over Michael Schumacher
Michael Schumacher (German pronunciation: [?m?ça??l ??u?max?] ( listen); born 3 January 1969) is a retired German racing driver who raced in Formula One for
Jordan Grand Prix, Benetton and Ferrari, where he spent the majority of his career, as well as for Mercedes upon his return to the sport. Widely regarded as one of the greatest Formula One drivers ever, and regarded by some as the greatest of all time, Schumacher is the only driver in history to win seven Formula One World Championships, five of which he won consecutively. The most successful driver in the history of the sport, Schumacher holds the records for the most World Championship titles (7), the most Grand Prix wins (91), the most fastest laps (77) and the most races won in a single season (13), and according to the official Formula One website, Schumacher is "statistically the greatest driver the sport has ever seen".
After success in karting as a child, Schumacher won titles in Formula König and Formula Three before joining
Mercedes in the World Sportscar Championship. In 1991, his Mercedes-funded race debut for the Jordan Formula One team resulted in Schumacher being signed by Benetton for the rest of that season. He finished third in 1992 and fourth in 1993, before becoming the first German World Drivers' Champion in 1994 by one point over Damon Hill. In 1995 he repeated the success, this time with a greater margin. In 1996, Schumacher moved to Ferrari, who had last won the Driver's Championship in 1979, and helped them transform into the most successful team in Formula One history, as he came close to winning the 1997 and 1998 titles, before breaking his leg at the 1999 British Grand Prix, ending another title run.
Schumacher won five consecutive drivers' titles from 2000 to 2004, including an unprecedented sixth and seventh title. In 2002, Schumacher won the title with a record six races remaining and finished on the podium in every race. In 2004, Schumacher won twelve out of the first thirteen races and went on to win a record 13 times as he won his final title. Schumacher retired from Formula One in 2006, after finishing runner-up to Renault's Fernando Alonso. Schumacher returned to Formula One in 2010 with
Mercedes. He produced the fastest qualifying time at the 2012 Monaco Grand Prix, and achieved his only podium on his return at the 2012 European Grand Prix, where he finished third. In October 2012, Schumacher announced he would retire for a second time at the end of the season.
His career was not without controversy, as he was twice involved in collisions in the final race of a season that determined the outcome of the World Championship, with Damon Hill in 1994 in Adelaide, and with Jacques Villeneuve in 1997 in Jerez. Schumacher is an ambassador for UNESCO and has been involved in numerous humanitarian efforts throughout his life, donating tens of millions of dollars to charity. Schumacher and his younger brother, Ralf, are the only siblings to win races in Formula One, and they were the first brothers to finish 1st and 2nd in the same race, a feat they repeated in four subsequent races.
In December 2013, Schumacher suffered a traumatic brain injury in a skiing accident. He was placed in a medically induced coma for six months until 16 June 2014. He left the hospital in Grenoble for further rehabilitation at the University Hospital of Lausanne. On 9 September 2014, Schumacher was relocated to his home where he continues to receive medical treatment and rehabilitation privately.