Michael Schumacher is a 7-time F1 World Champion who had the majority of his success with Ferrari. The Schumacher name became synonymous with the Italian supercar brand as well as the sport in the early 2000s.
When many people think about Formula 1, they likely think about Michael Schumacher too. The German has truly become a legend and sealed his name in the history books of the sport. Below are 45 facts you need to know about the legend that is Michael Schumacher.
1. When & Where Was Michael Schumacher Born?
Michael Schumacher was born on January 3 in 1969. Schumacher was born in Hürth-Hermülheim which was in West Germany at the time of his birth. Hürth, as the town is more commonly known, is in the Rhein-Erft-Kreis district, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, and shares borders with the city of Cologne.
His brother Ralf Schumacher was also born in Hürth, 6 years after Michael. Their dad, Rolf, was a bricklayer, but he also owned a karting track in Kerpen. This undoubtedly played a role in the boys’ desire to become racing drivers. Their mum Elisabeth ran the canteen at this kart track.
2. What Is Michael Schumacher’s Zodiac Sign?
Michael Schumacher’s zodiac sign is Capricorn. The Capricorn sign originates from the constellation of Capricornus, the horned goat. Some other famous Capricorn Formula 1 personalities include:
- Lewis Hamilton
- Toto Wolff
- Jenson Button
- Gilles Villeneuve
- Logan Sargeant
3. Michael Schumacher Height & Weight
Michael Schumacher is 1.74 meters tall (5 ft 9 inches). This is just about on par with other Formula 1 drivers in terms of height. Drivers who are taller tend to be at a disadvantage when it comes to single seater racing. Schumacher’s weight was 75 kilograms (165 lbs) while he was racing.
See the table below for the estimated heights and weights of some of Schumacher’s contemporaries during his first stint in F1.
Michael Schumacher’s Height & Weight Compared To Other Drivers
|Michael Schumacher||1.74 m / 5’9″||75 kg / 165 lbs|
|Rubens Barrichello||1.72 m / 5’8″||67 kg / 148 lbs|
|Heinz-Harald Frentzen||1.77 m / 5’10”||64 kg / 141 lbs|
|Mika Hakkinen||1.78 m / 5’10”||70 kg / 154 lbs|
|David Coulthard||1.82 m / 6’0″||73 kg / 161 lbs|
4. Where Did Michael Schumacher Go To School?
Michael Schumacher went to school at Realschule der Stadt Kerpen from 1980 to 1986. At the age of 17, Schumacher quit school and began working as a mechanic to pursue his racing career. Just a few years later, he would make it to the pinnacle of motorsport with his debut being in 1991 with Jordan.
5. How Many Races Did Michael Schumacher Start?
Michael Schumacher started 306 races in his Formula 1 career, having entered 308. The first DNS (Did Not Start) was at the 1996 French Grand Prix where his engine blew on the warm up lap. The second DNS was at Silverstone in 1996 where his car suffered a failure on the warm up lap, leading to him breaking his leg.
Michael Schumacher sits at sixth on the list of all time race starts in F1, with Fernando Alonso topping the table (and still going!).
The F1 drivers with the most race starts are:
- Fernando Alonso – 355
- Kimi Räikkönen – 349
- Rubens Barrichello – 322
- Lewis Hamilton – 310
- Michael Schumacher/Jenson Button – 306
6. How Many Races Did Michael Schumacher Win?
Michael Schumacher won 91 races throughout his career, which held the record for the most race wins in the history of the sport until Lewis Hamilton broke the record in 2020. Schumacher’s first win came at the 1992 Belgian Grand Prix and his last win came at the 2006 Chinese Grand Prix.
See the table below for a timeline of Schumacher’s 91 race wins, with years in which he also won the World Drivers’ Championship marked with an asterisk.
Michael Schumacher’s Race Wins By Year
7. How Many World Championships Did Michael Schumacher Win?
Michael Schumacher won a record-breaking 7 World Championships in F1. Previously the record was held by Juan Manuel Fangio who had 5 world titles. Lewis Hamilton matched the record of 7 World Championships in 2020, drawing equal with the German Formula 1 legend.
Michael Schumacher won F1 championships in the following years:
- 1994 (Benetton)
- 1995 (Benetton)
- 2000 (Ferrari)
- 2001 (Ferrari)
- 2002 (Ferrari)
- 2003 (Ferrari)
- 2004 (Ferrari)
- 2005 (Ferrari)
Schumacher also came oh-so-close to winning the title in the following years:
- 1997 – Missed out by just 3 points, although he was ultimately disqualified for trying to take out eventual champion Jacques Villeneuve
- 1998 – Missed out by 14 points
- 2006 – Missed out by 13 points
8. Is Michael Schumacher The GOAT?
While Michael Schumacher has long been regarded as the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time), it’s impossible to determine whether it’s really the case. All drivers competed in different eras and with different rules, making it impossible to determine who truly is the greatest driver the sport has ever seen.
However, there is no doubt that he was at least one of the best, and his 7 championships attest to that, as do his 91 race wins. He’s definitely up there with the likes of Ayrton Senna, Lewis Hamilton, and Juan Manuel Fangio, among many others.
9. Why Is Michael Schumacher Said To Be The Best?
Michael Schumacher is said to be the best driver in F1 as he held records for the most wins (91), most pole positions (68), and most championships (7) before Lewis Hamilton eclipsed all but the last of them. Schumacher was also considered to be one of the most hard working and well-rounded drivers on the grid.
He had the attitude that he had to be the best in all departments over the course of a season, never settling for less. He also took physical fitness very seriously, during a time when many other drivers didn’t think twice about it. This kept him in peak physical condition, and it was also a good indicator of his superior work ethic.
An Example Of His Skill
He lived and breathed racing, taking every aspect of it very seriously. He would spend hours doing private testing (which is now banned) in order to get as much usable data as possible in between F1 races. He was also known for his incredible driving abilities of course, with Hungary in 1998 being a prime example of this.
Schumacher had to essentially run qualifying laps for the duration of the race in order to make Ross Brawn’s bold 3-stop strategy work, pushing the car (and himself) from lights out to the checkered flag. This required unbelievable levels of skill and concentration, but Schumacher did it with what seemed like ease, and he won the race in brilliant fashion.
10. How Was Michael Schumacher So Fast?
Michael Schumacher was an incredibly fast driver in part because he was very analytical and hardworking, but he also just had a lot of natural talent. Schumacher often stayed behind with his team to have longer debriefs and spend time working on the car rather than going back to the hotel.
Schumacher was also incredibly good at setting his car up to suit his driving style. He typically set the car up for a little more oversteer, and he would blip the throttle throughout the corner to allow him to keep his speed up. His teammate for 1994, Jos Verstappen, famously said the car was incredibly difficult to handle, but Michael seemed to have a sixth sense for handling it with ease.
11. Did Michael Schumacher Have The Fastest Car?
Michael Schumacher had some of the fastest and most dominant cars the sport has ever seen. The 2002 and 2004 seasons saw the German dominating with his Ferraris. He won 11 out of 17 races in 2002, and 13 out of 18 races in 2004. However, Schumacher didn’t always have the fastest car.
The best example of this was the 1995 Benetton B195, which was labeled as a much slower car than the Williams at the time. However, Schumacher used his driving skill and tenacity to prevail in the end, signing off what was a difficult year at the top of the standings.
“That year the car was probably the toughest I’ve ever driven. Every single race turned into a major undertaking. And as a result it turned out to be a very difficult year.”– Michael Schumacher on his 1995 season
12. Did Michael Schumacher Have The Best Car?
Michael Schumacher often had the best car on the grid, being both incredibly fast and having excellent reliability. However, Schumacher also had average cars, with the 1996 Ferrari being very unreliable, and he finished just 9 of the season’s 16 races – he still came 3rd in the championship.
13. What Was Michael Schumacher Like As A Driver?
While Michael Schumacher was a great personality in the paddock, he was an aggressive racer on track. Schumacher was faced with several situations where he would drive aggressively and fight other cars, but there’s no doubt other drivers would be envious of his incredible skill behind the wheel.
Schumacher’s career wasn’t without its controversy though, with his most controversial driving decisions including:
- Adelaide 1994 – Schumacher crashed in the title decider, before then taking out Damon Hill as the Briton tried to make a pass, resulting in Schumacher winning the championship
- Jerez 1997 – Schumacher famously turned in on championship rival Jacques Villeneuve in the latter stages of the race, but ended up taking himself out and getting disqualified
- Monaco 2006 – Schumacher seemingly crashed on purpose at the end of qualifying in order to secure his pole position, and stewards ruled against him and sent him to the back of the grid
14. Was Michael Schumacher Ever Beaten By A Teammate?
Michael Schumacher was beaten by a teammate 4 times. While he was largely regarded as the best at Ferrari, he was even beaten once by a teammate there – albeit because a broken leg ruled him out of almost half of the 1999 season’s races.
Teammates That Beat Michael Schumacher
15. What Records Does Michael Schumacher Still Hold?
Michael Schumacher holds the following records:
- Most World Drivers’ Championships: 7, tied with Lewis Hamilton
- Most consecutive World Drivers’ Championships: 5 with Ferrari from 2000-2004
- Most wins at a single circuit: 8 in France, tied with Lewis Hamilton
- Most fastest laps: 77
- Most fastest laps in a single season: 10 in 2004, tied with Kimi Räikkönen
- Most hat-tricks (pole, win and fastest lap): 22, not to be confused with Grand Slams/Chelems, for which Jim Clark holds the record with 8
- Most hat-tricks in a single season: 5 in 2004
- Most successful seasons by race wins: 8, meaning Schumacher has won the most races in a given season 8 times
- Most races left in a season when becoming World Champion: 6 in 2002, tied with Ayrton Senna and Lewis Hamilton
- Most pole positions at the same Grand Prix: 8 in Japan, tied with Ayrton Senna and Lewis Hamilton
- Most seasons with a win: 15, tied with Lewis Hamilton
- Most consecutive seasons with a win: 15 from 1992-2006, tied with Lewis Hamilton
- Most consecutive podium finishes: 19 from 2001 US GP to the 2002 Japanese GP
- Longest time between first and last podium finishes: 7,399 days from 1992 Mexican GP to the 2012 European GP
16. What Was Michael Schumacher’s Number?
Michael Schumacher’s racing number was often 1, although he also raced with 3, 5, 7, 19, and 32. As the sport only allowed drivers to choose their own racing numbers from the 2014 season onwards, we will never know what racing number the German legend would have preferred to have on his car.
Michael Schumacher’s Race Numbers
Key Fact: Michael Schumacher raced with the number 1 seven times, or 37% of the seasons he started
17. Did Michael Schumacher Ever Use Number 1?
Michael Schumacher used the number 1 on his car a total of 7 times throughout his career. He currently holds the record for the driver to have used this number the most in Formula 1. While Lewis Hamilton has also won 7 titles, he chose to keep 44 on his car despite being able to race with number 1.
18. Why Did Michael Schumacher Use MSC?
Michael Schumacher used MSC because his brother Ralf was in F1 at the same time as him. Ralf used RSC and Michael used MSC to ensure they were easily differentiated on the timing screens. Drivers are often given the abbreviation of the first three letters of their last name in Formula 1 (i.e. SCH).
When Michael’s son Mick started racing in Formula One in 2021, he also raced under the letters MSC.
19. When Did Michael Schumacher Start Go Karting?
Michael Schumacher started go-karting at 4 years old. Schumacher was too young to obtain his competitive karting license in Germany (14 years minimum age), so instead he got it from Luxembourg (12 years minimum age) and started competing in karting races around Europe.
This is a typical age for F1 drivers to start karting, as the younger they start the more chance they have of learning the necessary skills fast enough to become competitive and get a seat in F1. Schumacher combined his natural talent with his breadth of racing experience from a young age to dominate the sport.
20. Did Michael Schumacher Race Sports Cars Before F1?
Michael Schumacher did race sports cars before F1 during the 1990 and 1991 racing seasons. Schumacher moved into sports cars rather than the usual Formula 3000 step that other aspiring Formula 1 drivers took. Many believed that this would hinder his progress to Formula 1, but clearly it didn’t.
Michael Schumacher’s Junior Racing Record
|Year||Racing Series||Wins||Championship Position|
|1988||European Formula Ford 1600||1||2nd|
|–||German Formula Ford 1600||3||6th|
|1989||German Formula Three||2||3rd|
|–||FIA European Formula 3 Cup||0||NC|
|–||Macau Grand Prix||0||NC|
|1990||World Sportscar Championship||1||5th|
|–||German Formula Three||5||1st|
|–||FIA European Formula 3 Cup||0||NC|
|–||Macau Grand Prix||1||1st|
|–||Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft||0||NC|
|1991||World Sportscar Championship||1||9th|
|–||Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft||0||NC|
|–||Japanese Formula 3000||0||12th|
21. Was Michael Schumacher In The Mercedes Junior Racing Program?
Michael Schumacher joined the Mercedes Junior Racing Program to race in sports cars after his stint in junior single seaters. While many other drivers on the same path opted for Formula 3000 as their next step, Schumacher chose a more unconventional path, but he still made it to F1.
Schumacher had future F1 drivers for company in Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Karl Wendlinger, and Jochen Mass. Frentzen was often said to be the better driver of the three, but Michael managed to improve with time and eventually showed his true prowess in the pinnacle of motorsport.
22. How Many Teams Did Michael Schumacher Race For?
Michael Schumacher raced for 4 different teams. The first was Jordan, which is where he made his debut in the sport. His next team was Benetton, where he put in some excellent performances before sealing his move to Ferrari. In 2010, Schumacher joined the newly established Mercedes F1 team.
23. When Did Michael Schumacher Race For Jordan?
Michael Schumacher raced for Jordan in 1991. The German was able to make his Formula 1 debut by replacing Bertrand Gachot part way through the season. Mercedes paid Jordan $150,000 for the race, and it was the only race that Schumacher completed for the team, as he moved to Benetton.
The only reason Schumacher got this start was because Gachot infamously landed himself in prison. He had gotten into an altercation with a taxi driver on his way to a sponsorship meeting, and he was arrested and charged with actual bodily harm and possession of a prohibited weapon. What a way to allow one of the future’s most successful F1 drivers to take your seat!
24. When Did Michael Schumacher Race For Benetton?
Michael Schumacher raced for Benetton for most of the 1991 season (after leaving Jordan after just one race) and stayed there until the end of the 1995 season. Schumacher won his first and second World Championships with Benetton in 1994 and 1995.
Fun Fact: Michael Schumacher's 1991 Benetton B191 car sold for around $330,000 in 2013, and his 1994 B193B was expected to sell for more than $1 million in 2022
25. Why Did Michael Schumacher Join Ferrari?
Michael Schumacher joined Ferrari in part for the money and in part for the challenge. Ferrari were going through their most difficult spell in Formula 1 at the time, and Schumacher’s mentor Jochen Mass (who he raced with in his junior career) played a part in convincing him to move to the Italian giants and pull them out of their rut.
“I was not looking for an easy job where I sit in the car and I’ll be able to win every race, or where people at least expect me to win every race – that is not the kind of challenge I’m looking for.”– Michael Schumacher speaking in 1996 about his move to Ferrari
He also said he really wanted to fight for victories, and fight he did. He brought Ferrari their first drivers’ title in over 20 years, and the partnership went on to be one of the most successful in F1 history. Schumacher was also able to bring Ross Brawn with him from Benetton, and alongside Jean Todt and the rest of the Ferrari team, they were a force to be reckoned with for many years.
26. Why Did Michael Schumacher Leave Ferrari?
Michael Schumacher left Ferrari at the end of the 2006 season when he first retired from Formula 1. Schumacher and Ferrari were still winning races, battling Fernando Alonso and Renault for the World Championships, which made the timing of his retirement seem sudden and suspicious.
27. Was Michael Schumacher Pushed Out Of Ferrari?
There has been a lot of speculation about Ferrari choosing to prioritize Kimi Raikkonen over Michael Schumacher for the 2007 season, leading the German into a forced retirement. However, there is no concrete evidence that this was the case. The reality is that no one knows the truth behind the situation at Ferrari in 2006.
The reality is likely that Schumacher knew his time of dominance was at an end, and that it was time to hang up his racing boots (at least until 2010). Of course, Ferrari were likely looking for a replacement for the legend, ideally a young talent (like Räikkönen), as they too knew he was coming to the end of his career.
28. Why Did Michael Schumacher Go To Mercedes?
Michael Schumacher went to Mercedes in large part because Ross Brawn was there, with whom he won all 7 of his World Championships. He ended his (first) retirement in 2010 as he returned to F1 with the newly established team, and he stayed there until he retired (again) at the end of the 2012 season.
Schumacher also had history with the Mercedes team, having raced with their junior program as we mentioned earlier. The fact that the new Mercedes F1 team was born out of the 2009 title-winning Brawn GP team was likely no insignificant factor in Schumacher’s decision to join the Silver Arrows.
29. When Did Michael Schumacher Retire?
Michael Schumacher retired for the first time at the end of the 2006 season. Schumacher was driving for Ferrari at the time. He retired for a second time in 2012, with the Brazilian Grand Prix being his final send off from F1, ending his career with 7 World Championships and 91 wins.
Schumacher left an incredible legacy that is still so important and discussed daily around the world even today. He was truly one of the best to ever grace the track, but every driver eventually has to call it quits for good (unless you’re Fernando Alonso of course).
30. Was Michael Schumacher Really The Stig?
Michael Schumacher was not really the Stig. In season 13 episode 1 of Top Gear, the show jokingly revealed Michael Schumacher as the famous Stig. However, the Stig’s true identity was later revealed to be Ben Collins, as he wrote in his biography “The Man in the White Suit.”
The supposed reason for this appearance was that, on this episode of the show, the Top Gear trio wanted to show off the Ferrari FXX. But this car is such a special model that, not only is it not road legal, but the particular car used on the show was apparently gifted to Michael Schumacher from Ferrari due to his success in F1.
It’s likely that either Michael didn’t trust anyone else to drive his car around the track, or perhaps even Ferrari only trusted Schumacher to be the pilot. Regardless, it made for one of Top Gear’s most iconic moments, and you can see it for yourself below.
31. Was The Michael Schumacher Tunnel Stunt Real?
The Michael Schumacher tunnel stunt wasn’t entirely real. Mercedes-Benz filmed an impressive advert for their SLS AMG Supercar with Michael Schumacher behind the wheel. The stunts performed in the advert were partly realistic, but much of it was done using clever post production work and CGI.
Many have often asked if F1 cars could travel upside down in a tunnel, which is theoretically possible. But in the video below, you’ll see how it might look if you could do it in a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG!
32. Why Did Michael Schumacher Cry In The Press Conference?
Michael Schumacher cried in a press conference at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in 2000 because he had just matched Ayrton Senna’s 41 victories. The German was visibly emotional as he was reminded of Senna, who was one of his heroes in the sport before he tragically died at Imola in 1994.
The two greats were rivals on the track, although they were at different points in their careers. While Senna was naturally getting closer to the final part of his career in the early 1990s, Schumacher was just starting his.
33. What Does Michael Schumacher’s Daughter Do?
Michael Schumacher’s daughter Gina is a professional horse rider and has won several competitions and gold medals through her efforts, in events such as the FEI World Reining Championships in 2017. She did give karting a go for a season, but decided to pursue equestrian sports instead.
Her brother Mick followed in his father’s footsteps, taking up racing from a young age and eventually reaching Formula One with the Haas team.
34. What Languages Does Michael Schumacher Speak?
Michael Schumacher is fluent in English as well as his home language German. However, during his time spent at Ferrari he would have picked up Italian, as many Ferrari drivers do. It’s also reported that Schumacher was well versed in French, another language that is popular around Europe, where F1 sees a large chunk of its races take place.
35. Is Michael Schumacher Religious?
Michael Schumacher is widely believed to be Roman Catholic, and has been since a young age. Schumacher was also famous for wearing a cross necklace, which could be a symbol of his religious beliefs, but isn’t necessarily concrete evidence of how religious he was.
He also often wore a “good luck bracelet” throughout his career, which was a Shamballa wooden bracelet. This kind of bracelet does have traditionally religious roots in Buddhism and Hinduism, but many in the West wear them for good luck.
36. How Many Cars Does Michael Schumacher Own?
Reports indicate Michael Schumacher owns 14 supercars, along with several Formula 1 cars. This does not include daily drivers and family cars that might be used for general purposes. With Schumacher’s personal life being kept relatively private, it’s unclear exactly how many cars he owns.
Michael Schumacher’s car collection includes:
- Ferrari Enzo (reportedly worth $2.6 million)
- Ferrari FXX (worth around $2.8 million, used on Top Gear)
- Ferrari F310
- Ferrari 599
- Ferrari 430 Scuderia (he helped develop this car)
- Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
- 1991 Jordan 191
- Fiat 500 Abarth
37. Was Michael Schumacher Knighted?
While Michael Schumacher has received many recognitions for his achievements in Formula 1, he has not been knighted. Germany does not have a knighthood for their citizens like the British do, making it impossible for Schumacher to be knighted. Schumacher does have corners named after him, with the Michael-Schumacher-S at the Nürburgring GP circuit.
F1 drivers that have been knighted include Sir Lewis Hamilton, Sir Jackie Stewart, Sir Jack Brabham, and Sir Stirling Moss. Sir Frank Williams and Sir Patrick Head were also some famous F1 personnel to receive a knighthood.
38. Is Michael Schumacher Left Handed?
Michael Schumacher is not left handed. When looking at images of Schumacher signing autographs, he always has the pen in his right hand. Only a handful of F1 drivers have been left handed, with Ayrton Senna and Jenson Button being notable examples.
39. Is Michael Schumacher Max Verstappen’s Uncle?
Michael Schumacher is not Max Verstappen’s uncle. However, Max’s father Jos Verstappen was a close friend of Schumacher’s and as such, when he was young, Max knew Michael Schumacher as “Uncle Michael,” rather than the World Champion Formula 1 driver.
“I was three or four years old at the time. I just knew that was Uncle Michael. Who was very nice. Who was an extremely big family man. But I never saw him as a record World Champion, I didn’t know that.”– Max Verstappen on Michael Schumacher’s role in his early life
40. How Much Is Michael Schumacher Worth?
Michael Schumacher is estimated to be worth about $600 million. Schumacher was known as one of the biggest earners not only in Formula 1, but also in the world of sport. He was rumored to be one of the first athletes to make $1 billion in career earnings.
41. How Famous Is Michael Schumacher?
Michael Schumacher is internationally known as one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers ever, and one of the greatest athletes in history. The German was constantly in the headlines because of his success, putting him up alongside other famous names in sports such as Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods.
42. Does Michael Schumacher Have Any Tattoos?
Michael Schumacher does not appear to have any visible tattoos. There are many images of Schumacher with various tattoos, including one on his left arm, but they all appear to have been temporary.
43. Is Michael Schumacher A Football Fan?
Michael Schumacher loves football and is a supporter of FC Köln, who play in the German Bundesliga. The team is also known as FC Cologne, and originates close to Schumacher’s hometown, which is where Schumacher spent several years growing up as a youngster.
Like many other F1 drivers over the years, Schumacher took part in various football matches, often for charity, and he even featured in German footballer Michael Ballack’s farewell match in 2013. He also hosted the preliminary draw for the 2006 FIFA World Cup alongside Brazilian legend Pelé.
44. Does Michael Schumacher Have Any Children?
Michael Schumacher has 2 children. His son, Mick Schumacher, is the youngest, and he raced in Formula 1 with Haas in 2021 and 2022, following in his father’s footsteps. Schumacher’s daughter Gina-Maria Schumacher is a professional horse rider who has been successful in several competitions.
45. How Much Is Michael Schumacher’s House Worth?
Michael Schumacher’s house in Lake Geneva, Switzerland, is estimated to be worth around $7.6 million. Schumacher is also reported to own a ranch in Texas, and he potentially owns a property on the Spanish island of Majorca.
Michael Schumacher is one of the greatest F1 drivers ever, and also one of the most exciting drivers too. With 7 world titles and plenty of wins, podiums and pole positions, the well-decorated German is one of the most famous drivers to have raced in Formula 1.
I created and have been writing on this site since 2019, collaborating with drivers, coaches, engineers and manufacturers to provide you with the most reliable information about motorsport. Find out more about me here.