The Goodwood Festival of Speed has long celebrated the legends of motorsport. With 2019 the 25th anniversary of Michael Schumacher claiming the first of his seven Formula One World Championship titles, and the German’s 50th birthday, organisers stages a special celebration in his honour.
During his career, Schumacher scored a record 91 grand prix victories. He retired from the sport in 2012, and suffered serious injuries in a skiing accident in late 2013.
Formula Ford (1988)
As with many young stars, Schumacher made his first foray into car racing in Formula Ford. His talent was apparent at an early age: he finished second in the 1988 European Formula Ford 1600 Championship, before stepping up into Formula Three for his second season of car racing.
Team Sauber Mercedes (1990)
Schumacher was one of a number of promising young stars signed up by Mercedes for its junior driver programme in 1990. He drove for the Team Sauber Mercedes squad in the World Sportscar Championship in 1990 and 1991, taking a pair of race wins. That deal also led to his sole attempt at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1991, when he finished fifth overall with Karl Wendlinger and Fritz Kreutzpointner.
Jordan-Ford 191 (1991)
Schumacher made his grand prix debut at the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix, securing a drive with Jordan after the team’s regular driver, Bertrand Gachot, was imprisioned for an altercation with a London taxi driver. Schumacher qualified a hugely impressive seventh, but retired on the first lap with clutch issues. Despite Jordan believing Schumacher had signed a long-term agreement with the team, he jumped to Benetton for the following race.
Benetton-Ford B192 (1992)
Schumacher’s start truly became apparent during 1992, his first full Formula One season. He claimed eight podiums to secure third in the driver’s championship, and notched up his first victory after a stellar drive in mixed conditions in that year’s Belgian Grand Prix.
Benetton-Ford B193 (1993)
This was the B193 Schumacher campaigned during the 1993 season. While it couldn’t compete with the dominant Williams-Renault, Schumacher still scored a string of podiums, and another win in the Portuguese Grand Prix. Schumacher would truly break through the following season, securing his first driver’s championship in a tumultuous, controversial season.
Ferrari 412T2 (1995)
Schumacher never raced this car, but it is significant as the first Ferrari F1 car he drove. Having won the 1995 title with Benetton, Schuey signed for the Scuderia for the following year. After the end of the season he was allowed to test Ferrari’s 1995 machine.
Ferrari F310 (1996)
The first Ferrari Schumacher raced, the 1996 F310, wasn’t exactly a looker, although a mid-season facelift helped a bit. Sadly the machine wasn’t that competitive on the track, although Schumacher still managed to score three victories using it.
Schumacher at Ferrari
By 1997, Schumacher has reinvigorated Ferrari, and challenged Williams racer Jacques Villeneuve for that year’s title, before narrowly missing out to McLaren’s Mika Hakkinen the following year. A broken leg derailed his 1999 season, but Schumacher dominated in 2000 to finally claim his first title. It was the first of five consecutive titles he would win in a then-unprecedented run of dominance.
With the help of Ferrari’s engineering superteam, led by Jean Todt, Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne, Schumacher ripped up the record books. He would eventually retire from the sport after the 2006 season having scored 91 career wins, including 72 behind the wheel of a red Ferrari.
Schumacher’s Ferrari stats
Schumacher started 181 races for Ferrari, taking 72 wins, 116 podiums and 58 pole positions. For comparison, the team’s second most successful driver is Niki Lauda, who claimed 15 victories during his time with the Scuderia.
Return with Mercedes
While Schumacher is best known for racing a Ferrari, he actually finished his career driving a Mercedes (rear of shot) for three seasons. He was tempted back with the manufacturer who helped launch his career in 2010. Although he scored just one podium in three seasons before retiring again, he did help develop the team that currently dominates the sport.