“I’m Michael Schumacher. Just being a mediocre driver has never been my ambition. That’s not my style.” ~ Michael Schumacher (7 time F1 World Champion)
“He is incredibly professional. If you had to go for a heart operation you’d want somebody who was the Schumacher of the heart surgery world to do the job, because you can rely on him. It’s not so bad to be beaten by the best driver who’s ever lived. Nobody really knew that then in 1996. I was first into the arena”
~ Damon Hill
For me, this man is more than an inspiration. He’s a demi-god. A genius flirting with the limits of speeds and ruthless on track. But most of all, he’s a man for whom racing was not driving a car at 270 kmph for an hour and half in different countries across the world. It was about beating every single racer out on the field and when Schumi was done with that, he went about beating every other record in the books set by the legends before him.
“I’ve always believed that you should never, ever give up and you should always keep fighting even when there’s only a slightest chance” ~ Michael Schumacher (7 time F1 World Champion)
Classic case was his last race before retirement in 2006. Started 10th on grid and made his way up to the 4th place before a puncture threw him down to 19th. So determined was he, even in his last race, that he fought his way back up to finish 4th. No other racer has the commitment as this man with 91 victories under his belt.
Schumacher’s finest win undoubtedly came in the 1995 season when he stormed from 16th on the grid to victory and seal his second consecutive title for Benetton.
“I will do everything I can to bring the Number One to Ferrari. The whole team and all the fans deserve it.”
In 1996, Schumacher joined Ferrari for a salary of $50 million over 2 years, a team which had last won the Drivers’ Championship in 1979 and which had not won the Constructors’ Cup since 1983. He worked hard with the Ferrari technical guys and made Ferrari the most dominating team in 2000 and he believes F1 is never a one man show.
“Never think that success is down to your own performance alone. If you start listening only to yourself you take the first step back towards the bottom. The flowers of victory belong in many vases.”
Considered as one of the most ruthless drivers on track, catching up with him is one thing. Overtaking him is a different game all together. Says Ross Brawn,” There are two Michael Schumachers. One who aggressively fights drivers and the other Schumacher, the nice guy, the real team player who loves and encourages people.”
However, off track his humanitarian works make him the sportsman millions emulate. Schumacher is an ambassador for UNESCO and has donated 1.5 million Euros to it. Additionally, he paid for the construction of a school for poor children and for area improvements in Dakar, Senegal. He supports a hospital for child victims of war in Sarajevo and in Lima, Peru he funded the “Palace for the Poor”, a centre for helping homeless street. It is known that in his last four years as a driver, he donated at least $50 million.He donated $10 million for aid after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. His donation surpassed that of any other sports person, most sports leagues, many worldwide corporations and even some countries.
Says James Allen in Micahel Schumacher - the edge of greatness, From an ordinary background, Michael Schumacher went on to achieve the extraordinary: not only a record 91 Grand Prix victories and seven world championships, but the regeneration of Ferrari, motorsports most legendary brand.
Schumacher and Sachin with Ross Brawn at the Indian GP