Michael Schumacher: biography and latest news!

    Seven years of mystery © AGENCE
    Seven years of mystery © AGENCE

  • Job : Formula 1 driver
  • Sign: Capricorn
  • Date of birth: Friday 03 January 1969 (age: 51 years)
  • Country: Germany

Long an undisputed master of the circuits, Michael Schumacher, alias Der Kaiser or Le Baron Rouge (an allusion to his membership of the Ferrari team), is the most successful champion in the history of Formula 1. A few figures suffice to sum up the German driver’s domination: 7 world titles, 91 victories, 155 podiums.

The track prodigy was born on 3 January 1969 in Hürth-Hermülheim, Germany, into a modest family. His father was a mason and his mother a canteenwoman. Very soon he had the opportunity to catch the speed bug thanks to the small engine installed by his father on his pedal go-kart. Then he joined a karting club and at the age of six he won his first championship.

His seriousness and rigour in training allowed him to progress quickly. At the age of 15 he was German Junior Champion and at 17 he was European Champion. His performances allowed him to be noticed and in 1988 he made his debut as a single-seater on Formula Konig and Ford 1600s. In 1989, the former driver Willi Weber offered him the opportunity to become a Formula 3 racing professional. His performances are still there and in 1991 he reaches the dream of every driver, to drive a Formula 1. The following year he won his first victory at the Belgian Grand Prix under the colours of the Benetton-Ford team. The start of a series of victories that led him to his first world title in 1994, six months after the death of the Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna.

Considered by some of his rivals as cold and arrogant, Schumi didn’t let himself be destabilized and his aggressive style worked wonders as he won another world crown the following year. He then left Benetton to join the Ferrari team led by Frenchman Jean Todt in 1996. A daring decision because the Italian team was in the midst of a major transformation. The beginnings were a little difficult. In 1997, during the last race of the season, he narrowly missed winning the world title. But his fighting temperament pushes him to the fault by causing a collision with the driver Jacques Villeneuve. Schumacher was then dropped from the championship for unsportsmanlike driving.

It is not until 2000 that the Kaiser of the tracks comes back to his best level. He didn’t give any chance to the competition and won five world titles in a row (2000 to 2004).

But the arrival of new talented drivers, including the young Spaniard Fernando Alonso, prevented him from winning an eighth title. And at the end of 2006 he announced his sporting retirement.

This passionate of speed and strong sensations did not resist the call of the asphalt for more than three years and he returned to competition under the colours of Mercedes for the 2010 season.

A return that unfortunately is not a winning one. He runs three seasons without victories before finally hanging up his boots at the end of 2012. Despite everything, Michael Schumacher has been named the greatest German sportsman of all time, according to a poll carried out by the German newspaper Bild in 2011.

On the private side, Michael Schumacher has been married to Corinna Betsch since 1995. Together they have two children: a daughter, Gina Maria, born on 20 February 1997, and a son, Mick, born on 22 March 1999.

While the driver is ruthless on the circuits, the man is generous and involved in many charities. He is also one of the founding members of the Brain and Spinal Cord Institute. His brother Ralf, born in 1975, also had a career as a racing driver – in Formula 1 and then in the German Touring Car Championship (DTM) – but with far less success than his elder brother.

On December 29, 2013, while skiing off-piste with his son in Méribel, in the French Alps, he suffered a heavy fall that caused a serious head trauma and brain haemorrhages. He is hospitalized in Grenoble and kept in a coma.