had not previously displayed and won many plaudits for his strong performances in the difficult FW21.

Where experienced team mate Alex Zanardi struggled, and eventually decided to give up the fight, Ralf flourished and scored all 35 points that the Williams team acquired. It could all have been so different after the acrimony of his split with Jordan in 1998, who he had to sue so as to extricate himself from his contract. He came extremely close to taking his first win at the European Grand Prix, only to have his hopes dashed by a puncture, but he still hung on for fourth place.

He continued to do well in 2000 at Williams, again taking third place in the first race of the season, and initially setting himself apart as the quicker driver in the team. As he accrued experience Jenson Button began to gain on Ralf, and the young German apeared to begin to lose focus at the end of the season. However, he still finished fifth in the drivers' championship with 24 points, and was the only Williams driver to appear on the podium.

His team mate for 2001, Juan Pablo Montoya, is expected to be an aggressive challenger, and Ralf will need every ounce of his talent and mental strength to keep his place as Williams' lead driver. The atmosphere between the two is already relatively cool although Ralf has mainly had the upper hand in preseason testing.
   

Career Highlights
2001 Finishes fifth in the drivers' championship with 24 points. His second year at Williams sees him continue to mature and produce consistent performances.
2000 In his first year at Williams he collects 35 championship points and finishes 6th in the table. He visits the podium three times - in Australia, Britain and Belgium - and is on course to score his first ever win at the European Grand Prix before a puncture dashes his chances.
1999

CART FedEX Series Champion. 7 wins and 7 pole positions. He is the youngest ever champion and takes victory on his first attempt.

1998

Still driving with Jordan, he eventually picks up 14 championship points to finish 10th in the table. 2nd at Spa, and 3rd at Monza.

1997

Makes his Formula One debut in Australia with the Jordan team. Finishes third in Argentina and claims 11th spot in the Drivers' Championship.

1996

Wins the Japanese Formula 3000 Championship.

1995

Finishes second in the Monaco Grand Prix Formula 3 race then secures victory at Macau.




 
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