Motor racing: Michael Schumacher wins fan vote for F1's most influential person

A 2006 photo shows Michael Schumacher celebrating winning the Chinese grand prix for Ferrari.
A 2006 photo shows Michael Schumacher celebrating winning the Chinese grand prix for Ferrari.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - Seven times world champion Michael Schumacher has been named the most influential person in Formula One history after a vote by fans on the sport's official website.

The result was revealed on Wednesday (May 13), the 70th anniversary of the first world championship grand prix at Silverstone in 1950.

Ferrari great Schumacher, who has not been seen in public since he suffered serious head injuries in a ski accident in 2013, beat former commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone with 61 per cent of the vote in a head-to-head final.

The German holds the record for titles and race wins (91), although six times champion Lewis Hamilton is threatening to take both.

In earlier rounds of the tournament, Schumacher beat the late champions Niki Lauda, Ayrton Senna and Juan Manuel Fangio as well as team founder Enzo Ferrari.

An expert panel had produced a 32-name shortlist, divided into four categories of drivers, team bosses, technical innovators and game changers.

Formula One said thousands of fans had participated but did not give details.