Name: Michael Schumacher
Nicknames: Schumi, Schuey
Date of Birth: 3rd January 1969
Place of Birth: Hürth-Hermülheim, Germany
Residency: Vufflens-le-Château, Switzerland
Marital Status: Married
Wife : Corinna Schumacher (nee Betsch) since Tuesday 1st August 1995
Children: Gina-Maria, daughter (DOB 19/01/97) and son Mick (DOB 22/03/99)
Family: Rolf, Father, Elizabeth, Mother and Ralf, Brother (DOB 30/6/75)
Interests: Soccer, tennis, swimming, skiing
Pic taken at the 1994 Canadian Grand-Prix
Michael Schumacher reigns in the elite, highly competitive, and glamorous world of Formula One (F1) auto racing. He has broken the world records for most wins and most championship points in F1, and tied the record for most wins in 2002 with his fifth championship title. Arguably the greatest F1 driver in history, Schumacher is also one of the highest-paid athletes in the world.
Schumacher was born January 3, 1969 in Hurth, Germany. His father Rolf managed a go-kart track there and "Schumey," as he is known, got his start driving go-karts at age four. Unlike many elite drivers, Schumacher did not come from a wealthy family to back his career. Instead, he capitalized on what he had—access to a track. The Schumacher's lived meagerly, and winter was the worst time for them—there was not a huge call for go-karts in the winter. When Schumacher hit his first major payday at age twentyone, he gave his father a suitcase of money. Despite his humble beginnings, Schumacher lives with his wife, Corinna, and their two children in Vufflens-le-Chateau, Switzerland. He earns roughly $80 million per year and travels to races in his private jet. Schumacher's younger brother, Ralf, is also an elite F1 driver for the Williams-BMW team.
1969–, German auto race driver, b. Hürth-Hermühlheim. Regarded as the best Formula 1 (F1) driver of his era, he debuted as a racecar driver in 1988 and within two years had become Germany's Formula Three champion. His first F1 race was the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix, and his first F1 victory was in the same event in 1992. Schumacher has driven the Jordan team (his first race), Benetton (1991–95), and Ferrari (1995–). He won the world championship in 1994, repeating the feat in 1995. His career was interrupted in 1999, when he suffered a broken leg in his first severe crash, but in 2000 he began a five-year reign as world champion, becoming the first driver to win the F1 title seven times. He has more than 90 career F1 race wins.
Rare Pic of Michael Schumacher
In 1988, Michael Schumacher embarked on his first season in a Formula racing car. Finally he was able to show what he had learnt in his kart days. However, the step-up proved to be difficult, he had to turn down an offer of a test drive in a Formula Ford, because he didn't have the necessary DM 500 required to start.
At the next test opportunity, he signed a contract with the Euphra Formula Ford team. Team manager Jurgen Dilk also secured Michael Schumacher a place in Formula Konig. Here Michael showed his natural talent and easily won nine races out of ten, which also assured him of the championship.
In Formula Ford 1600 he was placed sixth in the final rankings, and in the European Championships he came second behind the Finn Mika Salo.
Rare Pic of Michael Schumacher
At the end of 1988, Michael Schumacher drew the attention of Willi Weber, who was looking for up-and-coming talents. During a Formula Ford race on the rain-soaked Salzburgring, Michael stormed from 7th to 1st place during just one lap.
Weber invited him to a test drive in his WTS (Weber Tuning Stuttgart) Formula 3 team. At the test drive, Schumacher was at once a sensational 1.5 seconds faster than the established team member. A two-year contract for 1989 and 1990 was signed; Willi Weber took over the costs (ca. DM 1 million for both seasons).
In his first Formula 3 season in 1989, Michael Schumacher won two races and ended the championships just one point behind in third place, after Heinz-Harald Frentzen. The champion was Karl Wendlinger.
For Schumacher's further progress after Formula 3, Willi Weber planned years of apprenticeship with Mercedes-Benz in the Group C World Championship. He rejected the route via Formula 3000.
Schumacher was to learn how to deal with the press professionally, attend courses in rhetoric and conduct interviews in English. With regard to the racing aspect, he learnt how to cope with the car's high-level performance (nearly 700 HP) and its high speed. His experienced co-pilot Jochen Mass showed him how to tune a car professionally. Apart from this, Schumacher learnt race tactics and to drive in such a way as to conserve the materials over a long period of time.
As the current German Formula 3 champion, Michael Schumacher took part in the unofficial Formula 3 World Championships in 1990.
In Macao, Schumi had to contend with his greatest rival Mika Hakkinen, as had happened at the Formula 3 season finale in Hockenheim. Michael Schumacher won the race. In this way, he defeated the best up-and-coming talents in the world - this was his international breakthrough.
In Fuji, at another international Formula 3 race, he was again the first to pass under the black-and-white checked flag.
In 1990, Michael Schumacher managed to win something he'd just missed out on in the previous year - the Formula 3 championship title.
And this although the season hadn't exactly started positively: he had to drop out from the first two races in Zolder and Hockenheim. In the third race on the Nurburgring, he drove into the points in fifth place.
However, Schumacher then hit back; he won five of the seven remaining races and secured the title before the end of the season. At the final race in Hockenheim, he took second place behind guest driver Mika Hakkinen.
In 1990, parallel to the Formula 3 season, Michael Schumacher took part in the Group C World Championships.
Here Schumacher, Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Karl Wendlinger drove for the Mercedes-Benz junior team. Michael finished in fifth place in the drivers' leader board and won overall in the brand championship, together with the other Mercedes drivers in the Sauber team.
Thanks to his commitment to Mercedes, Michael Schumacher had a fantastic starting position in the fight for a Formula 1 cockpit.
In the middle of August 1991 he made his debut at the Belgian Grand Prix in Spa, after being taken up by the Irishman Eddie Jordan's Ford team without the usual financial hurdles, thanks to the support of his team-mates and his manager Willi Weber.
Afterwards he ended up with Benetton-Ford, and took part in the remaining races of the season as part of the Italian knitwear producer's team. As early as his second race for Benetton, the "greenhorn" gained two World Championship points by coming in fifth, even managing to finish ahead of his experienced team-mate Nelson Piquet. Finally he ended this short season in a respectable twelfth place.
And then, as we know, things really got going Nowadays, Michael Schumacher is a five-times World Champion F1 driver and tops the list of most Grand Prix wins in the history of Formula One.
Michael's manager since 1989 has been Willi Weber. Schumacher was to receive a free drive in his WTS team for three years, Weber in return is reported to receive 20% of all income Michael earns from motor races. The initial agreement was to last 10 years, however it was later extended for a further several years.
"From the area of the visor you see the traditional German black-red-gold. I chose the colours years ago with a friend of mine and I changed it only slightly, mostly to include sponsor decals. The blue circle with the white stars on the top was his idea. After joining Ferrari I added the prancing horse on the back. "
Schumacher made his Formula One debut with the Jordan-Ford team at the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix, driving car number 32 as a replacement for the imprisoned Bertrand Gachot. Schumacher, still a contracted Mercedes driver, was signed by Eddie Jordan after Mercedes paid Jordan $150,000 for his debut.The week before the race, Schumacher impressed Jordan designer Gary Anderson and team manager Trevor Foster during a test drive at Silverstone. His manager Willi Weber assured Jordan that Schumacher knew the challenging Spa track well, although in fact he had only seen it as a spectator. During the race weekend, team-mate Andrea de Cesaris was meant to show Schumacher the circuit but was held up with contract negotiations. Schumacher then learned the track on his own, by cycling around the track on a fold-up bike he had brought with him.He impressed the paddock by qualifying seventh in this race. This matched the team's season-best grid position, and out-qualified 11-year veteran de Cesaris. Motorsport journalist Joe Saward reported that after qualifying "clumps of German journalists were talking about 'the best talent since Stefan Bellof'".Schumacher retired on the first lap of the race with clutch problems.
During his long career Schumacher has been involved in several incidents, which have caused considerable controversy. Schumacher has been vilified in the British media for his involvement in title-deciding collisions in 1994 and 1997.German and Italian newspapers widely condemned his actions in 1997.The 1994 incident was viewed by the FIA as a racing incident, and brought no sanction; whereas the 1997 incident saw Schumacher disqualified from the championship standings.
Family and off-track life
Schumacher's younger brother Ralf was a Formula One driver until the end of 2007.Their stepbrother Sebastian Stahl has also been competing as a race car driver.In August 1995, Michael married Corinna Betsch. They have two children, Gina-Maria (born in 1997) and Mick (born in 1999). He has always been very protective of his private life and is known to dislike the celebrity spotlight, preferring a simple life. The family currently lives near Gland, Switzerland. Their home is a 650 m² mansion with its own underground garage and petrol station, situated on a private beach on Lake Geneva.The family has two dogs - one stray that Corinna fell in love with in Brazil, and an Australian Shepherd named "Ed" whose entrance to the family made headlines. Schumacher personally drove a taxi through the Bavarian town of Coburg after collecting the dog, enabling the family to catch their return flight to Switzerland.Both Schumacher and the taxi driver were reprimanded by local police.
In 2005 Eurobusiness magazine identified Schumacher as the world's first billionaire athlete. His 2004 salary was reported to be around US$80 million.Forbes magazine ranked him 17th in their "The World's Most Powerful Celebrities" list.A significant share of his income came from advertising. For example, Deutsche Vermögensberatung paid him $8 million over three years from 1999 for wearing a 10 by 8 centimetre advertisement on his post-race cap.The deal was extended until 2010. He donated $10 million for aid after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.His donation surpassed that of any other sports person, most sports leagues, many worldwide corporations and even some countries.Schumacher's bodyguard Burkhard Cramer was killed in the tsunami along with his two sons.
One of his main hobbies is horse riding, and he plays football for his local team FC Echichens.He has appeared in several football charity games and organised games between Formula One drivers.
Schumacher is a special ambassador to UNESCO and has donated 1.5 million Euros to the organization.Additionally, he paid for the construction of a school for poor children and for area improvements in Dakar, Senegal. He supports a hospital for child victims of war in Sarajevo, which specialises in caring for amputees. In Lima, Peru he funded the "Palace for the Poor", a centre for helping homeless street children obtain an education, clothing, food, medical attention, and shelter. He stated his interest in these various efforts was piqued both by his love for children and the fact that these causes had received little attention. While an exact figure for the amount of money he has donated throughout his life is unknown, it is known that in his last four years as a driver, he donated at least $50 million.
Since his participation in a FIA European road safety campaign, as part of his punishment after the collision at the 1997 European Grand Prix, Schumacher has continued to support other campaigns, such as Make Roads Safe, which is led by the FIA Foundation and calls on G8 countries and the UN to recognise global road deaths as a major global health issue.
In 2008, Schumacher was the figurehead of an advertising campaign by Bacardi to raise awareness about responsible drinking, with a focus on communicating an international message 'drinking and driving don't mix'. He featured in an advertising campaign for television, cinema and online media, supported by consumer engagements, public relations and digital media across the world.
Michael Schumacher testing a Yamaha Superbike on the new Algarve International Autodrome
While Schumacher was on the podium after winning the 2006 Italian Grand Prix, Ferrari issued a press release stating that he would retire from racing at the end of the 2006 season.Schumacher confirmed his retirement.The press release stated that Schumacher would continue working for Ferrari. It was revealed on October 29, 2006 that Ferrari wanted Schumacher to act as assistant to the newly appointed CEO Jean Todt.This would involve selecting the team's future drivers. After Schumacher's announcement, leading Formula One figures such as Niki Lauda and David Coulthard hailed Schumacher as the greatest all-round racing driver in the history of Formula One.The tifosi and the Italian press, who did not always take to Schumacher's relatively cold public persona, displayed an affectionate response after he announced his retirement.