Becoming The GOAT: How Michael Schumacher Became An F1 Legend

Michael Schumacher is perhaps one of the most renowned names in the world of Formula 1, and he is considered […]

Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher is perhaps one of the most renowned names in the world of Formula 1, and he is considered by many as the greatest of all time. 

As Formula 1 is a competitive sport, it has millions of fans worldwide, and the one thing they always love to talk about and debate happens to be the question, “Who is the greatest Formula 1 driver of all time?”. Some great names like Senna, Lewis Hamilton, and Niki Lauda get thrown around very often, but the one name which always triumphs above the rest happens to be none other than Michael Schumacher. He revolutionized the sport and became a global icon. By the time he retired in 2012 for the second time, his track record was extraordinary, with 7 championships, 91 wins, 68 pole positions, and 155 podiums. This made him the most successful Formula One Driver of all time until a fine racer from the United Kingdom named Lewis Hamilton turned up. 

Michael Schumacher was infamous for his aggression on the racetrack, and he often broke many racing rules just to get ahead of his competitors. In a way, he needed this aggression and fighting spirit to give him an edge over everyone else on the racetrack, and this reflects in his illustrious career. 

Junior Career And Early Days

Michael Schumacher was born in West Germany in a small town called Hurth on 3rd January 1969. At the young age of 4, he got his pedal kart modified by fitting a motorcycle engine into it with the help of his father. Fast forward 11 years later, Schumacher was the German junior karting champion, and the road to this success was also filled with many victories. Since he had the complete support of his parents, he went on to win three titles in three years. His most significant breakthrough came in the year 1988, wherein he won the Formula series by an extraordinary margin of 60 points. This also earned him a promotion to the German formula three division. He won his first Formula 3 title in the year 1990. He was soon selected by Mercedes and was in contention to drive for the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix. Apart from being an excellent driver, Schumacher also had tremendous mechanical knowledge, and he gave accurate feedback to his mechanics resulting in him being over a second faster than his teammate. 

Formula One Exposure 

In the same season, Schumacher happened to take a move from Mercedes to a much more competitive Benetton team. He did manage to impress for the last five races of the season, but it was the 1992 season where he spread his wings and won 8 podiums and a debut win at the Belgian Grand Prix. He finished third in the standings that season. It was the 1994 season that challenged Michael Schumacher to his best. It all came down to the season’s last race in the Australian Grand Prix, with Schumacher being in the lead with just a single point. Show marker was ruled out of the race after a collision, and despite this situation, he managed to win the Championship As his rival Damon Hill failed to finish the race because of a mechanical breakdown. 

Ferrari Calling

1995 turned out to be an excellent year for Michael since he won the Championship once again and that to buy an astonishing 33-point margin. This was also the season when he announced that he would now drive for Ferrari. Back then, Ferrari was not doing so well and had finished far from the podium places, and this meant a step down for Michael Schumacher coming to Ferrari and helping them re-establish as a team. It took them nearly four years to perfect their vehicle and had many close calls to win the Championship, but it finally paid off in the year 2000, which resulted in Michael winning his third Championship. 

Ferrari was flourishing under Michael Schumacher as they won 4 championships from 2000 to 2004. In this time frame, he won nearly forty-eight races; statistically, it is almost 56% of all races that happened. All this Glory elevated Michael Schumacher from merely a great driver to the legend of Motorsport. All this success ended, and Michael announced that he would be retiring from Formula One after the 2006 season. 

He spent a few years on the sideline as a technical advisor to Ferrari, but in 2010, he made a comeback to the sport and was driving for his former employer, Mercedes. Michael Schumacher was with Mercedes for the next three years, which helped them develop a strong foundation on which they would go on to dominate the sport for the coming years with the help of Lewis Hamilton. 

Michael Schumacher will always be remembered as a legendary driver in Formula One World, and he is also remembered as a sports icon. If Lewis Hamilton had never joined Mercedes, all Michael’s records would have stood. Regardless of this fact, the  impact that Schumacher has made on the sport will be remembered for generations to come.