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Michael Schumacher

From Academic Kids

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Michael_Schumacher-I'm_the_man_(cropped).jpg
Schumacher at a press conference before the 2005 United States Grand Prix

Template:F1 driver

Michael Schumacher (born January 3, 1969) is a German Formula One (F1) driver. He is statistically the most successful F1 driver ever, with the most career victories, and a record seven world driver championships. As of 2004, he earns an estimated US$80 million annually, including all his endorsement deals. One notable deal is with the German investment counselling Deutsche Vermgensberatung, which will pay him US$8 million over three years for him to wear a four-inch ad on his post-race hat.

Contents

Early years

Schumacher was born in Hrth (close to Cologne). He began racing karts at the age of four in a home-made kart built by his father, Rolf, who managed the local karting track (located in Kerpen, Schumacher's hometown). He obtained his first license, and began racing competitively, by age twelve. Between 1984 and 1987, Michael won numerous German and European kart championships, including the Formula Konig Series. In 1988, Schumacher raced in the Formula Ford series, and over the next two years competed in the German Formula 3 series, winning the title in 1990. In 1991, he continued his ascent up the racing ladder, joining the Mercedes junior racing program in the World Endurance Championship, winning races in Mexico City and at Autopolis, at the wheel of a Sauber-Mercedes C291. He also briefly competed in the Japanese Formula 3000 Championship and the German Touring Car Championship in the early 1990s.

F1 debut

Schumacher made his F1 debut in 1991 as a replacement driver for the imprisoned Bertrand Gachot (incarcerated for spraying CS gas at a London taxicab-driver's face). Eddie Jordan signed Michael to his Jordan team at the Belgian Grand Prix, where Michael astonished everyone by qualifying seventh, in his first competition in an F1 vehicle. He was quickly signed by Benetton-Ford for the next race, and immediately showed great potential. The following year, 1992, he won his first F1 race (again at the Belgian Grand Prix, on August 30), and he placed third that year in the driver championship.

Schumacher won his first championship in 1994 while driving for Benetton in an extremely exciting and closely-contested season. He won the first four races of the year, and six of the first seven events. However, in the latter portion of the year, competitor Damon Hill began to edge closer to Schumacher in the standings, aided by two technical disqualifications of Schumacher's Benetton (in Britain and Belgium). Leading by a single point going into the final race in Australia, Schumacher clinched the title after a collision with Hill knocked both drivers out of the running. Schumacher successfully defended his crown in the 1995 season, accumulating 30 more points than the second place driver, who was once again Hill. With teammate Johnny Herbert, he also helped Benetton win its first (and only) constructors' championship. In his two first championship seasons, Schumacher won 17 races, achieved 21 podiums, and notched ten pole positions. During this span of 31 grands prix, only once did he qualify worse than fourth position.

Ferrari years

Schumacher at  in 2004
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Schumacher at Indianapolis in 2004
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Schumacher_(Ferrari)_in_practice_at_USGP_2005.jpg
Schumacher at Indianapolis 2005

In 1996, Michael signed a contract with Ferrari, which at the time was a highly risky move, given Ferrari's championship drought (the Italian-based giants had not won a title in well over a decade). After several rebuilding years, Schumacher helped Ferrari win the constructors title in 1999; however, his hope for another driver championship were dashed at that year's British Grand Prix, where he crashed heavily and broke his leg, causing him to miss six races. But Michael would re-claim personal glory once again in 2000, winning his third drivers title (and Ferrari's first since Jody Scheckter in 1979). During the next year (2001), while en route to his fourth drivers title, he broke Alain Prost's record for most grand prix wins. In a dominant 2002, he easily took his fifth drivers title (equalling the record set by Juan Manuel Fangio) due to his driving talent and the sheer dominance of his Ferrari machinery, which won 15 of the 17 races that season. In 2003, he broke Fangio's record by winning the drivers title for the sixth time in a closely-contested season (afterward making front-page headlines in the tabloid The Sun by trashing a hotel suite and madly piloting a forklift around the paddock). Schumacher started off the 2004 championship with typical domination, winning a record twelve of the first thirteen races of the season; he clinched the seventh drivers title of his unequalled F1 career where it all began for him: at the Belgian Grand Prix. He would finish the season with a record 148 points.

Schumacher in the Paddock at the  in
Schumacher in the Paddock at the USGP in 2002

Controversy

Since the 1994 death of Ayrton Senna, Schumacher has been widely regarded as the fastest driver in F1 and the most dominant driver of his era. However, Schumacher's driving tactics have been called into question by some observers who note that, in his early racing years, Schumacher had a tendency to crash into his rivals in championship-deciding races. Some (but by no means all) observers considered his crashes to be deliberate attempts on Michael's behalf to take rivals out of a race, which (if true) would be not only bad sportsmanship but also incredibly dangerous, given the fragile, super-fast open-wheel race cars. The two most-cited examples are the 1994 Australian Grand Prix (where a crash with Damon Hill in the last race of the year ensured Schumacher's first drivers championship), and the 1997 European Grand Prix (where a collision with eventual champion Jacques Villeneuve led to Schumacher's disqualification for dangerous driving). Schumacher's car was also disqualified at some races due to technical infringements of race rules. During Schumacher's reign of consecative World Championships many fans were put off by his unquestionable dominance of F1 and there was particular notice paid to how Schumacher and his Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello were "swapping finishes". This led to speculation that Ferrari would be forced to race with handicaps. In more recent years, however, his success with Ferrari, moderation of his on-track tactics, and a more relaxed public persona have rehabilitated Schumacher's image for most fans.

Personal

Schumacher married Corinna (ne Betsch) in August 1995; they have two children together, daughter Gina-Maria (b. 1997) and son Mick (b. 1999), and they currently reside in Vufflens-le-Chteau, Switzerland near Lake Geneva. Michael is fiercely protective of his private life and takes every effort to keep his family out of the spotlight. Michael's younger brother Ralf, six years his junior, is also an F1 driver. Michael's off-track interests include playing football (soccer), playing tennis, swimming, and skiing. His nicknames are the "Red Baron" and "Schumi".

In 2005, Schumacher donated more than 10m USD for charity to the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake in a charity show on the German television network ZDF. It was later announced that Schumacher's bodyguard, Burkhard Cramer, had died while on holiday in Phuket, Thailand and that his two sons were still missing.

F1 records

after Brazilian Grand Prix (October 24, 2004)
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Schumacher celebrates his win at the 2004 USGP
  • Most championship titles: 7
  • Most consecutive titles: 5
  • Most fastest laps: 66
  • Most races led: 124
  • Most laps led: 4625
  • Most wins: 83
  • Most Triples: 19
  • Most wins in a season: 13
  • Most wins with the same team: 64 (Ferrari)
  • Most wins from pole position: 37
  • Most podiums: 137
  • Most podiums in a season: 17
  • Most podiums with the same team: 99 (Ferrari)
  • Most poles with the same team: 53 (Ferrari)
  • Most second places: 36
  • Most championship points: 1,186
  • Most points in a season: 148
  • Most time between first and last wins (12 years, 1 month, 10 days)

Record to beat: Ayrton Senna's 65 pole positions (Schumacher currently has 63 poles).

In terms of percentages Schumacher still sits behind Juan Manuel Fangio and Alberto Ascari. Fangio won 47% of the races he contested, Ascari won 41%. As of the end of 2004 Schumacher has won 39% of his races.

Fangio led 76.5% of the laps he drove and led 78% of the races he started. Schumacher has led 39% of his laps and 59% of his races.

Formula One career results

External links

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Constructors and drivers competing in the 2005 Formula One championship:
Ferrari BAR Renault Williams McLaren Sauber Red Bull Toyota Jordan Minardi
1 M Schumacher
2 Barrichello
3 Button
4 Sato
5 Alonso
6 Fisichella
7 Webber
8 Heidfeld
9 Rikknen
10 Montoya
11 Villeneuve
12 Massa
14 Coulthard
15 Klien
16 Trulli
17 R Schumacher
18 Monteiro
19 Karthikeyan
20 Friesacher
21 Albers
af:Michael Schumacher

bg:Михаел Шумахер da:Michael Schumacher de:Michael Schumacher et:Michael Schumacher es:Michael Schumacher fr:Michael Schumacher it:Michael Schumacher nl:Michael Schumacher ja:ミハエル・シューマッハ no:Michael Schumacher pl:Michael Schumacher ro:Michael Schumacher ru:Шумахер, Михаэль simple:Michael Schumacher fi:Michael Schumacher sv:Michael Schumacher zh:迈克尔·舒马赫

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