Michael Schumacher- the moment we hear this name, the first thought that comes to our mind is that of race tracks, fancy cars moving in full speed, stadiums filled with people and so on. The man is a legend in the field of F1 racing and cannot be replaced. However, not many people are aware of his interest and skills in other sports, like skiing. Unfortunately, on 29th December 2013, Schumacher met with a serious accident while skiing on the Dent de Burgin in the French Alps where he fell and hit his head on a rock leading to a critical head injury despite wearing a helmet. Fans and supporters across several countries are praying and hoping for a speedy recovery of their hero and hope to hear the good news about his better health soon. Let’s have a look at some of Schumacher’s greatest moments and achievements in his Formula One career.
1. Destroying all the record books, 2002:
If the winning record of Sebastian Vettel seems unbelievable and highly impressive to you, then you would definitely be dumbstruck at Michael’s record in the 2002 season where he clearly showcased dominance over the other racers. He showed a consistency in his performance by finishing either at the first or the second position in every race, with Malaysia as an exception. The reliability on his Ferrari in this season was absolutely stunning.
2. His first ever win for Ferrari in Spain, 1996:
One of Schumacher’s finest accomplishments was recorded at the time he won his first race for Ferrari. The race took place in poor conditions and with very low hopes. Schumacher started with a slow start and gradually overtook the leading driver, Jacques Villeneuve on lap 13 leaving him so far behind that it almost seemed as if he had disappeared and went on to win by 45.302 seconds.
3. The controversy related to his first title, Adelaide 1994:
Michael Schumacher earned his first title of the world drivers’ championship in a very controversial manner, which was his collision with Damon Hill on the track in 1994 at the Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide. The incident was reported to be of a deliberate nature by Hill whereas Michael always maintained the same to be a mere racing accident.
4. Being branded as the “cheap sheet”, 2006:
Schumacher had already been a part of many controversies in his past including the much talked about Adelaide incident before being tagged as a ‘cheap cheat’ by Keke Rosberg, a former champion, due to his qualifying stunt in Monaco. His rival Fernando Alonso was surely determined to defeat him with his pole time when Schumacher tried to park up intentionally at a place with an intention to obstruct him. It made poor Alonso unable to complete his lap due to safety reasons arising at the Rascasse section within the circuit.
5. A remarkable first victory, Belgium 1992:
A year after addressing himself to the world with his outstanding performance in the Grand Prix, Michael made a comeback to the Spa-Francor champs circuit to accomplish the first win in the sphere of Formula One. He started at the third position on the grid with the usual wet conditions at Spa but managed to end up in the first position with his skill and some luck in his hands.
6. The unexpected pole finish at Monaco, 2012:
Michael Schumacher had achieved three poles before he made his final appearance at Monaco. To the shock and delight of the crowd, he ended up earning four poles for himself. This not only came as a surprise to everybody but to Michael himself. He marks this as one of his most memorable moments in his racing career.
7. The broken gearbox, Spain 1994:
This race took Schumacher’s credibility to a completely different level. The fact that he managed to stand second in this race despite a broken gearbox proved that a driver’s true ability might be judged by his performance in adversity. Ayrton Senna was a name before Michael who was known to have won the race despite being stuck in the sixth gear in the Brazilian Grand Prix in 1991. However, Schumacher’s race stood out to be more impressive and set a benchmark in the racing sphere.
8. Wet tires vs. Dry tires, Spa 1995:
Schumacher was famous for his defensive driving apart from the known excellence in overtaking and qualifying. In this particular race, Michael was noticed to be way ahead of his rival Damon Hill after going through the last of stops. It was then observed that the rains had returned and that Schumacher was fighting against wet rubber tires while his tires were till dry. Schumacher decided to stay on with dry tires instead of pitting for wet ones. Luckily, Hill was unable to move past him and the former held a victory in the race.
9. Passing Senna on the grass, Belgium 1993:
Things were never stable or friendly between the two title rivals Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher. The latter was reported to be engaged in a tiff with the former after his victory in the Belgium race, for the third place. Schumacher won this race by almost squeezing past Senna on two wheels on the grass when the latter tried to overtake him from the pit lane. It is still considered to be a worth watching experience.