This month saw the announcement that one of the greatest drivers in all motorsport, Michael Schumacher, will be retiring from Formula 1 at the end of the season.
Schumacher has won 91 races in 19 seasons, and with 155 podium finishes, too – a remarkable sign of consistency and class considering he’s had just over 300 F1 races. He first made his name with Benetton after winning titles in 1994 and 1995, before moving to Ferrari where he cemented his name in the list of motor sporting greats – claiming five straight titles between 2000-2004. After initially retiring from F1 in 2006 he returned and raced for Mercedes in 2010.
Schumacher’s career is furnished with plenty of records, along with silverware. His achievement of seven World Championship titles is a record, along with most race victories overall and within a season, while he set the record for finishing on the podium in every race throughout the 2002 season, along with breaking the record for the most podium finishes. With all of these figures in mind, it’s not hard to see why Schumacher is statistically the best driver in Formula 1 history.
Securing just one podium finish in three years with Mercedes, he was disappointed that he never won a title with Mercedes, but was happy with the progress that they had made with the car. So much so, that Schumacher’s replacement will be the former World Champion, Lewis Hamilton – who will be moving over from McLaren in 2013. This season, Schumacher managed to set the fastest lap in a Grand Prix for the 77th time in his career at Hockenheim on July 22.
On being asked to comment on his future after the close of this season, Schumacher stated that his focus remains on delivering top results in the last six races of the season, while Ross Brawn indicated that Schumacher could have a future role within the Mercedes development of both racing and road cars. With that in mind, the next generation of Mercedes cars could deliver even better performance after benefiting from Schumacher’s potential input in the AMG range – be that road or racing car.
With Schumacher retiring after being part of the Mercedes racing team for three years, his expertise and experience has filtered through to reach all aspects of Mercedes performance, ensuring that all road cars will be delivering the standards that a F1 driver would expect.