Celebrating Michael Schumacher: Five Major Achievements Of The Formula One Legend

Photo/ Ferrari

Michael Schumacher is one the finest drivers the Formula One has ever seen. He retired from racing in 2012 with records for the most wins, pole positions, podium finishes, and fastest laps. Some of the records have since been broken, but he still maintains the record for the most number of fastest laps (77) among others.

He won seven Drivers Championships between 1994 to 2004, arecord that was only matched in 2020 by the driver who replaced him at Mercedes when he retired- Lewis Hamilton.

Today, we honour the track race legend by remembering five of his major achievements:

Most wins in a single season

In 2004, the German set the record for the most wins in a single season when he won 13 of the 18 races in that season. His rival, Sebastian Vettel, managed to match the record in 2013 after Schumacher’s retirement. Lewis Hamilton is two wins away from matching the record. That’s how impressive Michael Schumacher was!

Most hat-tricks 

A hat-trick in Formula 1 means the driver qualifies on pole, wins the race, and registers the fastest lap at the same Grand Prix. Doesn’t sound like an easy feat, does it?

Well, Schumacher achieved 22 hat-tricks over the course of his career. This is currently the highest number of hat-tricks in the sport’s history. The only other drivers that come close to this is Lewis Hamilton (18), Jim Clark (11), Manuel Fangio (9), and Sebastian Vettel (8). 

Highest number of fastest laps

This is a record that past and present drivers have found difficult to get close to, let alone break. In his career, Michael Schumacher took part in 308 races. In 77 of those races, he recorded the fastest laps. The driver closest to achieving a similar feat has only raced 57 fastest laps.

It will take several seasons to surpass Schumacher’s total if he is to ever catch him.

The first racing driver to receive the Golden Steering Wheel

Schumacher is the first racing driver to receive the Golden Steering Wheel. He has also received many other honours, besides having the first corner of the Bahrain International Circuit renamed in his honour. In just the second year of his career, he was awarded the ONS Cup, the highest accolade in German motorsport, by the German Motor Sport Federation. He would go on to win the cup three other times- 1994, 1995, and 2002. In 2005, he was voted Germany’s greatest sportsperson of the 20th century.

The German is an inductee of the FIA Hall of Fame and Germany’s Sports Hall of Fame. a few of the other awards he has won include:

  • Bambi Sports Award (1993)
  • European Sportsperson of the Year (1994, 2001-2003)
  • Polish Press Agency (PAP) European Sportsperson of the Year (2001-2003)
  • Autosport International Racing Driver of the Year (1995, 2000-2002)
  • German Sports Personality of the Year (1995, 2004)
  • The Silbernes Lorbeerblatt (1997)
  • The UNESCO Champions for Sport (2002)

In addition to the awards, Schumacher has been awarded honorary citizenship of Maranello, Modena, Spa and Sarajevo besides being named ambassador by a number of countries and organizations.

Most consecutive titles

The German also holds the record for the most consecutive titles won. Between the 2000 and 2004 seasons, Michael Schumacher won five consecutive titles as a Ferrari driver. 

But this record is under threat as Lewis Hamilton could match his tally by winning the 2021 title then break the record if he wins it again next year. This is something the German isn’t worried about. During an interview with BBC in n 2008, he said, “records are there to be beaten.”

Here’s a bonus fun fact… 

Schumacher and his younger brother Ralf are the only siblings to win races in Formula 1. They are also the first siblings to finish first and second in the same race, a feat they repeated in four subsequent races. Amazing! 

Unfortunately, Schumacher was involved in a skiing accident in 2014 that resulted in a brain injury. He has been recovering in private care at the family home. While updates on his rehabilitation have been minimal,  his wife revealed in a Netflix documentary titled “Schumacher” that the legend still shows his determination.

“He still shows me how strong he is every day,” she said.

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