+ 49 (0) 2206 95 900


Opening Hours

Mon - Sat: 7AM - 8PM


Michael Schumacher's debut is based on a script worthy of a film. It begins with Jordan driver Bertrand Gachot spraying an English taxi driver with irritant gas in an argument. An English court sentences the hotheaded Belgian to 18 months in prison. Gachot's cockpit is free and the Belgium GP is on the agenda. Schumacher's manager Willi Weber and Mercedes motorsport boss Jochen Neerpasch hurriedly contacted Eddie Jordan. The aim: to get the reigning German Formula 3 champion and Group C driver Michael Schumacher into the green cockpit. A large sum of money is involved, which Jordan urgently needs - his team is contesting its first Formula 1 season. During hastily scheduled test drives at Silverstone, Schumacher lets off steam to such an extent that the Jordan people get all jittery and frantically push for a long-term contract. On the advice of Jochen Neerpasch, Schumacher changes the draft contract to the effect that he wants to continue negotiations with Jordan after Spa. And then comes Spa: Michael Schumacher shows a sensational performance on both days of practice. The 22-year-old was seventh on the grid behind the likes of Senna, Prost, Mansell, Berger, Alesi and Piquet. The fact that Schumacher had to retire after a few hundred metres on Sunday with clutch damage was no longer relevant. It is clear to everyone: A star is born. Only Eddie Jordan has none of it. Because at the very next race Schumacher is a Benetion driver. Instead of having to pay Jordan a dowry of 4.5 million marks for the next season, Schumacher received a long-term contract with a salary from Benetton. In the background, Neerpasch, Weber, Benetton boss Flavio Briatore, but first and foremost Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone had been fingering this deal. Eddie Jordan sues Years later, they agree on a settlement. In 1991, however, he has no choice but to take Roberto Moreno from Benetion and see what a soft pearl he has lost to Briatore. In the first three races for Benetton, Schumacher scores points every May. The rookie completely disenchants his team-mate Nelson Piquet: the three-time world champion finishes every qualifying session behind Schumacher. He ends his Formula 1 career.

Homage to Schumacher

Thank you, Michael!
Michael Schumacher redefined the profession of racing driver. The famous "Schumi factor" was the multiplication of many individual talents. We pay homage to the retired record world champion.

Michael Schumacher and Ferrari - a combination that was good for 116 podiums / Automobil Revue

There is nothing more thankless in sport than a fourth place. In principle. Just scraping past the podium, having to leave the trophies and the limelight to the others. Nevertheless, fourth place, with which the most successful racing career in Formula 1 came to an end in São Paulo, was in principle no real disappointment for Michael Schumacher.
Realistic as he is, he had already written off the eighth world championship title before the final. Perfectionist that he is, he gave everything in his 250th and for the time being last Grand Prix despite all the hopelessness in the course of the race. For his ego, for his team, for his sport. "Schumi's" last proof that he is the best racing driver in the world, or at least the millennium world champion.

The "Schumi Factor
The man who turned Formula One into Formula His is first and foremost an adaptor. Michael Schumacher's quick perception and seemingly intuitive ability to adapt to all changing conditions at lightning speed elevates him above all racing drivers of his generation. And with his skills behind the wheel, his irrepressible will, his technical understanding and his motivational skills for the whole team, he might also be the most complete of all four-wheelers in Grand Prix sport. He has redefined the profession of racing driver.
His opponent Damon Hill, with whom he had clashed in the first World Championship final in 1994, later made a comparison popular: "If I had to undergo heart surgery, I would want the Schumacher of surgery as my doctor, because you can rely on someone like him." The famous Schumi factor was the multiplication of many individual talents. He would never dare make the comparison with Fangio or Senna himself, so we may draw it - he belongs on that level, at least.
Honour to whom the era is due. Niki Lauda willingly took off his cap: "For Michael Schumacher's lifetime achievement, it makes no difference whether he won one more title or not". Even the traditionally Schumi-critical British media paid homage to the German for his great farewell, in which, as always, he made do with few words and preferred to let actions speak.
Fourth place at the Brazilian GP may be subordinate in Schumacher's success statistics, which are brimming with records - and yet it was one of his greatest personal triumphs. Manager Willi Weber, whose voice rarely trembles, did not have to exaggerate this time: "Michael has shown that he is the greatest. He stole the show. He didn't even have to win.

A Dignified Departure
The grandiose closing act at his farewell performance once again made clear why the 37-year-old was able to have such a career. It was a tribute to himself, a departure with dignity. The mood in Interlagos and in front of the television screens had changed noticeably between the starting lights and the chequered flag.
Of course, almost every objective observer begrudged Fernando Alonso his success. But actually, the Spaniard would have every reason to end his Formula 1 career after this final. Because what he achieved with his second world championship victory in a row cannot be repeated anyway: a success over Michael Schumacher. Conversely, after Schumacher's dramatic farewell performance, the experts are asking themselves: Can one really believe that someone like this would stop - the way the man drove in his 250th Grand Prix?
You have to. The revered man tidily states that he is not sad about the departure: "Otherwise I wouldn't have made the decision like this. He has known for a long time that he will continue to play a more defined role in the Ferrari family after his extensive holiday until the beginning of December.
Especially the manoeuvre two laps before the end is the reconciliation with all the technical bad luck that has haunted the otherwise so reliable Ferrari in the two decisive races for the eighth title, of all things. Having rejoined the race from last place after the early puncture, the budding Formula 1 pensioner fought his way bravely up to fifth place, making up 70 seconds. Shortly before the end of his career, he still drove as if it was about his first victory. For he sensed the last chance to go out in dignity and with a bang. Right in front of him was Kimi Räikkönen.
One last duel, one with a prestigious character: Räikkönen will take over the Ferrari cockpit vacated by Schumacher next year. The symbolism is clear. Especially for Schumacher. He left the Silver Arrow driver standing with a risky manoeuvre, bittersweetly the Finn later stated: "I wish him a happy life".
The actual significance of the skilful overtaking only becomes clear when the racing driver's psyche is taken into account. On the track, Michael Schumacher found peace of mind with this act: The man who is now Formula 1 past has not only been able to satisfy his eternal urge to move forward at the last minute - he has also incidentally defeated the future of Ferrari.
A key experience with lasting character not only for him, but for the entire industry. Ferrari boss Jean Todt, Schumacher's real foster father, on the other hand, distributes the compliment in his own way: "What Michael has achieved with his 91 victories is unique. So you don't have to ask if I'm surprised about his drive. I'm surprised that some people are surprised."

"I am not a legend"
Michael Schumacher is obsessed with not making any mistakes. The few he did make weighed all the more heavily. But the hardest thing for him is to admit mistakes. It is only through the contradictions that the Schumacher myth becomes complete. Even Adelaide 1994 and Jerez 1997, the rumbling manoeuvres against Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve, no longer seem so brutal in the soft focus of history. The only thing he has not been forgiven for is his stubbornness, his refusal to make a genuine apology. He rarely managed to jump over his own shadow.
" I'm not a legend," deflects the permanent Formula 1 record holder, "I'm just someone who is lucky enough to be good at something he enjoys." All the numbers beyond current lap times are of little interest to him: "Turning hopeless situations into victories, that pleases me more than any statistics."
For a long time, he couldn't even do much with the Ferrari myth. He first had to discover it, which for him means: work it out. Much of what he did was based on intuition. But he discovered even more through his hunger for information. Most of all, however, it was his own experience that brought him forward. This included the fact that he - although not as in thrall to status symbols as many of his fellow drivers - always knew what he was worth. Compared to the cost of developing a racing car to gain just one hundredth of a second per lap, Schumacher (a reported annual salary of 40 million dollars) always thought he was a "cheap second" after all.

At peace with oneself
Before going on holiday, he tried to see his retirement from the Formula One stage as a completely logical, very rational act: "I don't feel any melancholy." After all, he confessed, "On the whole, though, I have become happy in Formula One." Even more: "I have achieved a lot, I am absolutely at peace with myself." In a double sense, it was a good time to step down: Before someone comes along who is faster than him in the long run - and before something happens to him.
But he can't get away from us without a prognosis for the future. If races in the future are to take place only in the mind of the Swiss by choice, he may at least express one wish for Formula 1 after the Michael Schumacher era: "All I really wish is that I will have just as much fun in front of the television as the spectators have already had.
The cut for him is at least as big as the cut for the team: family man Schumacher has also turned the Scuderia into a Schumeria over the last ten years. His Italian surrogate family loves him and appreciates gestures such as the fact that no mechanic's birthday is forgotten and that everyone receives rich presents at Christmas.

Man, not machine
That may not fit in at all with the cool appearance; how often the man Schumacher has been equated with a machine. That annoyed him. Only when he showed tears in public was he granted humanity - which promptly annoyed him even more.
Gosh, Schumi. No wonder he kept his family life with wife Corinna, daughter Gina-Maria (9) and son Mick (7) as secret as the horsepower of his Ferrari. He kept an open house for his friends, but anyone who wanted home stories from Vufflens-le-Château in Vaud had to stay outside. Based on his value-conservative attitude, he exemplifies what he demands of others. Challenged, to the point of ruthlessness against himself. In the old days, at the go-kart track in the gravel pit of Manheim, he used to pick up the not quite worn tyres from the rubbish in the evening that the offspring of wealthy parents had carelessly thrown away - in order to become best in class. This is not romanticised causal research, but the secret of Schumacher's success: his inner drive.
Reassured, "Schumi" can turn off the road of winners and go in search of lost time away from the race track. Formula One remains a formula of his. Manifested with a red finale, set behind a unique career. Oh no, with a big red exclamation mark!

Recommended Articles

Kukuk's Petrol House