Michael Schumacher born 3 January 1969 is a German retired racing driver. Schumacher is a seven-time Formula One World Champion and is widely regarded as one of the greatest Formula One drivers of all time. He was named Laureus World Sportsman of the Year twice. He holds many of Formula One’s driver records, including most championships, race victories, fastest laps, pole positions and most races won in a single season – 13 in 2004 (the last of these records was equalled by fellow German Sebastian Vettel nine years later). In 2002, he became the only driver in Formula One history to finish in the top three in every race of a season and then also broke the record for most consecutive podium finishes. According to the official Formula One website, he is “statistically the greatest driver the sport has ever seen”.
After beginning with karting, Schumacher won the German drivers’ championships in Formula König and Formula Three before joining Mercedes in the World Sportscar Championship. After one Mercedes-funded race for the Jordan Formula One team, Schumacher signed as a driver for the Benetton Formula One team in 1991. After winning consecutive championships with Benetton in 1994/5, Schumacher moved to Ferrari in 1996 and won another five consecutive drivers’ titles with them from 2000 to 2004. Schumacher retired from Formula One driving in 2006 staying with Ferrari as an advisor.
Schumacher agreed to return for Ferrari part-way through 2009, as cover for the badly injured Felipe Massa, but was prevented by a neck injury. Schumacher returned to Formula One on a permanent basis from 2010 with the Mercedes team before retiring for a second time at the conclusion of the 2012 season