Our world has a population of 7 billion people, covering the length and breadth of the globe. While almost 99% of us are anonymous, a handful of the total population actually gets that recognition, which all of us are striving to achieve. These handful of people are master of their field, dedicated, hardworking and talented. One among them is the ever-famous Michael Schumacher, the former Formula 1 champion who is now struggling for life in his hometown after a suffering a tragic accident in skiing.
Michael Schumacher won the maximum number of world championships (7 to be precise) in his career, racing in one of the most dreaded sports in the history of mankind, which has taken more lives and caused severe injuries to a number of people more than any other sports probably. But as much as Formula 1 is dangerous, it was enough generous to make Schumacher the highest earning sports person ever during his peak. The earning included race fees, winning amount, sponsorships and much more.
His insatiable desire for success took him to seven world titles before and he became one of the most successful drivers of all time. His domination of the sport in the 2000s was remarkable. His natural ability, sheer determination and hold on political arena proved to be the perfect combination for success in F1. Michael Schumacher's journey is a lesson in itself, starting from 1991 till 2012, his 21 years in F1 had been full of drama and helped F1 become one of the most loved sports around the globe. It wouldn't be wrong to say the Michael Schumacher is the biggest ambassador of the sports.
Michael Schumacher used to do Kart racing before his first stint as a world champion in Formula 3 in 1990. He then won the sportscar championship with Mercedes and F3000 in 1991. This gave him enough limelight to feature as an F1 driver for the first time with Jordan in the same year, followed by a deal with Benetton to drive in 1992 for the full season, giving a cold shoulder to Jordan team. Though the 1992 was not much of a success, he won his first race in the 1993 season and by 1994, he was the world champion racing foe Benetton.
While the 1994 season saw much of a controversy for the title, it seemed like there was no stopping for this German racer as he won a back-to-back championship title in 1995, beating Hill again but this time without the controversy. 1995 marked the end of Schumacher-Benetton collaboration which lasted for 3 seasons and he moved to the Ferrari, which nobody predicted would change the dynamics of the F1 forever. Although it took almost 5 years to reach the pinnacle that created a stir in the motorsports, the tri-collaboration of Ferrari, Todt and Schumacher is regarded as the best till yet.
The first title win for the Prancing Horse with Shumi came in 2000, followed by consecutive wins in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004, setting a record which is yet to be broken. In the process to establish new record, he set a new record for the most number of race wins in a single season -13 in 2004 title win. His demi-god status in F1 came to end when in 2005, he finished third after Ferrari's tyre supplier Bridgestone struggled with new regulations. Again in 2006 he came close to the title, but was beaten by Fernando Alonso.
Michael Schumacher finally realized that his time as a legend is over and he decided to quit in 2007, announcing his retirement with an emotional atmosphere in Monza. But he was in no mood to part ways from racing in any way and he became a trackside consultant at Ferrari the next year and started racing motorbikes as a hobby. After a slot opening with Ferrari in 2009, he returned to F1 again, leaving everyone in shock, only to stop racing again after a tragic motorbike accident that forced doctors to warn him against making a return.
But, Schumacher being Schumacher, he struck a 3-year deal with team Mercedes to return again in the 2010 season. But the return proved no good for either Mercedes or Schumacher as he failed to compete even against his team-mate and county-mate Nico Rosberg. The same continued for the next year and he couldn't make it to the podium for a single time for two continues years in line. And the criticism started flowing in for his return at the F1. Many stated his return as a new career low in his long standing list of achievements.
The final year of his contract finally gave Schumacher the podium finish, not one but two. Although Rosberg stole the coverage away from Schumacher, Schumacher was busy in retiring more often than ever, either of mechanical failures or driver error. But Schumacher decided to retire for good finally, after the 2012 season. Though the last few years of Schumacher were not as good as the early years and mid-years, he remains by far the most decorated drivers of all time.
As much as Schumacher had won races, so did he created controversies whenever he raced. His career lasted from 1991-2012 and we saw him in peak from 1993 to 2006 when he was close to being the complete package as a racing driver. But his over zealous nature to be the best made him resort to some of the unfair means. Starting from 1994 when he won his first championship to 2006 when he blocked the track at Monaco during a qualifying session in order to try and take pole, he was in news for both right and wrong reasons. In 2010 he also came under fire when he squeezed ex-Ferrari team-mate Rubens Barrichello against the Hungaroring pit wall at 290 kmph.
But Schumacher was not like any other F1 driver of his time, or the time before him, or the time after him. He turned down the opportunity to play football in the UEFA Champions League, having been offered the chance to play for San Marino champions SS Murata in the opening round of the 2008 competition. He was an ardent motorcycling fan and started racing professionally and so did he loved the adventure sports so much that he is bed-ridden due to much such adrenaline rushing activity.
Michael Schumacher is struggling for his life for almost a year now at his home in Switzerland after he woke up from a long Coma for six months with left many wondering, if he could ever make it back. Schumacher has inspired a lot of youngsters and now champions for taking up F1 as a profession. One among them is Sebastian Vettel, his fellow countrymen who won straight 4 titles for Red-Bull from 2010-2013. We pray that Schumacher recovers soon and come to F1 circuit in any-role possible.
Winning his seventh title in 2004 in very dominant fashion
Being stripped of his second place in 1997 when the FIA accused him of trying to crash into Villeneuve at the final round
"I can't really imagine life without Formula One"