|Date of Birth
||3rd January 1969||
|Place of Birth
||father - Rolf, Mother - Elizabeth (deceased), Brother - Ralf||
||Married to Corinna since August 1995||
||Gina Maria (born 20/02/97) and Mick (born 22/03/99)||
|Michael starting racing Karts at the age of 4 when his father fitted an engine to a pedal Kart and took him to the local karting track in Kerpen. He became the youngest member of the club and won the club championship at the age of 6 against drivers far older and with much better equipment.
By the time Michael was 10 his 'hobby' was becoming quite costly. Fortunately local businessman JŁrgen Dilk became Michael's sponsor, buying him a new kart and bringing other sponsors on board. In 1984 Michael won his first title - German Kart junior champion, retaining the title the following year. In 1986 he was 3rd in the senior German and European Championships. Winning both titles a year later.
When Michael left school he became an apprentice mechanic which helped him a lot in understanding how cars work. In 1988 after completing his appreniceship and with help from JŁrgen Dilk Michael moved in to single seater racing with Formula KŲnig where he won the championship winning 9 out of 10 races. Also that year he competed in the german and European Formula Ford 1600 championships coming runner up in the latter to Mika Salo.
|Michael's successes were starting to draw attention from the Formula 3 world and in 1989 he was offered a drive in German F3 by Willi Weber who also became Michael's manager from then on. It was a close fought championship that year between Michael, Heinz Harald Frentzen and the eventual winner Karl Wendlinger however Michael won the championship the following year. Also in 1990 Michael raced sportscars for Mercedes. Whilst not the conventional path to F1 it taught him how to conserve fuel and tyres and also at this time Michael realised that he could make driving a profession rather than just a hobby. Michael continued in sportscars in 1991 but it was towards the end of that year that he got his chance in F1.
|Willi Weber managed to convice Eddie Jordan to give Michael the drive at Spa, replacing the jailed Bertrand Gachot. Michael qualified 7th and although technical problems ruined his race at the start he so impressed the F1 paddock that by the following race he was in a Benetton, scoring 4 points and finishing 12th in the 6 races left of that season.
Michael was to stay with Benetton for the next 4 years. He won his first GP at Spa in 1992 and his 2nd win at Estoril the following yeah. However in 1994 Michael, for the first time was in a position to fight for the championship. Sadly the anticipated fight between him and Senna was not to be after Senna's death at Imola but Damon Hill took up the challenge and took the championship to the last race at Adelaide where Michael beat him to become World champion. Michael increased his superiority the following year and won the championship again with a record equalling 9 wins but this was to be his last year with the team as Ferrari were beckoning.
|The 1996 Ferrari was vastly inferior to the Williams however Michael managed 3 victories for the team to finish 'best of the rest' in the championship. An improved car the following year meant that once again Michael could fight for the championship, this time against Jacques Villeneuve. Ferrari were looking for their 1st championship since Jody Schekter in 1979 once again it went down to the final race of the season in Jerez. However Michaels maneuver on Jacques Villeneuve not only handed the Canadian the title but subsequently had Michael disqualified from the championship.
In 1998 there was a new challenger in the shape of Mika Hakkinen and a hugely improved Mclaren Mercedes. The title went down to the wire again in Suzuka, but once again it was not to be Michael's year. A stall on the grid and a puncture handed the experienced Finn his first drivers title barely 12 months after his first race victory. 1999 was supposed to be 'the' year. After a poor start victories in Imola and Monaco looked to be putting Michael back on the right track but a horrific crash at Silverstone which resulted in a broken leg meant Michael was out for 7 races, ruining his championship chances and although he returned for the final 2 races to help team mate Eddie Irvine the Finn once again won the championship at Suzuka.
So to 2000 and a fully fit and determind Michael. He won the 1st 3 races to give Ferrari their best start in years. Once again Mika was Michael's main challenger but after a tricky mid season Michael won the last 4 races to win his 3rd drivers title and Ferrari's 1st in 21 years!
|The 3 years since then have seen Ferrari and Michael in particular totally dominant. In 2001 Michael won the title in Hungary with 4 races still left to go and in 2002 the title was won in France with a full 6 races to go. 2003 However was more of a challenge. New rules combined with improvements by rival teams, plus a bit of bad luck meant that for the first time since 1999 the championship went down to the final race. Michael's season began poorly with no podiums in the first 3 races including a DNF in Brazil in bad weather a brave victory in Imola after the death of his mother kick-started Michael's season. Wins followed in Spain - in the new Ferrari, and in Austria,
despite a small fire during a pit stop. One more victory in Canada and Michael was leading the championship mid season. However some bad results in Britain, Germany and Hungary meant that with 3 races to go Michael led by only 1 point from Montoya and 2 points from Raikkonen. The team dug deep and a brilliant win in Monza was followed by an albeit rain and Bridgestone intermediate assisted win in Indianapolis. So to Suzuka. Kimi Raikonnen was now the only other driver able to win the championship and the task was simple. Win the race and hope that Michael finishes lower than 8th. After a rain hindered qualifying Michael started the race from 14th. However team mate Barrichello was on pole.
One of Michaels toughest ever races was to follow in which he lost his front wing in a challenge on Sato and nearly went off after a battle with his own brother. However Michael did just what was needed and came home in 8th place. Rubens won the race and Ferrari once again won both drivers and constructors championships.
|At the start of the 2004 season everybody expected more of the same close competition that we'd seen in 2003. They couldn't of been more wrong as Michael and Ferrari notched up their most dominant season to date. Michael won the first 5 races of the year, only missing out in Monaco after an 'incident' in the tunnel with Montoya. He won the next 7 races after that and although he only came 2nd in Spa to Kimi Raikkonen, it was at the Belgian circuit that Michael clinched his 7th world drivers title. One more win at Suzuka meant that Michael finished the season winning 13 out of 18 races and breaking his own previous record of 11 wins. Ferrari, not surprisingly were also constructors champions for the 6th consecutive year.
|If 2004 had been Michaelís most dominant season, 2005 was the complete opposite. As in previous years Ferrari started the season with last years car but new regulations meant that it was just not competitive and the new car was introduced by the 3rd race in Bahrain. Although initially looking quick, unusually reliability was the problem and Michael retired in the early stages of the race whilst chasing leader Alonso. In San Marino also there was cause for hope as Michael, stuck in midfield after a poor qualifying came through to finish 2nd, chasing Alonso right to the line in one of the closest race finishes for years. Sadly this was probably the highlight of the year even eclipsing Michaelís only win at the bizarre US Grand Prix.
The new rules regarding tyre changes did not suit the bridgestone tyre and as Ferrari were the only main testing team on bridgestones they had to do all the tyre development, work that often meant sacrificing testing other areas of the car. However one thing that was shown this season was Michaelís motivation and determination. With all the problems that Ferrari had they still managed to finish 3rd in both the drivers and constructors championship.
|2006 was to be Michael's last year as a formula 1 driver. The team had worked incredibly hard over the winter on the new car but it was only at the opening race in Bahrain that they could see that the hard work had paid off. Michael getting pole and new team mate Felipe Massa starting 2nd. Although beaten by Alonso in the race it was clear that this season would be much more competitive for Michael. Engine problems in Malaysia and a rare mistake in Melbourne however gave Alonso a head start and despite wins at Imola and the Nurburgring by the half way point in the season Michael trailed Alonso by 25 points. The second half of the season saw Ferrari fight back with a hat trick of wins in the USA, France and German GPs.
The Ferrari was now the superior car and Renault were struggling. After months of speculation it was after Michael's win at Monza that he announced that he would be retiring at the end of the season. However there were still two championships to be won and after a brilliant win in the wet in Shanghai when the conditions favoured the Michelin runners. Michael was level on points with Alonso with just 2 races to go. Sadly it was not to be. Michael was leading the race in Suzuka when his engine blew up, all but handing the title to Alonso. Michael's final race in Brazil was to be one of his best performances. Technical problems in qualifying meant that Michael started 10th and then an early puncture pushed him to the back of the grid but even on his last race Michael didn't give up,
he drove back to finish a brilliant 4th. A fitting performance to end his racing career. For 2007 Michael is still employed by Ferrari and although the his exact role has yet to be defined he will continue to work with the team.
|In 2007 Michael finally had the time to do things heíd always wanted to do. He spent time with his family and friends, played football for his local Swiss side, swam with whales and had a ride on the Team New Zealand Americas cup yacht. He also fulfilled many sponsor and charity commitments. In April he helped to launch the Make Roads Safe campaign in London and in July he drove footballer Zinadine Zidane around Magny Cours in a Ferrari FXX raiding money for the ICM brain and spine charity. However he still remained very much involved in motor sport and Ferrari in particular. He helped to develop the new 430 Scuderia road car and was at the launch in Frankfurt. He took up his role as advisor to the Formula 1 team and attended several races although he regretted not being in Brazil for the final race where Ferrari took both championships. In June he returned to the cockpit of an F1 car driving the F2004 at Maranello for the Ferrari 60th anniversary celebrations and in November he surprised many by testing the F2007 at Barcelona and stayed at the top of the time sheets for both days. He tested again at Jerez in December looking at set up for the 2009 car and has not ruled out testing again in 2008. The end of the year also saw Michael in competition. Firstly at Felipe Massaís International Challenge of Go Karts in Brazil, which he won, and then in the Race of Champions at Wembley Stadium where he lost out in the final to Matthias Ekstrom.
It looks to be more of the same for Michael in 2008. He remains as advisor with Ferrari and still has many sponsorship commitments. Rumours still circulate that he will return to F1. Michael says himself that he has retired but it is clear he does miss the thrill of competition so anything could happen.
|In 2008 Michael continued in his role as consultant to the Ferrari F1 team whilst also helping develop the road cars. He tested the 2008 car at the beginning of the year to give the team another opinion on the new rule changes and also attended several European races contributing to the team throughout the weekend. Away from F1 he was involved with development testing on the Ferrari California which was officially launched in October. Michael had been involved with the car since the beginning and specifically helped out optimising performance.
During 2008 Michael also returned to racing but this time on 2 wheels. He took part in several motorbike races including German superbikes where he raced for the Honda Holzhauer team but has insisted that it is not a new career, he is just enjoying racing for fun.
In November Michael once again competed at Felipe Massaís kart race in Florianopolis and he also appeared at Wembley in December for the Race of Champions where he retained the Nations Cup for Germany along with Sebastian Vettel.
For someone supposed to be retired Michael is still a very busy man with business, sponsorship and charity engagements. It looks to be more of the same for 2009
|2009 was an interesting year for Michael to say the least! In February Michael had a crash whilst testing motorbikes in Cartagena and although he was given the all-clear at the hospital he was unable to compete in any bike races. Instead Michael attended the Australian and Malaysian GPs at the start of the season and managed to do some karting instead. However Michael's year changed after Felipe Massa's horrific crash at the Hungarian Grand Prix in July. After a meeting with Luca di Montezemelo Michael agreed to come out of retirement to replace Felipe at Ferrari until the end of the season. As the worlds press went in to overdrive at the news Michael immediately started a fitness regime to get him ready for F1. However 2 weeks later after several tests it was discovered that the crash in February had been more serious than initially thought.
Michael had cracked a bone in his neck and it had not healed sufficiently enough to withstand the stresses of driving in F1 so Michael had to cancel his comeback. He remarked at the time that it was one of the lowest points in his career. Michael went to the European, Italian and Abu Dhabi races as consultant for Ferrari but continued his fitness training. In November he competed once again at the Race of Champions, winning the Nations Cup again with Sebastian Vettel and finishing as runner up to Mattias Ekstrom in the main event. After some karting in Las Vegas Michael attended Felipe Massa's Karting tournament in Florianopolis, which he won, beating drivers much younger than himself and several F1 drivers also. Once again rumours began to circulate of a come back. Ferrari had their drivers confirmed for 2010 so the focus turned to the Brawn Team, newly taken over by Mercedes.
Nothing was being confirmed or denied by either side and finally on 23rd December it was announced that Michael would be driving for Mercedes GP for 2010. It's clear that the events over the summer reignited Michael's passion for racing and as he says himself he's totally fired up for next year!!
|After 3 years away from competitive racing Michael returned to Formula 1 in 2010. Together with Nico Rosberg as his team mate and Nick Heidfeld as 3rd driver it was an Anglo-German affair, Mercedes having taken over the British run Brawn team. Although Michael knew things would be tough, itís true to say that he did not get the results he was hoping for.
As Brawn, the team had won the championship in 2009 and so had been working hard, diverting limited resources until the end of the season and the 2010 car suffered as a result. Also the car had been designed long before Michael joined the team so he was unable to put any input in to it and initially found that it did not suit his driving style. A lot has changed in F1 in the 3 years that Michael had been out of the sport and he had to get used to different aerodynamics, no testing, slick tyres and no refuelling.
Michael had some disappointing results at the beginning of the year and suffered with some bad luck too but by the time Formula 1 reached Europe updates meant that the car was behaving more to Michaelís liking and he scored 4th places in Spain and Turkey. If thereís one thing that Michael always seems to attract itís controversy and a different interpretation of the safety car rules in Monaco meant that what looked like a fantastic overtaking move at the end of the race on Alonso to get a 5th place was deemed illegal by the stewards and Michael was demoted to 12th. Also a tight defensive move on Barrichello in Hungary earned Michael a 10 place grid penalty. But it also showed that Michael still meant business! It was only towards the end of the season, from Japan onwards that Michael really found the car working to his liking. His best result an excellent 4th at the tricky Korean GP. He finished the season in 9th place with 72 points.
In November Michael once again teamed up with his countryman and new world champion Sebastian Vettel for the Race of Champions. Together they won the Nations Cup for the 4th time in a row. Michael finally getting to spray some champagne!
Michael has come in for a lot of criticism this year and he admits himself that he hasnít looked good all the time but it is clear that he is relishing the challenge he has set himself. Mercedes have been working on the 2011 car since the middle of the season and the whole team is highly motivated for next year. Michael still loves competing and knows that the harder things are, the greater the reward when you achieve them. He canít wait for the new season to start.
|Despite good results in pre season testing the 2011 Mercedes, although ahead of the midfield teams could not quite keep up with the top 3 of Red Bull, Mclaren and Ferrari. Michael still struggled during qualifying this season but contrary to 2010 he more than made up for this during the races. His starts in particular nearly always resulted in him moving several places up the grid and had it not been for some technical DNFs during the season he would have finished ahead of his team mate in the points. One of the highlights was the Canadian Grand Prix which was heavily rain affected but on a drying track Michael managed to overtake several faster cars to be running 2nd at one point. He finished 4th in the end due to faster cars taking advantage of the DRS zone but it showed that Michael still has what it takes given the right equipment.
The Belgian Grand Prix was also a very special weekend for Michael as he celebrated 20 years in F1 at his favourite circuit. Qualifying threatened to spoil the weekend as Michael lost a wheel on his out lap and so lined up 24th on the grid but fittingly it resulted in one of his best race performances as he fought his way through the field and ended up passing his team mate to finish 5th! This was just one of the occassions that Michael managed to extract the absolute maximum from the car and he finishedthe season in 8th place on 76 points and made the most overtakes during the season of any driver with 116.
Once again Michael took part in the race of champions and amazingly he won the Nations Cup with Sebastian Vettel for a record 5th time! Michael lost out in the semi-finals in the individual competition but not before beating his Nations Cup team mate and new double world champion. Leaving people to wonder what would happen if Mercedes produces a stronger car. Once again Mercedes have been hard at work on next years car and they have also employed new staff to put maximum effort in for the 2012 car. Michael is confident they can soon start fighting at the top.
|2012 was the 3rd and final year of Michaelís 3 year contract with Mercedes. Initially the W03 looked promising. The controversial double DRS Mercedes had developed gave it extra speed on the straights and at the beginning of the season the car was much closer to the front. The carís Achilles heel however was reliability and Michael suffered more with this than his team-mate coupled with various incidents of bad luck Ė being hit by other cars, pit lane errors. This meant that by the 6th race in Monaco Michael had finished only 2 of the races and in both of those in 10th place due to other issues.
Qualifying was much improved this year and in Monaco Michael got pole position! Carrying a 5 place penalty from the previous race he knew he wouldnít start at the front but that didnít matter. On that day, on that track Michael was the fastest. It was yet another DNF in the race however and at the next race in Canada so at the European GP Michael must have just been hoping to finish the race. For once however luck was in Michaelís favour and although the Mercedes was not especially quick retirements up the field meant Michael finished in 3rd. His first podium since his comeback!
From then on however development slowed on the car and although Michael managed to finish more races in the second half of the season it was much further down the grid. In Spa (fittingly) Michael celebrated 300 races. Questions were becoming constant from the media regarding Michaelís future in F1. Michael had said that he would not announce anything until October but before this Mercedes announced that Lewis Hamilton would be replacing him in the team for 2013. Rumours were abound linking Michael to other teams but a week later he announced that he would indeed be retiring from Formula 1 for a second time.
Despite the increasingly poor performance of the W03 at Michaelís final race in Brazil he once again gave a fittingly final performance recovering from a puncture to finish 7th mirroring his final race in 2006. In December Michael once again competed at the Race of Champions winning the nations Cup for a record 6th time with Sebastian Vettel. Itís not known what 2013 will hold for Michael but he has said that he will have a full calendar so we will have to wait and see.
|2013 was a quieter year for Michael, at least in the public eye. Although he is still employed by Mercedes Michael did not attend any of the F1 races this year but was busy helping develop their road cars. His one public duty for the team came in May when he drove the 2011 F1 car around the Nordschleife circuit. Many were hoping that Michael could break the lap record. However his instructions were to take it easy so it was a very sedate lap. Apart from that Michaelís other visits to race tracks were supporting his son Mick racing in karting junior series. Michael often drove as well in the senior categories but stopped short of competing.
In July Michael swapped 4 wheels for 4 legs when he once again competed in the celebrity show at the annual reigning competition held at his home in Switzerland. Whilst continuing with various sponsor duties Michael was also looking forward to defending his Nations Cup title with Sebastien Vettel in the race of Champions in December. However due to unrest in Thailand the event has been postponed and a new date has yet to be announced. Despite retiring from F1 a year ago Michaelís name has still been linked with vacancies in the Sport. Firstly as Mark Webbers replacement at Red Bull and more recently as a 2 race replacement for Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus.
Michaelís PA Sabine has maintained that although Michael is still in good physical shape he is happy in his new life and has plenty to keep him busy.
|The day after this page was updated Michaelís life changed forever. Whilst skiing in the French Alps with friends and his son Mick Michael stopped to help a friend who had fallen. In doing so he fell himself and hit his head on a rock. Initially although Michael had been airlifted to the local hospital in Moutier it was thought that the injury was not too serious as reports stated Michael was conscious. However his condition deteriorated and Michael was soon transferred to the University hospital in Grenoble for emergency surgery.
In a press conference the following day Michaelís doctors advised that he had multiple legions on his brain and his condition was critical and life threatening. The following day after a second operation his condition had improved slightly and although still critical Michael was now stable. Michaelís family then made the decision to restrict the information on Michaelís condition and advised fans to only believe the information released by Michaelís management.
Michael had been wearing a helmet and it is thought that this saved his life. An investigation in to the accident concluded that it was no-ones fault. Michael remained in an induced coma until the end of January and then doctors started the waking up process but it wasnít until June that it was announced that Michael had completely woken from his coma and had left the hospital in Grenoble. Michael was transferred to a rehabilitation centre in Lausanne where he stayed for 3 months until early September when he finally returned to his home to continue his recovery.
Good wishes have been sent to Michael from all over the world. Many Formula 1 drivers carried messages on their helmets and the Mercedes team carried messages on their cars all year. Ferrari also put messages on their website and there were banners and flags at all the F1 races as well as other events. In November his website re-opened allowing fans well wishes to be published on there.
It is clear that Michaelís recovery is going to be a long process but his family and fans are prepared for that. Michael has always been a fighter and this will be his greatest fight of all #keepfightingMichael
|In 2015 Michael continued his long fight to recovery. Little is known about Michaelís condition except that progress is slow but there is progress. He continues to be cared for at home in Switzerland. Michaelís family try to continue their lives as best they can. His daughter has followed her mother in to horses whilst son Mick had his first season racing in German Formula 4, finally using the Schumacher name to compete and ending the year with an appearance at the Stars and Cars Mercedes event in Stuttgart where he raced against Michaelís former team mate Nico Rosberg.
Close friends Ross Brawn and Jean Todt keep in touch with the family and the motorsport community as a whole still wish for a full recovery. As always Michaelís supporters remain hopeful that he will win his greatest race of all.#keepfightingMichael
|It is now 3 years since Michaelís accident. His family and management continue to keep the details of Michaelís recovery private. Michaelís fans however continue to support him and hope for a full recovery. In February a 2 year exhibition was opened by Michaelís long time sponsor Deutsche VermŲgensberatung together with Michaelís family to celebrate Michaelís career, later in the year Michaelís official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts were launched and in December Michaelís family launched the Keep Fighting initiative to encourage others to never give up.
Michaelís son Mick continues his Motorsport career and will be racing in European Formula 3 in 2017. He is tipped to follow his father in to F1 but his management are taking one step at a time
|Four years on from Michaelís accident and still very little is known about his condition although close friends and family still talk of recovery which gives his fans hope. Michaelís son Mick continues his racing career competing in European Formula 3. In May he played football for Nazionale Pilote with many of Michaelís former team mates in Monaco ahead of the Grand prix weekend and at the Belgian Grand Prix in Spa Mick drove a lap in Michaelís 1994 championship winning Benetton.
In December the inaugural FIA Hall of fame inducted all 33 world champions. Michael was represented by Sabine Kehm ďWe all know Michael should be here and I am totally sure he would love to be here,He always had the highest respect for everyone in this room and he would be very honoured. What made Michael so special, what made him so successful was, as with everybody in this room, a love and passion for this sport.Ē
|5 years since Michael's accident and his condition is still only known to family and a few very close friends. FIA president Jean Todt visits him regularly and revealed that they watched the Brazilian Grand Prix together. Michael's children continue to make their own success. Gina Maria on horseback and Mick in racing. In July Mick won his first F3 race, ironically at Spa - a circuit that gave his father so much success. He went on to win the European F3 championship and will compete in F2 next year.
In June a free exhibition opened in Germany showcasing 12 of Michael's F1 cars and as we approach Michael's 50th birthday the Ferrari museum in Maranello are planning a special exhibition in his honour to open on Michael's birthday. Michael's fans around the world continue to hope that he will one day appear in the public eye again.