Michael Schumacher is the most successful driver in the history of Formula 1. He was born in Hurt-Hermulheim, Germany, on January 3, 1969. He inherited his passion for engines from his father, the manager of a go-kart circuit in the town of Kerpen. From an early age, Michael showed tremendous potential, but talent wouldn’t be enough to to break into the world of racing: What he lacked was the financing to realise his ambition. Thanks to the support of a local entrepreneur, he began participating to in kart racing in 1984. Four years later he graduated to Formula Ford, immediately winning the second place in the German league. His clean yet firm driving style attracted the attention of Willi Weber, owner of a Formula 3 team, who signed him in 1989. Within a year the pilot was German Champion of the class of 1991 and also participated in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
His goal, however, was to race in Formula 1. That opportunity presented itself in 1991, when the Jordan team called him to replace a driver in the Belgium Grand Prix. He qualified for seventh place and Benetton took note immediately putting the young driver under contract. A heated rivalry with the Brazilian ace Ayrton Senna started at the 1992 French Grand Prix, the two were involved in a collision and argued in front of the cameras. That same year Schumacher won his first Formula 1 race and closed out the season in third place. In 1994, the year Senna passed away, Schumacher won the World title just one point ahead of Englishman Damon Hill. It was the first time that a German driver became world champion. He would repeat that feat in 1995 and the following year he signed with Ferrari, who hadn’t won a World championship since Jody Scheckter in 1979.
Thanks to the German red head Ferrari was competitive and back in the championship in 1997 with a shot at the title in the final Grand Prix: Schumacher, however, was more intent on ousting rival Villeneuve from the competition. Not only he lost the race but he was disqualified. 1998 saw the title slip from his grass yet again and at the Silverstone circuit of the British Gran Prix, he broke his right leg jeopardising the season. In subsequent years, however, things would change dramatically. The October 8, 2000, after a fierce duel with rival Finn Mika Hakkinen, Schumacher led Ferrari to yet another Championship. He would reign supreme for the next four years. In 2002 he triumphed with 67 points ahead of second place. In 2004, he won his last title with Ferrari, his fifth in a row.
In 2007 he started working as an advisor Ferrari and assistinting the team in the pits. On 29 July 2009, following Felipe Massa’s accident in the Hungarian Grand Prix, Ferrari announced Schumacher's return for the remaining races of the season. After doing some tests, however, Schumacher decided to step back due to physical problems. In 2010 he made his official return to Formula 1 with Mercedes, the German team who decided go back to racing after 55 years. The car, however, is below expectations and after a few uneventful seasons, in 2012 Michael Schumacher decided to permanently retire from Formula 1, after having played 307 Grands Prix. His life was dramatically marked by an accident on 29 December 2013 during an unsecured off-piste ski descent in France. Schumacher fell and hit his head on a rock, his condition was very serious and he was operated for a traumatic head injury and brain hemorrhage. After about six months Michael Schumacher was withdrawn from the induced coma and started a rehabilitation program. Michael Schumacher’s career records are impressive: 7 world championship and a number of other triumphs make him one of the legends of Formula 1.