Michael Schumacher, byname Schumi, (born January 3, 1969, Hürth-Hermülhein, West Germany [now in Germany]), German race-car driver that set records for the maximum Formula One (F1) Grand Prix race victories (91, afterward broken by Lewis Hamilton) and F1 series championships (seven, afterward connected by Hamilton).
As a youth, Schumacher became interested in go-kart racing, an excitement that was encouraged by his dad's control of a go-kart track. In 1984 and 1985 he won the German junior karting championship, and in 1987 he captured the German and European karting titles.
The following year, at age 19, he left karting and turned into a driver of Formula Three (F3) automobiles, vehicles that were less powerful than the F1 racers.
In 1991 Schumacher transferred up to F1 contest as a driver for the Jordan team. He switched to Benetton the following season and won the drivers' world championship for this staff in 1994 and 1995. Before the 1996 season he moved to the Ferrari team and finished third in the championship standings.
After suffering a broken leg in an accident in 1999, Schumacher rebounded to win a third championship the next year, which was Ferrari's first drivers' title since 1979.
His 2000 triumph was the first in a string of five consecutive world championships (2000--04), along with his grand total of seven F1 names broke Juan Manuel Fangio's list of five that had stood for almost 50 years. In 2005 and 2006 he finished in third and second place at the F1 standings, respectively.
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