born 3 January 1969) is a retired German racing driver
. Schumacher is a seven-time Formula One World Champion
and is widely regarded as one of the greatest Formula One drivers of all time. He was named Laureus World Sportsman of the Year
twice. He holds many of Formula One's driver records
, including most championships, race victories, fastest laps, pole positions and most races won in a single season – 13 in 2004
(the last of these records was equalled by fellow German Sebastian Vettel
nine years later). In 2002
, he became the only driver in Formula One history to finish in the top three in every race of a season and then also broke the record for most consecutive podium finishes. According to the official Formula One website, he is "statistically the greatest driver the sport has ever seen".
After beginning with karting
, Schumacher won the German drivers' championships in Formula König
and Formula Three
before joining Mercedes
in the World Sportscar Championship
. After one Mercedes-funded race for the Jordan
Formula One team, Schumacher signed as a driver for the Benetton
Formula One team in 1991. After winning consecutive championships with Benetton in 1994/5, Schumacher moved to Ferrari
in 1996 and won another five consecutive drivers' titles with them from 2000 to 2004. Schumacher retired from Formula One driving in 2006 staying with Ferrari as an advisor.
Schumacher agreed to return for Ferrari part-way through 2009, as cover for the badly injured Felipe Massa
, but was prevented by a neck injury. Schumacher returned to Formula One on a permanent basis from 2010 with theMercedes
team before retiring for a second time at the conclusion of the 2012 season.]
His career was not without controversy, including being twice involved in collisions in the final race of a season that determined the outcome of the World Championship, with Damon Hill
, and with Jacques Villeneuve
. Off the track Schumacher is an ambassador for UNESCO
and a spokesman for driver safety. He has been involved in numerous humanitarian efforts throughout his life and donated tens of millions of dollars to charity. Schumacher and his younger brother, Ralf
, are the only brothers to win races in Formula One, and they were the first brothers to finish 1st and 2nd in the same race, a feat they repeated in four subsequent races.
In December 2013, Schumacher suffered a serious head injury while skiing. He was airlifted to a hospital and placed in a medically induced coma
, having suffered a traumatic brain injury. He was in the coma from 29 December 2013 until 16 June 2014. He left the hospital inGrenoble
for further rehabilitation at the University Hospital (CHUV)
. On 9 September 2014, Schumacher was brought back to his home for further rehabilitation. In November 2014, Schumacher was reported to be paralysed and wheelchair-bound as a result of the accident.