Childhood & Early Life
Michael Schumacher was born on January 3, 1969, in the town of Hürth, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, to Rolf, a construction worker, and Elisabeth. When he was young, he showed interest in racing, and his parents encouraged him by building him his own kart. Both his parents worked hard so that they could support their son in fulfilling his dreams.
In 1982, a young Schumacher won the 'German Junior Kart Championship.' The following year, he was given his driving license at the age of 14. He then went on to win several kart championships. He also worked as a mechanic to support himself.
The enthusiastic racer participated in entry-level championships, such as 'Formula König' and 'Formula Ford' in 1988, earning an emphatic win in 'Formula König.'
His younger brother Ralf and stepbrother Sebastian are also ‘Formula One’ racers. Michael and Ralf would go on to become the first siblings to finish first and second in the same race.
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In 1990, Michael competed in the 'Formula 3' championship of Germany for the 'WTS' team. The same year, he competed in the 'World Sports-Prototype Championship' as part of the 'Mercedes junior racing programme,' along with racers like Karl Wendlinger and Heinz-Harald Frentzen.
Schumacher drove the 'Sauber–Mercedes C11' car, and placed first in the final race at 'Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.' He finished fifth in the tournament, despite participating in only three out of the nine races.
In 1991, he took part in ‘World Sportscar Championship,’ and emerged victorious, driving a 'Sauber–Mercedes-Benz C291.' The same year, he also participated in the 'Japanese Formula 3000 Championship,' and placed second.
In 1991, the young driver competed in a ‘Formula One’ race for the 'Jordan Grand Prix' team, and finished seventh. The same year, he placed fifth in the 'Italian Grand Prix,' defeating Nelson Piquet.
In 1992, he participated in the 'Mexican Grand Prix' and the 'Belgian Grand Prix,' finishing third and first, respectively. He also competed in a ‘Formula One’ race for the 'Benetton Ford' team, scoring a total of 53 points.
The next year, he won a race at the 'Portuguese Grand Prix,' but lost most of the other races. In 1994, Michael competed in the ‘Formula One’ championship, participating in 16 races, and winning nine.
The same year, at the 'Australian Grand Prix,' the racer was involved in an accident with British racer Damon Hill. Subsequently, the English media blamed Schumacher for the incident.
In 1995, he won the 'Formula One' championship for team 'Benetton,' once again winning nine races like the previous season.
The following year, Schumacher left 'Benetton' to sign a contract with 'Ferrari,' and remained with the latter for ten years. He won the championship for the team on five occasions, and was offered a remuneration of 60 million dollars.
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In 1996, he finished the competition with 59 points. He scored 78, 86, and 44 points respectively in the next three years.
The year 2000 saw Michael begin his successful journey as he earned 108 points in the 'Formula One' championship. He won the race that year, and went on to earn a victory on each occasion for the next four years, with 123, 144, 93, and 148 points respectively.
In the 2005 'Formula One' championship, the rules were changed with drivers allowed to use only one set of tires for the entire race. The 'Ferrari' team used ‘Bridgestone’ tires that required frequent replacing. When the rules were changed, teams using ‘Michelin’ tires won most of the races, while the six drivers using ‘Bridgestone’ tires had to drop out.
The only competition that Schumacher won in the 2005 season was the 'United States Grand Prix,' where he finished third, scoring a total of 62 points. The following year, he struggled to win at the 'Monaco Grand Prix,' where he finished fifth. He also took part in the 'Grand Prix' held at Canada, Italy, and China.
Following the 2006 'Formula One' season, he retired for a period of four years. During this period, Michael acted as an advisor to the 'Ferrari' team, and assisted the CEO of 'Ferrari,' Jean Todt.
He was also appointed as a substitute for the injured racer Massa. However, Schumacher had to pull out at the last moment owing to a neck injury. The spot was filled by Italian racers Luca Badoer and Giancarlo Fisichella.
In 2010, Michael made a comeback, this time racing for the 'Mercedes' team with German racer Nico Rosberg. He took part in the races held at Bahrain, Spain, Hungary, Europe, Turkey, Belgium, and Abu Dhabi. Because of a major accident in 'Abu Dhabi Grand Prix,' he finished ninth in the championship, scoring just 72 points.
In the next two years, he did not fare well in the 'Formula One' championships, finishing eighth and thirteenth, respectively. In 2012, he announced his decision to retire once again, after the 'Brazilian Grand Prix.'
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Awards & Achievements
In April 2002, he was named a 'UNESCO Champion' for strongly advocating education for children. He shares this honor with footballer Pelé, gymnast Sergey Bubka, and tennis player Justine Henin.
In 2002 and 2004, Michael was named the 'Laureus World Sportsman of the Year.' He has been nominated for the award six times, sharing the honor with tennis player Roger Federer.
In 2006, he was felicitated with the 'FIA Gold Medal for Motor Sport' to commemorate his success. The following year, he won the 'Prince of Asturias Award for Sport' for his racing career as well as his philanthropic contributions.
In 2010, the French government honored this brilliant racer with the title, 'Officier of Légion d'honneur,' the highest of its kind in France.
In 2014, the 'Millenium Trophy' was conferred upon the celebrated racer at the 'Bambi Awards.'
Personal Life & Legacy
Schumacher got married to Corinna Betsch in August 1995. The couple has a daughter named Gina-Marie and a son named Mick. Mick is also a race car driver affiliated to the ‘Ferrari Driver Academy.’
On December 29, 2013, the famous racer had a major accident while skiing with his son Mick in the Combe de Saulire region of the French Alps. He suffered a horrific fall which resulted in a serious head injury. He had to be put in a medically induced coma by the doctors, to relieve him of the pain.
The following year, he was allowed to regain consciousness as he had reached a comparatively stable condition. He was discharged from the 'Grenoble Hospital,' and was admitted at the 'University Hospital' in Switzerland. Currently, he is recovering from memory loss and paralysis.
The former 'Formula One' driver loves football, regularly attending football matches organized for charity. He is an ardent follower of the matches played by football teams, such as 'Newcastle United' and 'Köln.'
Michael is also known for his contributions to charitable causes like education for children, and the development of poverty-stricken areas. He has helped 'UNESCO' by donating 1.5 million euros. He has also donated money to many philanthropic organizations, including 'Palace for the Poor' in Peru. He donated $10 million to help rebuild after the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake.