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Michael Schumacher. The Longest Race

“In sports, like in life, there are ups and downs: today you wake up and feel good, and the next day you feel bad.” – This is what Michael Schumacher often used to say. But he could not even imagine that one sunny December day he will fall asleep and will not wake up for months.

  1. The debut in big races

Formula one Championship 1991 - Michael Schumacher (ger) Jordan Ford- Team Jordan

Schumacher made his debut in his first race of the Formula 1 back in 1991, taking part in the Belgian Grand Prix with the Jordan-Ford team. Back then he was considered only as a substitute for Bertrand Gachot, who was in prison. At that time, Michael had a contract with Mercedes, which paid $ 150,000 to Eddie Jordan to enable the 22-year-old German racer to make his debut.

  1. The first victory and the first unwanted title

Michael Schumacher

After the Belgian Grand Prix, despite a contract with Jordan-Ford, Schumacher moved to Benetton, where he spent the remainder of the season. It is in Benetton that Schumacher began to show his talent. Already in 1992, for the first time in his career, he won the Grand Prix. And it should be noted that the Grand Prix was held in Belgium, on the track called Spa Francorchamps. In the rain, Michael reached the finish line first. In the same season, he refused to move to Sauber, which was sponsored by Mercedes. In the end, it turned out that Michael had made the right decision. In 1994, Schumacher was already competing for a title. His opponent was Ayrton Senna. The legendary racer was the first in the San Marino Grand Prix, and Schumacher was right after him. But Senna suddenly got into an accident, which turned fatal for him. On May 1, 1994, the 34-year-old Brazilian died, and this allowed Schumacher to win the championship without much competition. The German dedicated his victory to Ayrton.

  1. The “Red Baron”

schumacher ferrari

In 1995, Schumacher became the Formula 1 Champion for two successive years. That was enough to start the next phase of his life. He moved to Ferrari, which had its last champion in 1979 and which had last won the Constructors Cup in 1982. In 1996, Schumacher was unable to defend his title and took only the third place. The following season, the competition became even more dramatic. The German competed with Jacques Villeneuve, whose Williams FW19 was much better and faster thаn Schumacher’s Ferrari. Despite the fact that early in the season Villeneuve took the lead in his hands, Schumacher finally managed to overtake him. Before the last race of the championship, Jacques was ahead of Michael by one point. During the race, when Villeneuve tried to pass him, Schumacher provoked his rival, due to which he was disqualified and lost the title. But the moment of success in Ferrari was yet to come. In 2000, he finally won the long-awaited title. And when he equaled Senna by the number of Grand Prix titles, he could not hold back tears. This championship was the beginning of “a great love story.” Schumacher was unstoppable for the next four seasons. 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 … Schumacher’s golden seasons. During this period, the fans gave him the nickname “Red Baron”, while his name was on the lips of the whole world. In 2006, it was announced that the season will be the last for Schumacher. He decided to leave, and the Brazilian Grand Prix title turned out to be his last.

  1. Failed comeback

Mercedes GP W03 launch, Formula One Testing, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain, World Copyright: Jamey Price for F1 Fanatic

In 2010, Mercedes announced the return of the “Red Baron”. 41-year-old Michael returned to the track. This return, however, was not the way the fans had expected. In 2010, for the first time since 1991, Schumacher closed the season without any victory. He was only the ninth. 2011 was not much different from the previous year. Michael took the 8th place. 2012 was even worse for the German. Schumacher, whose brilliant years were already left behind, finished 13th in the season and this time he decided to leave permanently.

  1. The longest race

schumacher ski head injury

After finishing his professional career, Michael devoted himself to his family and started enjoying life. He participated in charity events, played football with legends and enjoyed time in the Alps. He loved skiing. And his passion stabbed in the back. On December 29, 2013, he went skiing with his 14-year-old son, Mickey. Suddenly, Schumacher came out of the safe zone of the mountain and found himself in a rocky sector. This turned fatal for him. Schumacher lost control and fell, hitting his head on a rock. Even the helmet did not help the German. Even though the doctors said that he would have died if not the helmet, however, Michael’s condition was not encouraging. Doctors plunged him into a state of artificial coma to save his life. On April 4, it was announced that he started to show signs of life and came out of the coma. In November 2014, he was allowed to return home. Despite this, Schumacher continues to be confined to a wheelchair and unable to move. A bit ironically, after all the victories over so many rivals, the legendary racer is still competing against the main rival of his life – against death. His longest race is still going on, and who will win in the end, is still unknown.

George Lowrance