Michael Schumacher was born on January 3rd 1969 in Hürth-Hermülheim. His father Rolf leased the Graf Berghe von Trips kart track where Michael first sat in a kart, aged four. However, he had to make do with a home-made kart due to lack of money. The youngster's talent was obvious at an early stage despite the toy go- kart chassis powered by a moped engine, and so, sponsors quickly came forward to fund his expensive hobby.
Having outgrown the kart, Michael gained his first single-seater experience in Formula König in 1987. In 1988, he moved to Formula Ford, which he left as runner-up after one year. Manager Willi Webber took him under his wing in Formula 3 and was to see him through the next twenty years. Again, Schumacher finished as runner-up in his first year - level on points with Heinz-Harald Frentzen who was two years older.
He got his big break in 1990, aged 21, when he signed for the Mercedes Junior Team, running sports prototypes developed by Peter Sauber. It was here that Schumacher became familiar quite early on with the management structures required by a large, professional racing team, which later greatly facilitated his entry into the top echelons of motor racing - and sports prototypes that produced more than 900 bhp constituted the perfect training ground for his impending entry into Formula 1.
In 1991, Schumacher again lined up in the Sauber-Mercedes in the World Sportscar Championship. Mercedes-Benz gave the up-and-coming young driver his first test in Formula 1. A short while later, former Jordan driver Bertrand Gachot was imprisoned and Michael Schumacher replaced him in the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa. He impressed Flavio Briatore so much at his first Formula 1 weekend that Benetton put him under contract.
Success quickly followed, and in 1992, Michael drove in his first grand prix at Spa, winning his first title in 1994. Michael moved to Ferrari after securing the title double in 1995. The German led the team back to a place among the world's best and he won the world championship five times in a row from the year 2000 onwards. After 91 grand prix victories and seven world titles, Michael temporarily put his helmet back in its case in the autumn of 2006.
But he was still itching to get on the gas. Shortly before Christmas 2009, Michael and Mercedes-Benz announced his comeback in the new Silver Arrows MERCEDES GP PETRONAS works team, where Michael hooked up again with a long-time colleague, Ross Brawn, with whom he had won all of his seven world titles. Michael had now gone full circle with his return to Mercedes-Benz where he had first got started in sports cars.
Whilst enjoying his three-year comeback with MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS, Michael was to reach the magic total of 300 Formula 1 races in, of all places, what he refers to as his 'living room' at the Grand Prix of Belgium 2012. Michael proved that he had not lost any of his speed during his break from Formula 1 with a fastest time in qualifying at Monaco in 2012, to mention but one of his achievements. His best race result in the Silver Arrow, though, was a third place at the European Grand Prix in Valencia in 2012. Michael finally ended his Formula 1 career at the Brazil season finale in 2012 after 308 Grands Prix, 91 wins and seven world championship titles.