Statistically, the greatest driver of all time, there is no record that the Red baron hasn’t blitzed in his racing hay-day. A seven-time world champion who just fell shy of a probable 9. His impact on the sport has been so immense, that rules needed to be changed, the point system re-worked and team orders abolished, all to make the sport seem more competitive, as for the largest part of his career the races finished much like they began in practice, with Schumacher at the very front.
Now, with his retirement well settled much like the ash of Mount Vesuvius over the city of Pompeii, we can wind back the clock to those glory days, and gaze in amazement, of how a single man changed the sport forever.
Witnessing a drop of sweat on Schumacher’s brow after a hard fought three hour race was as rare a sighting as that of a purple moon. It was not uncommon among the generation of racers that preceded Schumacher to be hauled out of their machines, nor was it surprising to see them so visibly drained that they struggled to make it to the top step of the podium, without bending over to catch their breath. Schumacher, on the other hand celebrated his race victories with his typical trademark victory leap, atop the top step of the podium. He took fitness to a whole other level, spending countless hours in the gym, to sculpt himself into the perfect race car driver. His fitness was on par with football and Tennis stars the world over. It was Schumacher that inspired teams around the paddock to mandate such levels of fitness for generations to come.
It is no secret that Schumacher took the concept of teamwork to a new level during his time at Ferrari. From the very start of his career, he understood and appreciated the importance of the people around him. He was never just a driver, but a crucial part of the management team and a key advisor on how the entire package for the season should be developed.
First at Benetton then at Ferrari he focused on getting the team, and the figure-heads above not on his side of the garage. Tragically, his team-mates were there simply as another part of his armoury, to help him out “for the sake of the championship” if ever, he needed their support.
What made Schumacher such an inspiration was his will to succeed, his ability to post blistering lap times at the most crucial points of the race, his smile and wit in front of the world media and his ability to always remain cool, calm and collected. But, what really made Schumacher stand out was his ferocity on the track, and his endless desire to continue wining. It is this indomitable spirit of Schumacher that we hope revives the Red Baron to the legions of fans standing by on vigil.
• Total Race Wins-91
• Most Wins in a Season-13
• Most consecutive race wins from the start of the season-5
• Total Pole Positions-68
• Total Fastest Laps-77
• Most Fastest Laps in a season-18
• Most Podium Finishes-155
• Most Podium Finishes in a season-17
• Most Consecutive Podium finishes-19
• Most Consecutive Podium finishes from first race of the season-17
• Total Races Finished in the points-221
• Race Leader for at least 1 lap-142
• Most laps led, total-5111
• Longest distance led- 24,148 Kms
• Pole position and subsequent victory in the same race-40
• Pole, wins and fastest laps in the same race-22
• World Champions with most races left in the season- 6 races to go
• Most consecutive races as championship leader-37
• Most consecutive days as world champion-1813 days
• Most wins with the same team- 72( Ferrari)