Michael Schumacher was born in Hürth-Hermülheim Germany on January 3, 1969. His parents are named Rolf and Elisabeth. He did very well in school and excelled at Judo and soccer. He drove in his first kart race at age 5 and was reportedly hooked on the sport. His father would not financially support the hobby, so Michael turned to local sponsors. After graduating from school he worked at a local garage as an apprentice mechanic.
image © grandprix.com
In 1980 the members of the Kerpen Kart club build a new track in Manheim. Three years later he got his Kart licence. In 1984 he became the German Junior Champion and the repeated the victory the following year.
In 1986 he took part in the German Senior Kart Championships for the first time and came in third. The next year he won that race along with the European Senior Kart Championships.
In 1989 he started Formula racing and finished third. He was signed for a two year contract spanning from 1989 to 1990 by Willi Weber after he beat the best of his WTS Formula 3 team by a full second and a half in a test drive. This was good for Michael because for once he didn’t have to worry about the costs of racing which ran DM 1 million over the next two years. In 19990 he won the Formula 3 Championship Title.
Presently he drives for the Ferrari racing team. He is hailed as the only driver in the F1 circuit today who aan start a race in last place and end up challenging for the lead halfway through the course. He’s considered to be the best Formula 1 driver in the world and one fo the best of all time. He was won 4 world championships.
Known almost as much for his bad attitude as his great racing, and the two seem to go hand-in-hand, his aggressive nature is widely criticized. The other F1 drivers tend to dislike him, including former teammate Eddie Irvine who was often his lackey more than his teammate. Most notable of his contemptible behaviour are his collisions with Damon Hill and Jacques Vileneuve which are rumoured to have been deliberate attempts to save his title as champion. The first crash was in the 1994 championship race at Adelaide. This crash occurred when Michael took a corner wide allowing Damon to overtake him on the inside. Michael ran into him sideways, and has argued that the crash was an accident caused by his aggressive and famed blocking maneuverer gone wrong. The second crash occurred in 1997 in Jerez. Michaels car was having fatal problems and dispelling black smoke. As Jacques came up on the inside Michael turned into him .at first he moved to the left to give Jacques racing room, but then took a hard right into his opponent’s car. This took both of them out of the race, but Michael would have been out anyways. Both accidents saved Michael from losing the point-race and he was able to secure a Championship title over all.
He married his wife, Corinaa, in August of 1995. Together they have two children, Gina Marie born February 20, 1997 and Mick born March 22, 1999. With a salary of $36 million (US) per season he is the worlds highest paid athlete. As of 2001 he had 53 career wins and 97 podium finishers.
His elder brother, Ralf, is also a race car driver. Ralf was born on June 30, 1975. He is managed under Willi Weber, under contract to 2005. He drives with the BMW F1 team. Ralf has a wife, Cora and one child.
good site with lots of pictures and a complete chronology: http://www.formone.demon.co.uk/
links to news: http://www.ananova.com/sport/sports/27_michael_schumacher.html
driving info with Ferrari: http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/drv-schmic.html
2003 stats: http://www.formula1.com/archive/driver/detail/2003/7/64.html
more stats: http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/motorsports/rac_mshumacr01.html
Ralf’s site: http://www.schumacher-ralf.com/
Ralf’s stats: http://www.formula1.com/archive/driver/detail/2003/10/64.html