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The driver of God, a legend, imagines ...

October 23 2006

In the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo took the last stage of the 57 th World Championship in the class of cars "Formula 1". The winner was the idol of the local fans Felipe Massa, and the second place allowed the Spaniard Fernando Alonso for the second time to become a world champion. However, the protagonist of the race was the greatest driver in the history of the sport - Michael Schumacher, who was the last time in his life came at the start.

See photo essay Tears for Schumacher .

"Sunny boy"

Michael Schumacher was born January 3, 1969 in the small town of Kerpen in western Germany. In 4 years he first got behind the wheel card, and about the same age started to repair cars. In 1980, he looked at his future opponent - the great Brazilian Ayrton Senna, he decided that would be racer. From 1985 to 1990, he successfully performed in various lower racing series, becoming a 21-year old won the German championship in Formula 3 ", which enabled him to make his debut in Formula 1.

In 1991 Schumacher made his debut in the royal races, but his debut could be delayed for a long time. He went on the road only because the second pilot of "Jordan Ford, Belgian Bertrand Gachot - got in a car crash. His debut race was the Belgian Grand Prix at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps track. As often happens, first try out a lump - Schumacher came down the road because of mechanical problems. However, before the next race to outbid the team Benetton Ford, where Schumacher and became a star.

Already in his first race for Benetton, he scored his first two points for a 5 th place. And next year, he unexpectedly ousted from a position of the first pilot team of the 3-time world champion Brazilian Nelson Piquet. Schumacher won his first Grand Prix (it was once again in Belgium), was the third in the World Championship, beating his idol Senna. In 1993, he finished on the step below, though, and won his second race - in the Portuguese Estoril. During this time he managed to earn the love bolelschikov that for neshodyaschuyu smile from his face called him the "Sunshine Boys".

1994 began for Schumacher, the best way possible - he captured the lead in the championship. And then came the tragic race in the Italian Imola. In Saturday's qualifying was killed Austrian Roland Ratzenberger, and in the race - a great champion Senna. While Schumacher was not at fault in this, some hotheads thought he was guilty of the death of the Brazilian. One way or another - a pancake again a clod: the first title Schumacher wore a funereal tone. Although it is not only mourning.

In the course of the season the competitors have noticed that Schumacher triumphs, and his teammates can not even get into the eye-zone. For the error on the Belgian Grand Prix, which has prevented many pilots to finish the race, he was disqualified. He barely managed to retain the championship, but Benetton Ford Cup designers still deprived. But next year, Schumacher has had no equal: it prematurely won their second title, but by Benetton (already with motors "Reno") - Constructors Championship.

See photo essay by Michael Schumacher: The path to the legend .

"Red Baron"

In 1996, Schumacher joined Ferrari, but a 3-time world champion just did not work - too strong a Williams Renault, that enabled him to become a champion competitor - Englishman Damon Hill. A year later, Michael was leading before the last race of the season, but the European Grand Prix in Spain, made a fatal maneuver: he deliberately hit his main rival Jacques Villeneuve, but he left the road.Then it turned out that even if Canadian and did not get to the finish line, he lost his championship - Schumacher stripped of second place and all recruited for the season points.

In 1998, Schumacher, few believed - so large it seemed advantage of McLaren Mercedes and the Finn Mika Hakkinen. However, Michael until the last moment fighting for the title, but still lost. In 1999, he captured the lead with the first race, but at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone was in a terrible accident and nearly lost his life. He missed a few races, lost his chance at the title, but at the finish of the season helped Ferrari win the first of the 20 (!) Years, the Constructors' Championship. And then began.

In 2000-2004. the whole world knew who this Michael Schumacher. Over the years, has managed to rewrite the entire book of records "Formula 1". Over the years he outstripped the number of titles, first of his idol Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and then a Frenchman, and in 2003 - five-time world champion Juan Manuel Fangio. In all cases, the victory Schumacher, got a new nickname - "Red Baron", accompanied and Constructors' Championships for Ferrari. Only in 2003, Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya in the Williams BMW and Finn Kimi Raikkonen at McLaren Mercedes until recently struggled with him, but eventually relented.

In 2005, it seemed that the era of Schumacher's gone, and now it's time for a new idol - Spaniard Fernando Alonso, who became at 24 the youngest world champion. However, in a past season, Schumacher has imposed on his struggle, and until the last moment, Alonso could not feel safe. Just blast the engine on the penultimate race in fact left behind Schumacher's fight for the championship. However, in Brazil, he was able to leave nicely - despite the technical problems in qualifying, and the backlog of almost a circle from a leader in the middle of the race, he was able to break into fourth place. Along the way he set the best lap in the race, forcing even the enemies look admiringly at their maneuvers.

Over 15 years of his career, Schumacher has become a cult figure for fans around the world, rewriting the entire book of records "Formula 1". He has 91 victory, 68 starts from the first place, 76 best laps and 167 podiums. On the track it looked very contradictory. On the one hand, he showed a prudent man, who very often win the race at the expense of tactics and good work of mechanics. But, on the other hand, he repeatedly committed risky and breathtaking overtaking, which led to tremble with delight fans of motor racing.


The merits of Schumacher before the sport appreciated and his colleagues from other disciplines. In 2002-2003. He confessed to the best sportsman of the world, and the German fans felt that it was "Schumi" was the best athletes of Germany in the twentieth century. Among other things, Schumacher was reached and fees. For example, in 2003, he received a season 45 million euros, and for several years remained the highest-paid athlete in the world. Not surprisingly, because of their large salaries he had problems with the tax authorities in Germany, because of what he preferred to live in Switzerland and Monaco, where taxes are much lower.

Surprisingly, at constant life on the mean Schumacher was not at the character gossip. He himself told me that in his youth loved to walk on the girls, but becoming a champion, settled down. In 1995, he married a girl named Corinne, who bore him a daughter Gina-Maria and son Mick. He is not shy to admit that in ordinary life is imagines. Thus, Schumacher did not conceal that a decision on whether to end a career or not, has a spouse.

The only thing that allowed himself to Michael - to play football with the stars of the most popular games.He even played for a team of masters of one of the lower leagues in Switzerland, and football experts have noticed in him great football skills. In the exhibition match in the best arenas in Europe Schumacher repeatedly struck the gates of monsters goalie art, like Oliver Kahn and Gianluigi Buffon. Well, talented person is talented in all.

In 2004, one of the German Research Institute published a study that tried to find the answer to the phenomenon of endless victories Schumacher. Scientists have discovered that he had an unusual structure of the eye, allowing to see in the two turns ahead and pre-count moves. Well, now, following the departure of Michael, is not one SRI will explore and explain the actions of this man. Nobody will be surprised if in his native Kerpene will not only museum of racing, but devoted exclusively to him a major research center. In the end, Michael Schumacher earned it like no other.

Vadim Trukhachev


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