Michael Schumacher was born on 3 January 1969 in a Western Germany. And he started out his racing career in the same way as all the great drivers, in karting. He drove in his first kart race at the age of five. Although father Rolf was not enthusiastic about his son's expensive kart ambitions. Michael's problem was that in Germany the regulations stated the minimum permissible age to obtain a kart license was 14. To get around this he obtained a Luxembourg license (obtainable from the age of 12). However in 1983 he obtained his German license and the year after he won the German Junior Kart Championship.
Michael´s manager is since 1983 Willy Weber. Schumi was to recive a free drive in WTS team for three years, Weber in return recieves 20% of all invome Michael earns from motor races.The initial agreement was last 10 years, however it was later extended for a further several years.
During 1990 and 1991 Schumacher moved into sports car racing, instead of the more usual step up to Formula 3000. Many managers believed this would block his progression to Formula 1, but Weber believed that exposure to professional press conferences and dealing with this cars would be beneficial.
The Belgian Grand Prix of 1991 at Spa was Michael's debut in the world's top racing series in Jordan team. Schumacher became a second driver for the Formula 1 team-Jordan. After one year he won his first race in Benetton-Ford team. A lot of people say: SPA is for Michel like his living room ...
He was third in 1992 and fourth in 1993. Michael's second win came at the 1993 Portuguese GP.
In the 1994 season he took his first Driver's Championship, after the death of Ayrton Senna at Imola. It came after a season of several run-ins with the FIA and he was disqualified from the British and Belgian Grands Prix. Michael was also put under a two race ban during the Italian and Portuguese GP that year. I can say – it was wery crazy year for them.
The disqualification was a result of Michael overtaking Damon Hill on the parade lap, a seemingly psychological manoeuvre. In a controversial last round at the Australian GP Michael entered leading Damon Hill by one point. On the 36th lap Schumacher made an unbecoming mistake and banged the wall, damaging his rear suspension. He made it back on the track and as Damon Hill came to pass him on the next corner, Michael turned in on the Williams car. Hill's front suspension was badly damaged and both cars were out of the race. Hence Michael gained the crown.
The 1995 season was just as successful. Schumacher now had Renault power, to match the Williams and he dominated the season. It was marred however by several collisions between himself and Hill. In a particularly stupid overtaking manoeuvre Hill took them both out of the British GP near the start of the race. Having taken 9 GP wins, Michael finished the season to take his second Championship.
The 1996 season saw Michael move to Ferrari with a reported salary of $30 million. He stated the need for a new challenge as his reasoning, it being to return Ferrari to the pinnacle of motorsport.
The current Chairman of Ferrari was Italian Luca di Montezemolo while the Racing Management Director was Frenchman Jean Todt. When Schumacher moved from Benetton to Ferrari in 1996, Englishmen Technical Director Ross Brawn and Chief Designer Rory Byrne followed him. The driver line up for the team had until this year, since 1996 been German Michael Schumacher and Irishman Eddie Irvine. Schumacher was the number 1 team driver and Irvine the number 2.
In 1997, Michael's main rival became former CART champion Jacques Villeneuve. The Ferrari was more reliable and a somewhat less than spectacular early season for Villeneuve allowed Michael to provide a challenge. He took 5 GP wins and at the last race of the season Michael was ahead in the championship by just one point. Mid way through leading the race in Jerez, Schumacher's lap times began to drop off and concern was raised about the condition of his car. As Villeneuve came to pass on a corner, Michael turned in on him. His wheel banged the Canadian's sidepod but the Williams seemed undamaged. Michael wound up in a gravel trap and was out of the race, with Villeneuve finishing third to take the title. In a decision by the FIA Schumacher was disqualified from the whole of the season as punishment for his manoeuvre in that race.
In 1998 the McLaren's dominating the season and Michael was the only driver to come near them to provide a challenge. With the Ferrari improving significantly throughput the season and being particularly faster in the second half, Michael gained 6 wins and 5 other podiums. With the later outlawed mini sidepod wings the Ferrari's took an historic 1-2 at the Italian GP at Imola that year.
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Michael Schumacher: biography
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