A look back at Formula One star Michael Schumacher's racing history

Although he retired two years ago, Michael Schumacher's glittering Formula One career is one that is still etched in the minds of many Formula One fans today.

The famous motorsport athlete met with an accident while skiing in the French Alps resort of Meribel in Paris on Dec 29, 2013. It left him with serious head injuries and he was put in a medically-induced coma for six months. But on Monday, it was announced that he has woken up from the coma and been discharged from hospital.


Here is a look back at the F1 star's racing history, how he came to fame and became synonymous with racing car brand Ferrari.

Early history and karting

Born Jan 3, 1969 in Hurth-Hermulheim, Germany, Schumacher started his racing career in karting. The minimum age to get a German kart license is 14, but he wanted to start earlier so he got a Luxembourg license. He won the German Junior Kart Championship at age 13 and finally got his German kart license the following year. He took the title again in 1985 driving for Eurokart dealer Adolf Neubert.

Schumacher then signed with Willi Weber and drove for the team Weber-Trella-Stuttgart (WTS) during the 1989 and 1990 Formula Three Championship. He finished third in the 1989 season behind Karl Wendlinger and Heinz-Harald Frentzen. .

Entrance into Formula One with Benetton

In 1991 Schumacher debuted in the world's top racing series at the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa. He qualified at seventh place but retired on the first lap with a clutch failure of his Jordan-Ford.

Schumacher then moved to the Benetton team, replacing Roberto Moreno and competing in five more Grands Prix that season with Nelson Piquet as his teammate.

After two more wins in 1992 and 1993, Schumacher won his first Driver's Championship with an under-powered Ford Zetec V8 in 1994. But his victory was met with a spate of controversies, including several run-ins with the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) that disqualified him from the British and Belgian Grands Prix. He was also put under a two-year race ban during the Italian and Portuguese Grands Prix as a result of not adhering to a black flag at Silverstone.

The 1995 season was dominated by Schumacher with much less controversy and with Renault power to match. Although it was marred by several collisions between him and British racer Damon Hill, Schumacher eventually went on to take his second championship, leading many to believe that a new Formula One star had emerged.

Reaching the peak of his career with Ferrari


Schumacher moved to Ferrari in 1996 with a reported salary of US$30 million, his reason being that he needed a new challenge and wanted to return Ferrari to the pinnacle of motorsport. He proved his skills in handling the inferior F310 car and took three wins in Spain, Belgium and Italy. His victory at the Spanish Grand Prix was regarded as one of his best drives ever.

Along the way, he faced rivals such as former Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) champion Jacques Villaneuve and Mika Hakkinen who stole the title from his hands. His accident at the British Grand Prix in 1999 also cost him the championship title.

2000 marked the start of Schumacher's dominance over the Formula One race. He won the title every year up to and including 2004, demonstrating his driving brilliance and superior skills on the track. At the end of 2006, with a rising new world champion Fernando Alonso, he retired and became a consultant for Ferrari.

Schumacher's return to the track with Mercedes

Schumacher joined the new Mercedes team in 2010, but was constantly edged out by teammate Nico Rosberg. He returned to the podium in 2012 in Valencia, finishing third and as the oldest driver, at 43 years old, to achieve a podium finish since Jack Brabham. Mercedes moved to sign Lewis Hamilton for the next year, leaving Schumacher to retire from Formula One for a second time.

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