Michael Schumacher is the biggest name in Formula One racing. The record-breaking champion has won the World Driver’s title 7 times! The only person to match him has been the legendary Lewis Hamilton – Schumacher’s friend, teammate, and rival.
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Schumacher has been racing since he was a kid, and his whole life has been caught up in medals and awe, as we all marvel at this outstanding driver’s talent. If we could bet on children, the sports betting odds would have been in his favour from the get-go.
The Early Years Of A Legend
The young Michael wasn’t part of a rich family. Growing up in Germany in a working-class family of a canteen worker and a bricklayer. Rolf Schumacher, Michael’s father, was an engineering enthusiast and modified his son’s pedal kart giving it a motorcycle engine.
Michael loved the kart, he would drive it all the time. His partners showed him to a karting track and allowed him to ride on a kart his father built. Michael was the youngest person ever to join the Kerpen-Horrem karting club and at 6 years old, the child achieved his first-ever championship.
Micheal showed so much talent that Rolf invested in him, taking on another job to pay for his son’s karts.
Breaking Into Formula One
Schumacher’s desire to race was always evident. In Germany, you have to be no younger than fourteen to own a karting license, so the lad went to Luxembourg at just 12 to get a younger license.
At age 18, he left standard schooling and started work as an engineer. Two years later, Schumacher was signed with a Formula Three team. He won the title the next year, earning a new reputation as the one to beat.
Most of his rivals were gearing up for Formula 3000 to impress their way into Formula One. But Schumacher’s coach suggests he play the World Sportscar Championship instead. This was to make Schumacher comfortable with a large amount of press and long-distance driving – skills he would need in Formula One.
Schumacher won the World Sportscar Championship in 1990, and the next year he entered into Formula One.
Winning The World Championships
When Schumach first looked at this debuting track, he was down a guide. Andrea de Cesaris, a teammate, was meant to show Schumacher the track but was stuck in contract negotiations. Schumacher tested the track by himself by cycling the course, and when the qualifiers came he impressed everyone by locking in seventh place.
That year, Schumacher didn’t win Formula One, but he did claim the World Sportscar Championship for the second year in a row.
In 1992, Schumacher put more energy into Formula One winning at least one race every year until 2010.
A Change In Rules Meant A Decline In Positions
In 2005 a dramatic rule change was introduced. Ferrari was dominating the scene, meaning that Schumacher’s team was seen as overly advantageous. To mix things up, the races had to be completed with one tire set. Replacing tires was no longer allowed.
The aim was to reduce Ferrari’s ridiculously high dominance and bring Michelin back into the game. The change was enough to disrupt Schumacher, who said “don’t think I can count myself in this battle anymore. It was like trying to fight with a blunted weapon. If your weapons are weak you don’t have a chance.”
An inquiry went to Michelin tires and they were found to have questionable safety problems. Bridgestone tire users tried to fight their case and failed. Instead of bowing to Michelin, they refused to race.
Handing The Baton To Lewis Hamilton
Of course, Schumacher eventually joined back with the racers, and although he was a phenomenal racer still, he was nothing like his original self.
Swapping from Ferrari to Mercedes, Schumacher handed the Ferrier baton to Lewis Hamilton. And just a few years later the legend retired from racing, holding the record for the most formula one wins, knowing that Hamilton was hot on his toes.
Awards Throughout His Career
In his career, Michael Schumacher won the Formula One races 7 times. The first and second in 1994 and 1995, the rest between 2000 and 2004. The lowest he had ever been, in the final position, was 14th place, and that was his first-ever year.
Michael Schumacher was the face that changed racing. A working-class kid, whose skill and drive pushed him into becoming the best racer of all time.