Rubens Barrichello

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Posted by r2d2 04/16/2009 @ 05:07

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Vettel Leads Red Bull to 1-2 Finish at Silverstone - New York Times
Rubens Barrichello, in the other Brawn, finished third, but 41.1 seconds behind Vettel. Button leads the series with 64 points, to 41 for Barrichello and 39 for Vettel. Brawn leads the constructors' standings with 105 points, to 74.5 for Red Bull and...
Franchitti wins in IRL, Vettel in F1 - San Jose Mercury News
Brawn gp's Rubens Barrichello was third after struggling with back pain, but teammate and championship leader Jenson Button finished a season-low sixth in front of his home fans. Having won six races out of eight, Button still leads the standings...
Kahne Gives Petty Team First Victory in 10 Years - New York Times
Brawn GP's Rubens Barrichello was third after struggling with back pain, but his teammate Jenson Button, the points leader, finished a season-low sixth in front of his home fans. Having won six of eight races, Button still leads the standings despite...
Vettel Wins British Grand Prix, Red Bull 1-2 - PaddockTalk
Australian Mark Webber played the role of a solid second as he did everything he needed to leap-frog ahead of Rubens Barrichello to take second place during the second pitstops. “We needed to get on the front row to have a chance at victory,” said...
British GP qualifying as it happened - BBC Sport
First and third, second place is the sluggish starting Rubens Barrichello and behind Webber is the Trulli train - excellent!" 1417: Jenson Button reckons he could have moved up at least a place on the grid had his Brawn team not called him in....
It's now or never for Brawn's Rubens Barrichello - The National
Rubens Barrichello, left, must step out of Jenson Button's shadow at Silverstone if he is to stand any chance of the drivers' championship. Daniel Leiva / AP It is beginning to get that point of the season where if Rubens Barrichello is going to...
Jenson Button team-mate Rubens Barrichello vows to disrupt season - Mirror.co.uk
Rubens Barrichello revealed he is itching to notch up his first victory of the season a week on Sunday at the British Grand Prix. And he aims to blast back into the championship reckoning with a clean sweep at one of his favourite tracks....
Rubens Barrichello Makes a Wembley Pit Stop! - SYS-CON Media (press release)
LONDON , June 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Formula 1 driver Rubens Barrichello made a pit stop with a difference today. He was onboard a Virgin Pendolino train to launch Alstom's new pit stop approach to train maintenance at Wembley depot in North London ....
Rubens - I lost on Saturday - SkySports
Rubens Barrichello said both a failure to qualify on the front row and tyre problems during the race itself ended his chances of victory in the Monaco Grand Prix. The Brazilian qualified third behind Brawn GP team-mate Jenson Button and Ferrari's Kimi...
Sports Watch - Fox12Idaho
Brawn GP's Rubens Barrichello was third, but teammate and championship leader Jenson Button finished a season-low sixth. Having won six races out of 8, Button leads the standings by 23 points over Barrichello. WIMBLEDON, England (AP) - Wimbledon,...

Rubens Barrichello

Barrichello at the 1997 Canadian Grand Prix

Rubens Gonçalves "Rubinho" Barrichello (born May 23, 1972 in São Paulo) is a Brazilian Formula One racing driver. Following the management buy-out of the Honda racing team, with whom Barrichello competed during the 2008 season, he was confirmed for 2009 as one of the drivers in the new Brawn GP team.

Barrichello has scored the fifth highest points total in Formula One history. Barrichello drove for Ferrari from 2000 to 2005, as Michael Schumacher's teammate, enjoying considerable success including finishing as championship runner-up in 2002 and 2004. Schumacher's retirement at the end of 2006 made Barrichello the most experienced driver on the grid, and at the 2008 Turkish Grand Prix he became the most experienced driver in F1 history.

As a young, aspiring driver, Barrichello looked up to the late Ayrton Senna, and when he joined Formula One, Senna in return considered him his protégé. As of the 2009 Formula One season Barrichello is the only driver left competing in Formula One to have raced against the likes of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, making Barrichello the last still-competing driver linked to that era of Formula One.

Both his father and paternal grandfather are also named Rubens, and Barrichello shares his father's birthday: May 23. Therefore, Rubens Barrichello was known as Rubinho (Portuguese for "little Rubens"), which has become his nickname.

Barrichello won five karting titles in Brazil before going to Europe to race in the Formula Vauxhall Lotus series in 1990. In his first year, he won the championship, a feat he replicated the following year in the British Formula 3 Championship, beating David Coulthard. He very nearly joined Formula One, the highest category of single seater racing, at just 19 years of age. Instead he competed in Formula 3000 in 1992. He finished third in the championship, and joined the Jordan Formula One team for the 1993 Formula One season. During this time, and also early in his Formula 1 career, Barrichello lived in Banbury & Cumnor, Oxfordshire, UK.

Barrichello had an effective rookie year. In his third race, the European Grand Prix, he started from 12th place in very wet conditions but was fourth by the end of the first lap. He ran as high as second and was running third, having passed the Williams of Damon Hill and Alain Prost, before encountering a fuel problem. His Jordan's reliability in 1993 was poor, and he finished few races. Barrichello regularly outpaced his more experienced teammates, Ivan Capelli and Thierry Boutsen. In the French Grand Prix, he almost scored his first grand prix point (and the team's first that year) but Michael Andretti passed Barrichello for the sixth and final point-paying position on the final lap. His only points finish of the season came at the Japanese Grand Prix with fifth place, ahead of his new teammate Eddie Irvine. These 2 points put him in 18th place in the 1993 standings.

1994 started well with a fourth place in Brazil and a third place at Aida, which earned him his maiden podium position. These results put Barrichello in second place in the drivers' ranking at that moment, behind Michael Schumacher, who had won the two races. However, at the San Marino Grand Prix, Barrichello's career nearly ended when he suffered a violent crash during Friday practice. His car hit the wall in Variante Bassa, turning him upside down. This accident knocked him unconscious and threatened his life, with his tongue blocking his airway. Quick action by officials ensured survival. During the race, his mentor Ayrton Senna crashed his Williams at high speed and died. Despite this deep personal loss, Barrichello recovered his confidence and raced strongly, making good races and taking pole position at the Belgian Grand Prix, and leading some laps at the Portuguese Grand Prix. His pole position at the Belgian Grand Prix set the record for the youngest driver to secure pole position at that time. He finished the 1994 season sixth in the Drivers' Championship with 19 points, ahead of teammate Eddie Irvine, who scored six points.

1995 was highlighted by a second place finish in Montreal, but the Jordan cars were less reliable than in 1994. In three races he lost a total of 7 points on the final lap—a collision at Silverstone, and mechanical failures at Barcelona and the Hungaroring. Barrichello finished the season in 11th with 11 points, one ahead of Irvine.

There were high hopes for 1996, when the Jordan team took over the works Peugeot engine contract from the McLaren team. The Benson & Hedges cigarette brand brought an infusion of sponsorship to the team. Barrichello was amongst the frontrunners at the Brazilian Grand Prix, the second race of the season, before spinning off after his brakes overheated. However as the season progressed, Jordan became less competitive. Barrichello's relationship with team owner Eddie Jordan soured during 1996, and at the end of the year, after been linked to strong teams, he left for the newly formed Stewart Grand Prix.

1997 was a difficult first year for the team, and Barrichello only finished three races. The highlight was a second place finish in Monaco, which put him 13th in the standings. Teammate Jan Magnussen scored no points. The same year, Barrichello married Silvana Giaffone on February 24. She is a cousin of Brazilian Indy Racing League driver Felipe Giaffone and a niece of the Stock Car Brasil champions, Affonso Giaffone Filho and Zeca Giaffone.

1998 was not much better for Stewart. Two fifth places were the best in the season. Despite the poor reliability of the team, Barrichello performed well and consistently beat teammate Magnussen, which resulted in the latter being dropped at the French Grand Prix, replaced by Jos Verstappen, another teammate beaten by Barrichello.

1999 was a much better year for the Stewart team. Barrichello qualified third at the Brazilian Grand Prix, outpacing Michael Schumacher's Ferrari, and led some laps, to delight of the local fans, until his engine blew near 'Subida dos Boxes'. He also took pole position in the wet qualifying session in France and three podium finishes, at the San Marino, French, and European Grands Prix. The latter race was won by teammate Johnny Herbert. Despite this, Barrichello again generally outpaced his teammate. Over the course of the year, he caught the eye of Ferrari boss Jean Todt, and he was signed for the 2000 season.

Barrichello achieved his first grand prix victory at the 2000 German Grand Prix at Hockenheim after starting the race from 18th place on the grid. This was the longest any driver in Formula One history has waited for a maiden grand prix win. Barrichello had a consistent debut season for Ferrari, finishing most races on the podium, but was outscored by the other three reliable cars: Schumacher, Häkkinen and Coulthard. Barrichello finished the season ranked fourth after supporting Michael Schumacher as he battled and defeated Mika Häkkinen for the 2000 Formula One Championship, and helping Ferrari win the constructors' championship.

Barrichello finished the 2001 season in third place, achieving a total of 10 podium finishes and scoring a total of 56 championship points. He again played a major supporting role for Michael Schumacher, helping him win his second drivers' championship with Ferrari and helping the team win the constructors' championship for its third consecutive year.

Barrichello's success at Ferrari continued in 2002, when he won four races for the team and finished a career best second place in the drivers' championship, scoring 77 championship points. The year was marked by controversy, however, when the Ferrari team orders required Barrichello to allow the trailing Michael Schumacher to pass him at the final straight of the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix to take the victory. Schumacher exchanged podium places with Barrichello at the podium ceremony and gave Barrichello the winner's trophy. The drivers were fined for disrupting podium protocol and Ferrari's blatant team orders led to the FIA banning team orders beginning in 2003.

Barrichello finished the 2003 season in fourth place, scoring 65 points, including wins at the British Grand Prix and the Japanese Grand Prix. He again played a crucial role in helping Michael Schumacher and Ferrari win the drivers' and constructors' championships.

In the 2004 season, Barrichello finished second behind teammate Schumacher in only seven of the first thirteen races, but he won both the Italian Grand Prix and the Chinese Grand Prix to clinch second place in the championship, finishing the year with 114 points and 14 podiums.

Though Barrichello had good cars during his Ferrari era, his best result at his home race was a third place at the 2004 event. He has failed to finish eleven of the fifteen Brazilian Grands Prix in which he has competed.

In the 2005 season, Ferrari lacked the pace of previous years due to changing tyre rules. Ferrari used Bridgestone tyres, which were less effective than those of their competitors Michelin. Barrichello's best results this season were two second places: first at the Melbourne and then at the controversial 2005 United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis. He finished the season in eighth place in the drivers' standing with 38 points, his worst season with the Maranello team.

In August 2005 he announced that he would be leaving Ferrari at the end of the year to join Honda.

Barrichello's lucky number is "11," which was the number his kart bore when he won his first race. In the 2006 Formula One season, his new teammate Jenson Button gave Barrichello the number for his car in goodwill. Barrichello was initially outpaced by Button, and claimed that the car did not suit his driving style, particularly in its braking style. After modifications to the car he was able to be more competitive. At the 2006 Monaco Grand Prix, he nearly got his first podium with the team, but then he was given a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane and finished fourth. Though he lost a podium, it was the best result at the Monaco Grand Prix for Honda (as a team) or any Japanese team. For the race Barrichello exchanged helmets with Tony Kanaan, a Brazilian IRL driver and one of his best friends. On the same weekend, Kanaan raced in the 2006 Indianapolis 500 race using Barrichello's helmet. Barrichello qualified third for the 2006 Chinese Grand Prix, ahead of Schumacher and Räikkönen. He finished the season seventh in the drivers' standings with 30 points, 26 behind Button.

Barrichello did not score any points during the 2007 season, mostly due to the Honda RA107's lack of pace. Despite retiring only twice, a ninth place in the British Grand Prix was his best result of the season and he only once qualified in the top 10. He finished the standings in 20th place, behind weaker cars such as Takuma Sato's Super Aguri and Adrian Sutil's Spyker.

Honda confirmed on July 19, 2007, that Barrichello would remain with the team as a race driver for the 2008 Formula One season. This gave him the opportunity of making the five race starts he required to break Riccardo Patrese's record for the driver that has started the most Grands Prix, a record that had stood for 14 years.

In the first race of the 2008 season, Barrichello qualified 10th, ahead of Button. He finished 6th but was disqualified for ignoring a red light at the pit exit. He also received a stop-and-go penalty during the race for entering the pits while they were closed during a safety car period. In the 2008 Malaysian Grand Prix, gearbox problems limited his performance and he finished 13th. In the 2008 Bahrain Grand Prix he again finished out of the points.

The 2008 Turkish Grand Prix was Barrichello's 257th Grand Prix, breaking Riccardo Patrese's record of 256 Grand Prix starts and becoming the most experienced driver in F1 history. The particular Grand Prix at which he broke this record has been disputed, as he technically did not start some races, such as the 2002 Spanish Grand Prix, but Barrichello and Honda chose the 2008 Turkish Grand Prix to be the location of the official celebrations.

In Monaco, he finally scored his first points since 2006 and in Canada he scored back-to-back points, finishing 7th after starting in 9th position. He led some laps in this race thanks to the appearance of the safety car, but fell back down the order towards the end of the race.

At Magny-Cours, Barrichello did not repeat his performance from the two previous races and qualified in 17th. After a gearbox change, he dropped to 20th. In the race, he finished 14th.

At Silverstone, which he said he considers to be his second home, he qualified 16th, outpacing Button. Despite this and heavy rain on race day, through the use of an extreme wet tyre he finished 3rd, achieving his first podium since 2005. However in Germany, a collision with David Coulthard ended his hopes for points. In Hungary, he was lapped by the leader, repeating the same performance in Valencia. In Belgium he qualified 16th but had to retire due to a gearbox fault. At a wet Italy he was second fastest in Friday practice and started from 16th on the grid. He managed to get up to 9th but due to using the wrong type of tyre in his second pit stop he ended up 17th. At F1's first ever night race in Singapore he was in a good position to score some points after pitting before the pit lane closed for the safety car period but shortly after the engine failed and he had to retire. In the Japanese Grand Prix he again failed to get out of Q1 and started from 17th on the grid, but managed to get up to 13th by the end of the race. In China he managed to get into Q2 for the first time in ten races, and would have started 14th. But after Mark Webber had his ten place penalty for a engine change added he was moved up to 13th. On race day he had a good start, and got up to 10th early on and held a strong mid table position all race and finished 11th, five places ahead of team mate Jenson Button who had struggled all weekend.

At his home Grand Prix in Brazil, he was sporting an alternative helmet design in tribute to Ingo Hoffmann. He finished 15th.

On 5 December 2008 Honda announced that they were quitting F1, due to the economic crisis. This lead to months of uncertainty as to whether a buyer could be found, and whether they would retain Barrichello.

Veteran designer Ross Brawn ultimately bought the team and renamed it Brawn GP. On 6 March 2009, Brawn confirmed that both Barrichello and Jenson Button would remain for 2009. In the last pre-season test, both Barrichello and Button surprised the paddock with very quick lap times, Barrichello was nearly a second faster than anyone on day four. At Melbourne he was top in Q1 and Q2 and second in Q3 completed a front row lock out for Brawn GP, alongside team-mate Jenson Button in P1. Despite a poor start and damage sustained to the front wing and rear diffuser he managed to recover to finish the race in second place. He started 8th on the grid in Malaysia after getting a grid penalty for a gearbox change and finished the race in fifth place after the race was abandoned at Sepang due to heavy rain.

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Honda Racing F1

Rubens Barrichello driving for Honda at the 2006 Brazilian GP.

Honda Racing F1 Team was a Formula One (F1) team run by Japanese car manufacturer Honda, from 1964 to 1968 and from 2006 to 2008. Honda's involvement in F1 began with the 1964 season; their withdrawal in 1968 was precipitated by the death of Honda driver Jo Schlesser during the 1968 French Grand Prix. They returned in 1983 as an engine supplier, a role that ended in 1992. They returned again in 2000, providing engines for British American Racing (BAR), and by the end of 2005 BAR had been bought out and Honda Racing was re-established.

It was announced on December 5, 2008 that Honda would be exiting Formula One with immediate effect due to the current economic crisis and were looking to sell the team. On February 27 2009 it was announced that the team had been secured with a management buy-out led by team principal Ross Brawn.

Honda entered Formula One Grand Prix racing in 1964, just four years after producing their first road car. They began development of the RA271 in 1962 and startled the European-dominated Formula One garages with their all-Japanese factory team (except for American drivers Ronnie Bucknum and Richie Ginther). More startling was the fact that Honda built their own engine and chassis, something only Ferrari and BRM - of the other teams still running in 1962 - had previously done.

In only their second year of competition, Honda reached the coveted top step of the podium with Ginther's win in the RA272 at the 1965 Mexican Grand Prix. For the new 3.0L rules from 1966, Honda introduced the Honda RA273. Although the RA273's engine was a well-designed, ~360bhp V12, the car was let down by a relatively heavy and unwieldy in-house chassis. Honda returned to the winner's circle in 1967 with the new Honda RA300, driven by John Surtees. This won the 1967 Italian Grand Prix in only its first F1 race. The RA300 chassis was partly designed by Lola in the UK, and this resulted in the car being nicknamed the Hondola by the motoring press. This was the last competitive car that Honda produced for F1 in the 1960s.

The following year's Honda RA301 only reached the podium twice. The team's new Honda RA302 appeared in only a single race at Rouen-Les-Essarts, lasting only a few laps before its fiery crash resulted in the death of driver Jo Schlesser. The death prompted Honda to withdraw from F1 at the end of the 1968 Formula One season.

Honda returned to Formula One in 1983 as an engine supplier for Spirit and stayed in the sport for a decade, at various times teaming with Lotus, McLaren, Tyrrell and Williams. Honda engines were considered the ticket to Grand Prix glory due to their power, reliability, and winning track record. Honda supplied its engines to six constructor champions, as well as five driver championships (3 by Senna, 1 by Piquet, and another by Prost), before dropping out of the sport again. Honda-powered cars had won 71 Grands Prix, by the end of the 1992 season.

From 1993 to 1998, Honda's only presence in F1 was as an engine supplier through its associates Mugen Motorsports, who supplied engines to Footwork, Lotus, Ligier, Prost and Jordan. Mugen-powered cars had won 4 Grands Prix by the end of the 1999 season. In 1998, Honda was seriously considering entry in Formula One as a constructor, going as far as producing an engine and hiring Harvey Postlethwaite as technical director and designer. A test car, RA099, designed by Postlethwaite and built by Dallara, was made and tested during 1999, driven by Jos Verstappen. The team impressed at test sessions, beating some more experienced and better financed teams, even if they were mostly in the midfield. At a test of this car, Postlethwaite suffered a fatal heart attack, the project was later shelved and Honda decided to merely recommit as a full works engine supplier to BAR, starting in 2000.

Honda returned yet again in 2000, providing engines for BAR. They also supplied engines to Jordan Grand Prix for 2001 and 2002. This would lead to a battle for the right to use the Honda engines in the long term. In 2003, despite their better showing in the previous 2 seasons, Honda dropped Jordan Grand Prix. In mid-November 2004 Honda purchased 45% of the BAR team from British American Tobacco (BAT, the founder and owner of BAR) following BAR's best season, when they were able to achieve second place in the 2004 Formula One season, a year dominated by Michael Schumacher and Ferrari.

In September 2005 Honda purchased the remaining 55% share of BAR to become the sole owner. BAT continued as title sponsor with the Lucky Strike brand in 2006, but withdrew from Formula 1 for 2007. It was decided that the team would race under the name Honda Racing F1 Team from 2006.

Despite showing promise pre-season (with the RA806 being considered one of the most powerful of the new V8 engines), Honda demonstrated fairly mediocre performance at the start of the 2006 season despite a pole position at Australia. Prior to their win at Hungary, they had only accumulated a single podium finish, a third place from Jenson Button at Malaysia. The main reason for lack of form (the team was expecting to challenge for the championship) was down to reliability, with the team dropping out of contention for race victories many times. Pit-stop problems also hampered the team early on, in one case effectively ruining Jenson Button's chances for a good result and possible podium at Imola. Rubens Barrichello did not have a good season for the team, down to the fact that he had to get used to the new brakes and traction control, after moving from a very successful six year stint at Ferrari. Nevertheless Rubens had out-qualified his team-mate in the final four races.

Honda had a particularly poor showing at the British Grand Prix in 2006. In particular, Jenson Button was eliminated after the first portion of qualifying after the team failed to get him out for a second run. This resulted in his qualifying 19th. He then retired with an oil leak. In light of this poor form, it was announced that Geoff Willis would be adopting a factory-based role to concentrate on aerodynamics. Following the appointment of Senior Technical Director Shuhei Nakamoto over Willis' head and Mariano Alperin-Bruvera as Chief Aerodynamicist Willis' position appeared difficult, and reports indicated that he left the team.

At the Hungaroring, fortunes changed. Barrichello and Button qualified third and fourth, though Button had to drop ten places, following an engine change. In an incident-packed race, Jenson came from fourteenth on the grid to win his first race, with Barrichello finishing fourth. After this win, the team's performance went up noticeably, displaying consistency (if not overall performance) arguably better than championship leaders Ferrari and Renault. Button scored as many points as championship runner up Michael Schumacher in the last third of the season. Both drivers earned points finishes in almost all the remaining races (with the exception of Barrichello's 12th place finish in Japan), with the season ending high note with Button's 3rd place finish in the Brazil - less than a second behind 2nd place Fernando Alonso - after having to start from 14th on the grid.

On November 15, 2006, it was announced that long time BAR Honda and Honda test driver, Anthony Davidson would be heading to Super Aguri F1 to race alongside Takuma Sato. He was replaced by ex-Red Bull racer Christian Klien for the 2007 season.

With tobacco sponsorship in F1 in full decline, 2007 also saw the end of British American Tobacco's sponsorship of Honda, allowing the team to choose a livery that better suited their corporate image. Unveiled on 26 February 2007, the RA107 car featured the bare minimum of corporate advertising (advertising required by the FIA), instead focusing on Honda's environmental desires, with a livery depicting the planet Earth against the black background of space. On the rear wing was the web address of environmental awareness website myearthdream.com. This site was launched February 27, 2007, immediately after the official launch of the 2007 car. Reactions to the new Honda livery were mixed, with Greenpeace accusing the team of being hypocritical, given how polluting F1 is.

The team's form in pre-season testing was patchy, and Jenson Button urged the squad to improve. The RA-107's sheer lack of pace was evident at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 18, with Button and Barrichello qualifying 14th and 17th respectively (well behind the 'satellite' Super Aguri team, whose car is effectively an update of last year's Honda, the RA-106). Barrichello finished the race in 11th place, with Button in 15th after receiving a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane. The team also failed to score points in the four subsequent races, their best finish being 10th in Spain and Monaco, scored both times by Rubens Barrichello. Honda finally scored a point in the French Grand Prix, courtesy of Button's eighth place finish.

From July 2007, recognising the aerodynamic problems within the car, Honda began to recruit a new team from across the Formula 1 paddock. Chief aerodynamicist Loic Bigois and assistant Francois Martinet were signed from WilliamsF1; Jörg Zander and John Owen from BMW Sauber either later in 2007 or early in 2008.

On July 19, 2007, it was announced that Barrichello and Button would continue the factory effort as teammates into 2008. On November 12 2007, autosport.com confirmed that former Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn was to join Honda as team principal. Nick Fry remained with the team as Chief Executive. On the 10th January 2008, it was announced that Alexander Wurz had signed as test driver for the 2008 Formula One Season. On 29 January 2008, Honda launched their 2008 race car. The "Earth Car" had a slightly different livery from its 2007 counterpart, with only part of the car containing the earth picture, and the rest with Honda's classic white paint. Button, Barrichello and Wurz were present at the launch.

Honda had another disappointing year, and by mid-season they had switched development to the 2009 season, where new regulations come into play. Despite this, Barichello managed a podium in the wet British Grand Prix with an inspired choice to full wet weather tyres at the right moment.

The team continued until the end of the 2008 season, when Honda again exited the sport, unwilling to continue the Brackley-based team's $300 million budget and staff of 700 during an extended period of global economic crisis. Nick Fry and other Honda F1 senior team management "intend to make every effort possible to secure the future of the team"; they have received assurances that "Honda will provide the necessary support to complete the Honda RA109, the team's 2009 F1 contender and believe they "can still have a very successful 2009 season if a new owner can be found." Many possible new owners had been linked to the team, including Prodrive boss David Richards and Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim . It is also rumoured that the team will enter the 2009 season with backing from driver Bruno Senna's personal sponsors and Honda itself. Senna would be joined by Jenson Button and the team would use Mercedes-Benz engines.

On the 18 February, it was confirmed that Virgin Group had made a bid to buy the team. However, the team was eventually saved by a management buy-out led by Honda Racing team principal Ross Brawn. On the 25 February, the team's attorney registered the domains 'brawnracing.com' and 'brawnracing.co.uk', hinting at the possibility that the team might race under a new name. Rubens Barrichello was confirmed as Jenson Button's teammate for the 2009 season on March 2.

On the 6 March, Honda Motor Company announced that the Formula One team was sold to Ross Brawn and formed a new team, Brawn GP.

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Scuderia Ferrari

Traditional Scuderia Ferrari logo

Scuderia Ferrari is the name for the Gestione Sportiva, the division of the Ferrari automobile company concerned with racing. Though the Scuderia and Ferrari Corse Clienti continue to manage the racing activities of numerous Ferrari customers and private teams, Ferrari's racing division has completely devoted its attention and funding to its Formula One team, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro. Scuderia is Italian for a stable reserved to racing horses, and Ferrari refers to Enzo Ferrari, the founder of the company. The prancing horse was the symbol on Italian World War I ace Francesco Baracca's fighter plane, and became the logo of Ferrari after the fallen ace's parents, good friends with Enzo Ferrari, asked him so, to continue his tradition of sportsmanship, gallantry and boldness.

Scuderia Ferrari was founded in 1929, and raced for Alfa Romeo until 1939. Ferrari first competed in F1 in 1948 (the team's first F1 car was the Tipo 125 F1), making it the oldest team left in the championship and statistically the most successful one (with a record of 15 drivers' championships and 16 constructors' championships won). The team's numerous and ardent Italian fans are known as tifosi, though the team also has a vibrant international following.

The team's current drivers are Felipe Massa and Kimi Räikkönen, and its test drivers are Luca Badoer and Marc Gené. Ferrari are the reigning Constructors' title holders, after the conclusion of the 2008 season.

On 12 November 2007 Ferrari President Luca Cordero di Montezemolo announced team's new structure, with Jean Todt moving up to his senior role as CEO of the company, Stefano Domenicali will be taking over as team principal as Ross Brawn declined a return following his sabbatical (later on the same day being announced as the new Team Principal of Honda F1), Aldo Costa as technical director and Mario Almondo as Operations Director.

Originally founded by Enzo Ferrari in 1929 to enter amateur drivers in various races, in 1933 Scuderia Ferrari became the acting racing team of Alfa Romeo. In October 1939 Enzo Ferrari left Alfa when the racing activity stopped and immediately began work a racecar of his own, the Tipo 815 (eight cylinders, 1.5 L displacement). The 815s, designed by Alberto Massimino, were thus the first true Ferrari cars, but after Alberto Ascari and the Marchese Lotario Rangoni Machiavelli di Modena drove them in the 1940 Mille Miglia, World War II put a temporary end to racing and the 815s saw no more competition. Once racing restarted after the war Ferrari constructed the 12-cylinder, 1.5 L Tipo 125, which competed at several non-championship Grands Prix.

Ferrari debuted in the Formula One World Championship in the 1950 Monaco Grand Prix with the 125 F1, sporting a supercharged version of the 125 V12, and two experienced and successful drivers, Alberto Ascari and Gigi Villoresi. The company later switched to the large-displacement naturally-aspirated formula for the 275, 340, and 375 F1 cars. The Alfa Romeo team dominated the 1950 Formula One season, winning all eleven events it entered (six World Championship events and five non-Championship races), but Ferrari broke their streak in 1951 when rotund driver José Froilán González took first place at the 1951 British Grand Prix.

After the 1951 Formula One season the Alfa team withdrew from F1, causing the authorities to adopt the Formula Two regulations due to the lack of suitable F1 cars. Ferrari entered the 2.0 L 4-cyl Ferrari Tipo 500, which went on to win almost every race in which it competed in the 1952 Formula One season with drivers Ascari, Giuseppe Farina, and Piero Taruffi; Ascari took the World Championship after winning six consecutive races. In the 1953 Formula One season, Ascari won only five races but another world title; at the end of that season, Juan Manuel Fangio beat the Ferraris in a Maserati for the first time.

The 1954 Formula One season brought new rules for 2.5 L engines; Ferrari's new car, designated the Ferrari Tipo 625, could barely compete against Fangio with the Maserati and then the Mercedes-Benz W196 which appeared in July. Ferrari had only two wins, González at the 1954 British Grand Prix and Mike Hawthorn at the 1954 Spanish Grand Prix. In 1955 Formula One season Ferrari did no better, winning only the 1955 Monaco Grand Prix with driver Maurice Trintignant. Late in the tragic 1955 season the Ferrari team purchased the Lancia team's D50 chassis after they had retired following Ascari's Death; Fangio, Peter Collins, and Eugenio Castellotti raced the D50s successfully in the 1956 Formula One season: Collins two races, Fangio won three races and the championship.

In the 1957 Formula One season Fangio returned to Maserati. Ferrari, still using its aging Lancias, failed to win a race. Drivers Luigi Musso and the Marquis Alfonso de Portago joined Castellotti; Castellotti died while testing and Portago crashed into a crowd at the Mille Miglia, killing twelve and causing Ferrari to be charged with manslaughter.

In the 1958 Formula One season, a constructor championship was introduced, and won by Vanwall. Carlo Chiti designed an entirely new car for Ferrari: the Ferrari 246 Dino, named for Enzo Ferrari's recently deceased son. The team retained drivers Collins, Hawthorn, and Musso, but Musso died at the 1958 French Grand Prix and Collins died at the 1958 German Grand Prix; Hawthorn won the World Championship and announced his retirement, and died months later in a road accident.

Ferrari hired five new drivers, Tony Brooks, Jean Behra, Phil Hill, Dan Gurney, and occasionally Cliff Allison, for the 1959 Formula One season. The team did not get along well; Behra was fired after punching team manager Romolo Tavoni. Brooks was competitive until the end of the season, but in the end he narrowly lost the championship to Jack Brabham with the rear-engined Cooper.

1960 Formula One season proved little better than 1959. Ferrari kept drivers Hill, Allison and Wolfgang von Trips and added Willy Mairesse to drive the dated front-engined 246s and Richie Ginther, who drove Ferrari's first rear-engined car. Allison was severely injured in testing and the team won no race.

In the 1961 Formula One season, with new rules for 1500 cm³, the team kept Hill, von Trips and Ginther, and débuted another Chiti designed car, the Ferrari 156 based on the Formula 2 car of 1960, which was dominant throughout the season. Ferrari drivers Hill and Von Trips competed for the championship. Giancarlo Baghetti joined in midseason and became the first driver to win on his debut race (the 1961 French Grand Prix). However, at the end of the season, von Trips crashed at the 1961 Italian Grand Prix and was killed, together with over a dozen spectators. Hill won the championship.

At the end of the 1961 season, in what is called "the walk-out", car designer Carlo Chiti and team manager Romolo Tavoni left to set up their own team, ATS. Ferrari promoted Mauro Forghieri to racing director and Eugenio Dragoni to team manager.

For the 1962 Formula One season, Hill and Baghetti stayed on with rookies Ricardo Rodriguez and Lorenzo Bandini. The team used the 1961 cars for a second year while Forghieri worked on a new design; the team won no race.

Ferrari ran smaller lighter 156 cars for the 1963 Formula One season, this time with drivers Bandini, John Surtees, Willy Mairesse and Ludovico Scarfiotti. Surtees won the 1963 German Grand Prix, at which Mairesse crashed heavily, rendering him unable to drive again.

The new 158 model was at last finished in late 1963 and developed into raceworthiness for the 1964 Formula One season, featuring an eight-cylinder engine designed by Angelo Bellei. Surtees and Bandini were joined by young Mexican Pedro Rodríguez, brother of Ricardo (who had been killed at the end of 1962), to drive the new cars. Surtees won two races and Bandini one; the Ferrari was slower than Jim Clark's Lotus but its vastly superior reliability gave Surtees the championship and Bandini fourth place. In the last two races in North America, the Ferrari were entered by private team NART and painted in the US-color scheme of blue and white, as Enzo protest against the Italian sporting authority.

The 1965 Formula One season was the last year of the 1.5 L formula, so Ferrari opted to use the same V8 engine another year together with a new flat-12 which had debuted at the end of 1964; they won no races as Clark dominated in his now more reliable Lotus. Surtees and Bandini stayed on as drivers, with odd races for Rodriguez, Vaccarella and Bob Bondurant.

For the 1966 Formula One season with new rules, the Ferrari 312 of Surtees consisted of a 3.0 L version of the 3.3 L V12 which they had previously used in Ferrari P sports car racers, mounted in the back of a rather heavy F1 chassis. Bandini drove a Tasman Series 2.4 L V6 car early in the season. Surtees won one race, the 1966 Belgian Grand Prix, but departed after a row with manager Eugenio Dragoni; he was replaced by Mike Parkes. Scarfiotti also won a race, the 1966 Italian Grand Prix at Monza, with an improved 36-valve engine.

In the 1967 Formula One season, the team fired Dragoni and replaced him with Franco Lini; Chris Amon partnered Bandini to drive a somewhat improved version of the 1966 car. At the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix Bandini crashed and suffered heavy injuries when he was trapped under his burning car; several days later he succumbed to his injuries. Ferrari kept Mike Parkes and Scarfiotti, but Parkes suffered career-ending injuries weeks later at the 1967 Belgian Grand Prix and Scarfiotti temporarily retired from racing after witnessing his crash.

The 1968 Formula One season was better; Jacky Ickx drove with one win in France and several good positions, which gave him a chance at the World Championship until a practise crash in Canada, and Amon led several races but won none. At the end of the season, manager Franco Lini quit and Ickx went to the Brabham team. During the summer of 1968, Ferrari worked out a deal to sell his road car business to Fiat for $11 million; the transaction took place in early 1969, leaving 50% of the business still under the control of Ferrari himself.

During 1969 Formula One season Enzo Ferrari set about wisely spending his newfound wealth to revive his struggling team; though Ferrari did compete in Formula One in 1969, it was something of a throwaway season while the team was restructured. Amon continued to drive an older model and Pedro Rodríguez replaced Ickx; at the end of the year Amon left the team.

In 1970 Jacky Ickx rejoined the team and won the Austrian, the Canadian and the Mexican Grand Prix to become second in the driver championship.

After three poor years, Ferrari signed Niki Lauda in 1974, and made the momentous decision to pull out of sportscar racing to concentrate upon F1. However, poor reliability with the 312B3 kept them from taking victory that year.

The new Ferrari 312T, developed fully with Niki Lauda, introduced in 1975 brought Ferrari back to winning ways. Niki taking the drivers' crown and Ferrari the constructors'.

In 1976 Lauda crashed at the German Grand Prix. Carlos Reutemann was hired as a replacement, so with Clay Regazzoni driving the other car, Ferrari had to run three cars in the 1976 Italian Grand Prix when Lauda returned unexpectedly soon (only 6 weeks after his accident). Lauda scored points, but retired from the last race in Japan in heavy rain, thus allowing James Hunt to take the title by just a single point.

In 1977 Lauda, having come back from his near fatal crash the previous year, took the title again for Ferrari (and the team won the costrucutors' championship), overcoming his more fancied, and favoured, team mate. His relations with the team, especially the team manager Mauro Forghieri continued to deteriorate, and he decided finally to leave for Brabham.

In 1978, Ferrari raced with Carlos Reutemann and Gilles Villeneuve, and while they managed to produce a solid car it, like everyone that year, was outclassed by the ground effect Lotus 79.

Jody Scheckter replacing the Lotus bound Argentinian in 1979, took the title, supported by Gilles Villeneuve (who dutifully followed the South African home at Monza, having been ordered to do so), won the last World Drivers' Championship in a Ferrari until Michael Schumacher twenty one years later. The car was a compromise ground effect design due to the configuration of the Ferrari wide angle V12, which was overtaken in due course by the extremely successful Williams FW07, but not before racking up the necessary points to take both title that year.

Ferrari and Jody Scheckter's 1980 title defence was unsuccessful, as the team's rivals made up ground at the expense of the reigning champions. The team scored a meagre total of eight points all season, and Scheckter elected to retire at its conclusion. For the 1981 season, Ferrari signed Didier Pironi to partner Gilles Villeneuve and also introduced its own turbo-charged engine, which provided more power in a more compact design than the previous normally-aspirated, twelve-cylinder arrangement. The season was a distinct improvement on the last, Villeneuve winning the Monaco and Spanish Grands Prix, but a potential championship challenge was stymied by the difficult handling of the chassis. However, the lessons learnt from the team's first racing experience with a turbo car in F1 prepared it well for 1982. Throughout this season, the Ferrari was the best package, in terms of a balance between speed and reliability.

The year was, however, marred by the loss of both of Ferrari's drivers. Team leader and favorite driver of Enzo Ferrari, Villeneuve, died in a crash during qualifying at the Belgian GP, whilst Pironi suffered career-ending injuries before the German GP later in the season. Ferrari first called up Patrick Tambay, in place of the late Villeneuve, and later Mario Andretti in an effort to protect Pironi's lead in the championship, but to no avail. Ferrari did, however, win the constructors' championship. In that same year the Formula One works moved partially out of the original Maranello factory into its own autonomous facility, still in Maranello but directly next to the Fiorano test circuit.

Four wins by René Arnoux and Patrick Tambay won the team another constructors' title in 1983, but neither driver was consistent enough to challenge for the drivers' title. Patrick Tambay took an especially emotional victory at San Marino in front of the Tifosi, but left to join the Renault team at the end of the season. Michele Alboreto was hired for 1984 following his impressive performances during previous year driving a Cosworth-powered Tyrrell. He won the Belgian GP, but the team's performance was not competitive enough to challenge the dominant McLarens of Niki Lauda and Alain Prost. In the following year, however, Alboreto was Prost's closest challenger for the championship, leading it at one stage before the team's competitiveness slumped in the final races. Arnoux, meanwhile, fell out with the team and was replaced by Stefan Johansson after the first race of the season. 1986 continued the disappointing trend of the previous season as neither Alboreto nor Johansson could win a race, and never looked like doing so. For 1987, Johansson moved to McLaren and replaced by Gerhard Berger, who got the better of Alboreto as the season progressed and won the final two races of the championship as the car's form improved towards the end of the season. The team remained competitive into 1988, finishing second in the constructors' championship, but a long way behind McLaren, who once again dominated the season.

The 1988 season also witnessed the end of Enzo Ferrari's ownership of the team. On August 14, 1988, Enzo died at the age of 90. Fiat's share of the company was raised to 90% with Enzo's only remaining son, Piero Ferrari, inheriting the remaining share from his father. A week after Enzo's death, Berger and Alboreto completed an historic 1-2 at the Italian Grand Prix, the only time a team other than McLaren won a Grand Prix in the 1988 season. Berger dedicated the win in memory of the late Enzo Ferrari.

1989 saw the end of turbo-charging in Formula One. From this date, the formula was for 3.5 litre normally-aspirated engines of no greater than 12 cylinders, which was a direct consequence of lobbying by Ferrari for the previous few years. The team went so far as to construct an Indycar, the Ferrari 637, as a threat to the FIA that if they did not get what they wanted, namely the allowance of V12 engines under the revised formula, they could take part in another series. Due to the expected extreme high revs and consequent narrow power band expected of the new engines, technical director John Barnard insisted upon the development of a revolutionary new gear-shifting arrangement - the paddle-operated, semi-automatic gearbox. In pre season testing it proved extremely troublesome, with newly arrived driver Nigel Mansell being unable to compete more than a handful of laps, but nonetheless they managed a debut win at the opening round in Brazil. Horrendous unreliability lead to Berger being unable to score a point until a run of podiums at Monza, Estoril and Jerez including a win at Estoril. Mansell scored a memorable win at Budapest where he overtook world champion Ayrton Senna for the win after qualifying far down the field in fourteenth. He then dedicated the race to the memory of Enzo Ferrari as the win came a year after the latter's death.

The 1990s started in a promising way. Alain Prost replaced Gerhard Berger at Ferrari to partner Mansell for the season. As reigning world champion, Prost took over as the team's lead driver and was said to have played on Mansell's inferiority complex. Mansell recalls one incident where at the 1990 British Grand Prix, the car he drove didn't handle the same as in the previous race where had taken pole position, and later found out from team mechanics that Prost saw Mansell as having a superior car and had them swapped without Mansell knowing. Prost won 5 races and pushed Ayrton Senna to the controversial final race, where a collision forced him to settle for second. A disgruntled Mansell left the team at the end of the season.

Mansell's replacement was Frenchman Jean Alesi, who had been impressive during the previous two years at Tyrrell. However, Ferrari had entered a downturn in 1991, partially as their famous V12 engine was no longer competitive against the smaller, lighter and more fuel efficient V10s of their competitors. Prost won no races, only getting onto the podium five times. He afterwards publicly criticized the team, described his car as harder to drive than "a truck"), and was fired prior to the end of the season, right before the Australian Grand Prix. Prost was replaced by Italian Gianni Morbidelli. The team won no races in 1991-1993.

Popular driver Gerhard Berger returned to Ferrari in 1993 to help it out of the doldrums. That year, Berger was instrumental in hiring Jean Todt as team principal, laying the foundations for the team's future successes. With the Ferrari 412T, Gerhard Berger and Jean Alesi proved the car's competitiveness throughout the two seasons, with a brace of podium places and four pole positions. Bad luck limited the number of wins to one each for both Berger (1994 German Grand Prix) and Alesi (1995 Canadian Grand Prix), particularly Alesi who was in a position to win at Monza and the Nürburgring in 1995, but the car was a solid and competitive proposition.

In 1996, Ferrari made a landmark decision in its history by hiring two-time defending world champion Michael Schumacher for an astronomical salary of around $30 million a year. Schumacher also brought with him the nucleus of his hugely successful Benetton team, mainly in the form of Ross Brawn (technical director) and Rory Byrne (chief designer). Teaming up with Jean Todt (team principal), they set about rebuilding the Scuderia. After Berger and Alesi, who were sent to Benetton in exchange, the traditional V12 had to go also, in favour of a more modern V10 engine, as the rules reduced the capacity from 3500cc to 3000 anyway. At the same time, Eddie Irvine from Jordan was hired.

While these huge changes did result in a very unreliable car, Schumacher did manage to score 3 wins in the 1996 season, all of which were memorable. In torrential conditions at Spain, after almost stalling and dropping to ninth, Schumacher went on to win the race by a comfortable margin to Jean Alesi. Following this, Ferrari had 2 incredibly embarrassing retirements at France and Canada, both before the races had even started. However, at Spa-Francorchamps Schumacher used right timed pit-stops to fend off the Williams of Jacques Villeneuve. Following that, at Monza, Schumacher scored a momentous win in front of the tifosi. As reliability greatly improved the Ferrari became the second strongest looking package in the hands of Schumacher ending with a strong fight with the Williams of champion Damon Hill for the win at Suzuka.

For 1997, the increased reliability of the previous year's development, the F310B, lead to some very strong performances when faster cars, notably the McLaren Mercedes of David Coulthard and Mika Häkkinen, retired. Schumacher took memorable wet weather wins at Monaco and Belgium, combined with outstanding drives at France and Japan, to force the slightly superior Williams Renault of Jacques Villeneuve to a last round title fight. However, Schumacher was disqualified from the 1997 standings for swerving into the car of Villeneuve who had just made a lunge down the inside of the Dry Sac corner of the Jerez circuit.

Following the dramatic 1997 season, Ferrari came out with an all new car to fit the new regulations for 1998. Although it was a competitive package, the McLaren-Mercedes MP4/13 was most often stronger. Schumacher won six races that season including three in a row at Canada, France and Great Britain. The Hungarian Grand Prix was won after a tactical master-stroke by Brawn decided to make the car run a 3-stop strategy as opposed to McLaren's 2. Schumacher then went on to lead Irvine home to Ferrari's first 1-2 at Monza since the memorable 1988 race after Enzo Ferrari's death. Schumacher lost the title to McLaren's Mika Häkkinen at Suzuka after he stalled on the front row then suffered a mid-race puncture. Irvine was fourth in the championship with Ferrari second in the constructors title.

Irvine had been forced to play second fiddle to Schumacher, losing out on points and positions in order to place Schumacher higher in the Drivers' Championship, in the rare occasions when he was in front, notably Suzuka 1997 which lead critics to remark "So Irvine can drive!". The leg injury of Michael Schumacher in 1999 reversed the roles however. It appeared to be the year Ferrari would regain the championship with Ferrari winning 3 of the first 4 races of the season. While Ferrari did win the constructor crown that year, a crash at the Silverstone Circuit in the British Grand Prix resulted in Schumacher breaking a leg and missing 7 races of the season, and being replaced by Mika Salo. The new championship challenger was Eddie Irvine, who once again took the Ferrari challenge to the final round in Japan before missing out to Häkkinen who also scored more points in the races where Schumacher had taken part.

From 2000 to 2004 Michael Schumacher dominated Formula 1 like no other driver in the history of the sport.

In 2000 Schumacher had a close battle with rival Mika Häkkinen of McLaren but won the championship in the Ferrari F1-2000, winning 9 races out of 17 that year. He was Ferrari's first World Driver's Champion in 21 years, since Jody Scheckter in 1979. Teammate Rubens Barrichello finished 4th in the championship, taking his maiden win at the German Grand Prix at the Hockenheimring after Schumacher was taken out in the first corner and Barrichello qualified 18th.

In 2001 Schumacher won the World Championship with 4 races to go, having claimed 9 victories. Teammate Barrichello finished 3rd in the championship. This was the first year in which the notorious A1-Ring incident occurred, where Barrichello was told to let Schumacher through for 2nd place by team boss Todt, to the consternation of the FIA, fans and media.

In 2002, Schumacher and Ferrari dominated F1, the Ferrari duo winning 15 out of 17 races (Schumacher 11, Barrichello 4). However, their run was tainted by a second A1-Ring incident. In a replay of 2001, Barrichello was asked to give way to Schumacher, except this time for the win. An embarrassed Schumacher then pushed Barrichello to the top step of the podium, and was subsequently fined $1 million by the FIA for interfering with podium procedures. This debacle eventually led to the banning of team orders. Schumacher matched Juan Manuel Fangio's record of 5 world championships, set back in the 1950s.

In 2003, Ferrari's domination of F1 was brought to a halt at the first race, the Australian Grand Prix, where for the first time in 3 years, there was no Ferrari driver on the podium. Rivals McLaren had an early lead in the championship, but Ferrari closed the gap by the Canadian Grand Prix. However, their other rivals Williams won the next 2 races and the driver championship went down to the wire at the last race, the Japanese Grand Prix, between Kimi Räikkönen (McLaren) and Michael Schumacher; Schumacher eventually won the championship by 2 points, surpassing Fangio's record. In 2003, F1 magazine reported that Ferrari's budget was $443,800,000.

2004 saw a return of Ferrari's dominance. Ferrari teammates Schumacher and Barrichello finished first and second respectively in the driver championship, and Ferrari easily wrapped up the constructors championship. Schumacher won 13 of the 18 races, and 12 of the first 13 of the season – both F1 records. Barrichello won two of the other races.

2005 saw a change of fortune for the previously dominant Ferrari. The team's practice of starting a new season with a modified version of the previous year's car (F2004M) pending full development of their new car (F2005) was one of the main causes for a poor start to the season. While this worked well in previous years, it seems Ferrari underestimated both the full effect of the new 2005 regulations and the pace of development of other teams (particularly McLaren and Renault who started the year with brand new cars). Alarmed by poor performances in Australia and Malaysia the new F2005 was rushed into service in Bahrain (the introduction was previously scheduled to be race 5 in Barcelona). This move saw Schumacher retire for the first time due to mechanical failure since Hockenheim 2001 ending a run of 59 Grands Prix without technical failure.

Another factor was the poor relative performance of the team's Bridgestone tyres, which failed to give performance for single lap qualifying and were not as durable as their Michelin rivals during races. However, the tyres provided for San Marino Grand Prix were more competitive, and the Bridgestone tyres supplied for the United States Grand Prix allowed the three Bridgestone teams to race, while the seven Michelin teams were forced to withdraw due to Michelin's advice that the tyres would not last the race distance.

Near the end of the 2005 season, Rubens Barrichello announced that he was leaving the team at the end of the year and joining the Honda F1 team. Barrichello's departure was partly due to his dissatisfaction with his continued "Number 2" status at Ferrari. At the 2005 Monte Carlo Grand Prix Schumacher managed his way past Barrichello with a breathtaking manouvre (on a track where overtaking is highly difficult and dangerous) near the end of the race. Ferrari named former Sauber-Petronas driver Felipe Massa as Barrichello's replacement for the following season.

With the 'one set of tyres per race' rule no longer in use, Ferrari, after a poor 2005 and a troubled start to 2006, were again close contenders for both Drivers' and Constructors' titles by the latter part of the 2006 season. Unlike some recent seasons, they started 2006 with their new car, the 248 F1.

At the Bahrain Grand Prix Schumacher finished second. At the Malaysian Grand Prix problems with the engine's piston rings meant that both drivers had to change their engines, Massa needing two changes (a ten-position penalty at the start of the race is enforced for an engine change prior to a legal engine change). In Australia both drivers crashed out of the race. At the San Marino Schumacher took pole position in qualifying and won the race. At the European race, Schumacher won again. At the Spanish Grand Prix Fernando Alonso won, with Schumacher finishing second.

At Monaco Schumacher's qualifying times were deleted for stopping his car during the qualifying session. Schumacher started from the back of the grid but finished fifth (on a track where overtaking is highly difficult and dangerous). At both Silverstone and Canada Schumacher finished second. At the United States Grand Prix the Ferraris of Schumacher and Massa were dominant all weekend, finishing the race first and second. At the French Grand Prix Schumacher was first, followed by Alonso and Massa.

At the Hockenheimring in Germany Räikkönen took pole position, however in the race both Ferraris overtook Räikkönen at the first round of pit stops and Schumacher went on to win. At the Hungarian GP Massa qualified 2nd and Schumacher 11th due to a 2 second penalty from Saturday practice. At the start of the wet race the Ferraris initially struggled. Later in the race Schumacher continued to drive on intermediate tyres while other drivers on dry tyres like Pedro de la Rosa and Nick Heidfeld passed him easily. When Heidfeld passed Schumacher he collided with the BMW Sauber of Robert Kubica, and retired in 9th, promoting Massa to 8th. The subsequent disqualification of Kubica gave Massa 7th and Schumacher 8th.

At Turkey, Massa achieved his first ever pole and victory. What looked like a Ferrari 1-2 was disrupted by a caution which came out after Vitantonio Liuzzi's spin at Turn 1. Ferrari chose to stack Schumacher in the pits behind Massa. Renault were able to pit Alonso and he rejoined in second place. The three finished in this order. Schumacher did an overtaking manouvre on Alonso on the straight with the finish line, but the finishline came mere meters too soon for Schumacher.

At Monza, Schumacher scored a win at Ferrari's home Grand Prix, while Massa's lost a potential fourth place when he ran over debris left behind by the failure of Alonso's Renault V8, puncturing a tyre and forcing him to pit, which left him in ninth place at the finish. Despite Massa not scoring any points, the combination of Schumacher's win, Alonso's DNF, and a mediocre fourth-place finish for Giancarlo Fisichella allowed Ferrari to pull ahead of Renault in the World Constructors Championship for the first time in the 2006 season. Following the race at Monza Ferrari announced Schumacher's retirement effective at the end of the 2006 season and that Räikkönen, whom they had signed months before, would replace him in 2007.

At the Chinese Grand Prix Ferrari and the other Bridgestone-running teams again suffered in wet conditions. However, Schumacher managed to qualify ahead of Michelin drivers and seven places ahead of the next Bridgestone car. Despite taking pole position and setting the fastest lap, a poor tyre choice by Renault and a pit stop error allowed Schumacher to beat Alonso, his main rival for the Championship. At the Japanese Grand Prix, Ferrari again showed superiority in the qualifying stages, lapping up to 1.4s faster than the nearest competitors. Massa qualified 1st and Schumacher 2nd. However, in the race Alonso capitalised on Massa's early puncture and took 2nd place. On lap 37 Schumacher suffered his first in-race engine failure since 2000, forcing him to retire. Alonso won the race and opened a 10-point lead in the driver's championship with only one race to go. Massa finished 2nd.

At the Brazilian Grand Prix Massa claimed pole position. Schumacher suffered a fuel pressure problem in the last qualifying session which left him unable to put in even a single lap in this session. Schumacher ended up 10th on the grid and the championship leader Alonso at a comfortable 4th. The race itself was a dramatic one, with Schumacher making up 4 places in the first few laps, and then a safety car period followed. Once the race restarted Schumacher suffered a puncture while trying to over take the Renault of Fisichella. This puncture virtually ended Schumacher's bid for the race lead and any hope of winning the 2006 Drivers' title. The final result saw the first victory for a Brazilian driver in home soil since Ayrton Senna in 1993, with Massa 1st, Alonso 2nd, clinching the Drivers' title, followed by Honda's Jenson Button, who finished 3rd after putting in an impressive performance from 14th on the grid. Schumacher, having come from the back of the field (following his puncture), finished 4th and set the fastest lap on the penultimate lap of his career, but with Fisichella finishing 6th Ferrari lost the Constructors' title too.

The 2007 car was secretively unveiled on January 14, 2007. Kimi Räikkönen won the inaugural race of the 2007 season at Albert Park, becoming the first Ferrari driver to win on his début since Nigel Mansell. Ferrari attracted some criticism for running a moveable floor system in Melbourne, later confirmed to be illegal by the FIA after a rule clarification, though no punishment was applied. After a disappointing 3rd for Räikkönen and 5th for Massa in the Malaysian Grand Prix, the team recovered to finish first and third in Bahrain, with Massa taking his first victory of the season. Massa won again at the Spanish Grand Prix but Räikkönen retired with a hydraulic faliure. This left Ferrari 2nd in the constructors championship and Massa and Räikkönen 3rd and 4th respectively in the drivers championship despite having won three of the first four races.

However, Ferrari would play second fiddle to McLaren for the next few races, scoring just 22 points from the Monaco, Canadian and United States Grands Prix. McLaren scored 48 points in the same period. This left Ferrari 35 points behind McLaren in the constructors championship, and Räikkönen and Massa 19 and 26 points respectively behind championship leader Lewis Hamilton. After 7 races, it looked as though Ferrari's championship hopes could already be over.

Luca Colajanni, the Ferrari PR manager, claimed this lack of pace was due to the team's wind tunnel was badly damaged in a testing accident, leaving the team unable to introduce new aerodynamic refinements to its cars until the wind tunnel was rebuilt, which took several weeks. With the tunnel rebuilt and a new aerodynamic package (notably adjustments to the front wing) the cars was seemingly on par with the McLarens. Ferrari scored a 1-2 to at the French Grand Prix (Räikkönen winning ahead of Massa) followed by a dominant win for Räikkönen at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone with Massa coming 5th after stalling at the start of the race, consequently having to start in 22nd place.

At the European Grand Prix Räikkönen claimed pole position with Massa third. Early rain in the race caused the teams to change to intermediate tyres. Massa emerged in 1st, Alonso 2nd and Räikkönen third. On lap 34, Räikkönen retired with hydraulic problems. In the last few laps Massa was overtaken by Alonso and finished the race second, and 11 points adrift in the driver's championship to leader Lewis Hamilton.

At the controversial Hungarian Grand Prix McLaren was stripped of its 15 constructors' championship points. The Ferrari team forgot to fuel the car of Felipe Massa who was forced to start the race 14th, at a track where overtaking is regarded as very difficult. Räikkönen finished the race 2nd with Felipe Massa 13th. At the Turkish Grand Prix Massa took pole with Räikkönen third. Räikkönen passed Lewis Hamilton into the first corner. Massa and Räikkönen pulled away from the field and the two battled it out for the win. Massa prevailed, staying ahead of Räikkönen at both pitstops and winning.

The next race was Ferrari's home race in Italy, but the McLarens took a 1-2 in qualifying with Massa third and Räikkönen fifth, after a crash in practice. Räikkönen got ahead of Nick Heidfeld at the start, moving up into 4th. Massa was third until he retired with hydraulic failure. Räikkönen was sent on a one-stop strategy and so when the McLarens stopped for a second time, Räikkönen was second between Fernando Alonso and Hamilton. However, Hamilton passed Räikkönen after a few laps, and Räikkönen had to settle for third.

At the Belgian Grand Prix the qualifying went well, Ferrari taking their first 1-2 of the season, Räikkönen on pole with Massa second. Räikkönen maintained the lead during the pitsops and won, with Massa second. The 1-2 gave Ferrari the constructors championship as a result of McLaren's disqualification.

At the Japanese Grand Prix the McLarens took 1-2 in qualifying with Räikkönen third ahead of Massa. The start was under the safety car in treacherous conditions, and both drivers, unlike the rest of the field, were on intermediate tyres. Massa spun on these tyres and Nick Heidfeld went ahead of him. Massa then passed Heidfeld under the safety car to keep his place. Ultimately both drivers pitted under the safety car for wets, and were 21st and 22nd at the back, with the McLaren's 1st and 2nd. Finally the race started in a standing start, and Massa collided with Alexander Wurz while trying to pass him, taking Wurz out while Massa had to rejoin after a spin and was 10 seconds away from the field. Massa was then given a drive-through penalty for passing Heidfeld under the safety car. After that, the Ferraris charged up the order, as they were also refueled during the stops for wets and did not have to stop when the others did. Räikkönen did stop for fuel again at the right time, as Alonso brought out the safety car after crashing into a wall. This left Massa (who did not pit) in fifth and Räikkönen in seventh. This became third and fifth when Mark Webber and Sebastien Vettel collided behind the safety car, putting both out. Räikkönen then passed David Coulthard to take fourth. Massa was forced to pit for a splash and dash, dropping down to seventh. Räikkönen challenged Heikki Kovalainen for second but could not make it and was third. Massa took sixth by passing Robert Kubica on the last lap.

Going into the Chinese Grand Prix, Massa was already out of the title race, but Räikkönen still stayed in it, 5 points behind Alonso and 17 points behind Hamilton with 2 races to go. Hamilton took pole while Räikkönen was second and Massa was third. The race was in damp conditions but nothing changed at the start. During the first round of stops, Hamilton and Massa used the same wet tyres but Räikkönen and Alonso changed into a new set. Räikkönen then passed Hamilton while Alonso passed Massa at the same time, as Hamilton and Massa were felling the effects of grained tyres. Massa pitted early, but Hamilton stayed out late in the hope that it would rain. It did not, and Hamilton got beached in the pit lane gravel trap while trying to enter the pits. Räikkönen won ahead of Alonso and Massa to keep his championship hopes alive.

The last race of the season, the Brazilian Grand Prix, was in Massa's hometown in Brazil. Räikkönen was 7 points behind Hamilton and 3 points behind Alonso going into the race. In qualifying, Massa took pole with Hamilton second, Räikkönen third and Alonso fourth. At the start, Räikkönen took second while Hamilton dropped back to eighth after going into the gravel. He was up to seventh but then dropped to the back of the field in 18th after a gearbox glitch cost him around 20 seconds. The battle for the win was between Massa and Räikkönen with Alonso third. Massa kept the lead during the first round of stops but Räikkönen was able to get ahead of him in the second round. Behind, Hamilton had already charged his way up to seventh but was lapped. Räikkönen won the race and the championship, 10 points compared to Alonso's 6 and Hamilton's 2 in the race enabling him to get a point ahead of both with Massa finishing second to make it the team's fourth 1-2 finish.

On his return from holiday in the Philippines on July 5, Stepney was interrogated by the Italian police as part of the industrial espionage case. On 6 July Honda F1 released a statement confirming that Stepney and Coughlan approached the team regarding "job opportunities" in June 2007. Since the revelation of Coughlan's involvement in the affair McLaren provided a full set of drawings and development documents (estimated to be around 800 pages) to the FIA, detailing all updates made to the team's chassis since the incident occurred at the end of April.

McLaren was eventually excluded from the 2007 Conctructors' Championship, in breach of Article 151(c) of the International Sporting Code, all but guaranteeing Ferrari the title. Ferrari won their 15th Constructors Title in Belgium the following weekend.

At the end of the season Ferrari would have finished 1 point ahead of McLaren and hence won the constructors' title on merit. This takes into consideration that McLaren was docked the 15 constructors' points they would have earned at Hungary, as a penalty for a qualifying pit incident; prior to that McLaren had a 27 point lead over Ferrari.

On 12 November 2007, the Ferrari team announced that Jean Todt would be departing the team principal role, instead taking up a senior executive role. He was replaced by Stefano Domenicali. It had been reported that this completed a shift in Ferrari personnel where the older foreign leadership was replaced with a new one comprised mostly of Italians.

On 6 January, Scuderia Ferrari launched the Ferrari F2008.

On the 2008 Season's first race the Australian Grand Prix Kimi Räikkönen suffered a fuel pressure problem which forced him to stop on the entrance of pit lane preventing engineers from repairing the car. He started in 16th place on the grid. Massa qualified in 4th place. During the twenty-fifth lap, Felipe Massa collided with Red Bull Racing's David Coulthard, putting the Scotsman out of the race and forcing Massa to pit. He retired several laps was classified 8th overall after completing 90% of the race and received 1 point. It was Ferrari's worst performance in a season-opening race since they drew a blank in the 1992 South African Grand Prix.

At the Malaysian Grand Prix, Kimi Räikkönen won the team's first race of the season. In qualifying, Massa had taken pole-position, with Räikkönen placed second. Massa took an early lead but was overtaken by his teammate at the first round of pit stops. It looked to be an easy 1-2 but Massa spun off into a gravel trap midway through the race and retired, with Räikkönen going on to win. Ferrari went to Bahrain confident, as they had tested there during the winter. Massa was quick in Q1 and Q2 but was pipped to pole by BMW's Robert Kubica, with Räikkönen 4th. The Brazilian took the lead at the start, with his team-mate following on to make a 1-2.

Round 4 saw the Spanish Grand Prix, where qualifying was dominated by Ferrari and McLaren. When it came to the race, the Ferraris shot out in front, with Räikkönen leading Massa to the finish. In the qualifying for the Turkish Grand Prix, Massa beat Hamilton to the pole position and on the Sunday Massa got away from the line well, holding his lead down to turn 1 with Hamilton and Räikkönen pushing from behind. Massa managed to hold onto his lead throughout the race, taking the win in Turkey for the third year in a row, with Hamilton leading Räikkönen home. Out of a possible 30 points in 3 races Massa had scored 28.

Monaco saw a race, in the early laps, between Hamilton and Massa, until Hamilton clipped a wall on the exit of the chicane, allowing Massa to secure his lead. Due to pit stop strategy for Hamilton, combined with a slow third pit stop for Massa, resulted in Massa dropping to third on the podium. When the Formula One calendar took them to North America at the Canadian Grand Prix, the Ferraris had a poor qualifying show followed by a taudry race for Räikkönen when he was shunted from behind by Hamilton, who was in turn shunted by Rosberg, while waiting for the light at the end of the pit lane. Massa appeared to lack pace during the race though proceeded up the pack as other cars retired.

At the French Grand Prix Ferrari got a 1-2 in qualifying, and it stayed that way during the race until Kimi Räikkönen's exhaust broke, causing Massa to take the lead, and for him to hold up drivers he'd lapped. He eventually finished second.

The British Grand Prix was took place in the wet, with Massa qualifying 10th and Räikkönen 3rd. Massa spun 5 times during the race and Räikkönen 3. Räikkönen finished 4th and Massa 13th. After this Massa, Raikkönen, and Lewis Hamilton were tied on 48 points.

At Hockenheim, Räikkönen qualified 4th and Massa 2nd. Lewis Hamilton took a big lead in the first stint from Felipe Massa, but had the gap reduced in the first safety car period. Massa and Räikkönen pitted in when the safety car was out, but Hamilton pitted afterwards and lost his lead. Nelson Piquet, Jr. had jumped from 17th to 2nd and was in front of Massa. Hamilton chased both down and won the race with Massa 3rd and Räikkönen 5th. On the weekend of the Hungarian Grand Prix, Massa qualified 3rd and Räikkönen 6th. Massa took the lead at the first corner and stayed roughly 5 seconds ahead of Hamilton for most of the race. 3 laps before the end of the race Massa retired with engine failure from first place. Heikki Kovalainen won the race and Räikkönen finished 3rd.

Over the Valencia weekend, Massa got pole position with Räikkönen 4th. Massa took the lead at the start and held it for the entire race, but Räikkönen dropped to 5th at the start. At his second pit stop Räikkönen left the pit box with the fuel hose still attached and injured a mechanic, he then retired 2 laps later with engine failure. At Massa's second pit stop, he was released alongside the Force India of Adrian Sutil and had to back off and let him pass. After the race Massa was fined 10,000 euros for unsafe release.

At the inaugral Singapore Grand Prix, Massa qualified on pole with Räikkönen 3rd on the start grid. Massa led until the first pitstop proved a disaster when he drove off with the fueling rig still attached. The rigging snapped knocking a pit mechanic to the ground. Massa was then forced to stop at the end of the pit lane and wait for his mechanics to run from their garage at the entrance of the pit lane to where he was to remove his ripped off fueling rig, causing Massa to lose minutes of time and thus dropping of of contention for the race. Video replay revealed the Ferrari mechanic operating the automatic pit light signal system suffering because of the pressure of a race. He was later seen crying because of his mistake. Räikkönen eventually crashed out 4 laps before the end of the grand prix with Massa finishing second-to-last.

At the Japanese Grand Prix Räikkönen finished 3rd, while Massa finished 7th. More importantly, Lewis Hamilton finished out of the points in 12th, meaning that Massa caught up more points leaving him only 5 points behind Hamilton in the World Championship.

At the 2008 Chinese Grand Prix, it was a very different story. In qualifing Räikkönen was 2nd and Massa was 3rd with Hamilton on pole. Ferrari came second and third in the race, over 10 seconds behind the victor who was Hamilton. Massa was second, owing to Räikkönen letting him through because of the championship situation.

On 27 October 2008 Ferrari issued a statement saying that they will review their participation in Formula 1 at the end of the 2009 season because the FIA said for the 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons they wanted to introduce standardised engines. Ferrari have been in Formula 1 since it began in 1950.

At the last race of the season, the Brazilian Grand Prix the situation for Ferrari was: Felipe Massa was seven points behind Lewis Hamilton, meaning that Massa had to either finish first or second to win, and Hamilton had to be outside the top 5. Qualifying went well, Massa qualifying on pole, while Räikkönen qualified 3rd. Massa did very well the whole race long, leading the whole way. Hamilton, meanwhile, raced conservatively in order to safely secure the necessary points. Going into the last lap Massa still led while Hamilton was 5th. If the race stayed as it was Hamilton would win the Championship. Then, Hamilton, having made a mistake, was passed by Sebastien Vettel, moving Hamilton down to 6th. Felipe Massa, meanwhile, crossed the finish line and won the Grand Prix, and believed he had won the World Championshp. Hamilton was still sixth as he came up to the second-to-last corner, but passed Timo Glock, who was struggling for pace with the rain that had been falling during the last few laps on the dry tyres, moving Hamilton into 5th. Hamilton crossed the line get 5th position and the World Championship. It took Massa, Räikkönen, and Ferrari's team and mechanics about 30 seconds to realise that Hamilton had won and not Massa.

For 2008 Ferrari brought in a "traffic light" system to signal to their drivers when to leave the pits after a pit-stop. This system was introduced and used only by Ferrari; all other teams continued with the older "lollipop" system (although Honda did use a similar device in Friday practicing in the latter races of the season). The traffic light system has red, orange and green lights and is programmed to automatically go green when the fuel hose is taken out of the car. The lights could also be operated manually by pressing a button. At the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix the system had to be operated manually due to the large number of cars entering the pit lane during a caution period. During Felipe Massa's stop the mechanic controlling the system pressed the button too early, causing Massa to drive away with the fuel pipe still attached. After this incident Ferrari reverted to the old lollipop system for the remaining three races of the season. Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali commented that "We need to stay calm so we've decided to go back to the old system." Ferrari have returned to the traffic light system for the 2009 season.

Marlboro has sponsored Ferrari since 1984 and has been title sponsor since 1997 (prior to which it was the title sponsor of McLaren). In September 2005 Ferrari announced they had signed an extension of their sponsorship arrangement with Marlboro (Philip Morris) until 2011. This comes at a time when tobacco sponsorship has become illegal in the European Union and other major teams have withdrawn from relationships with tobacco companies, for example McLaren ended their eight year relationship with West. In reporting the deal, F1 Racing magazine judged it to be a "black day" for the sport, putting non-tobacco funded teams at a disadvantage and discouraging other brands from entering a sport still associated with tobacco. The magazine estimates that in the period between 2005 and 2011 Ferrari will receive $1 billion from the agreement.

The Taiwanese computer company Acer is one of their sponsors. As part of the deal, Acer had sold Ferrari-badged laptops.

In December 2005 Vodafone announced that it was withdrawing its sponsorship of Ferrari in favour of title sponsorship of McLaren beginning in 2007. The Times said Ferrari were "stunned" by the decision. Vodafone's position on the car is assumed by Telecom Italia's broadband Alice brand.

Other companies sponsoring Scuderia Ferrari include: Fiat (Fiat car brand part of the Fiat car group which is a largest stakeholder, 85% owner of Ferrari), Shell - Royal Dutch/Shell Group, Alice, Bridgestone, AMD,Acer, and several others among which Mubadala Development Company (an investment company owned by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi) also owner of 5% of Ferrari's stakes as of the 2007 season;Etihad Airways (until 2011). On the other hand, semiconductor chipmaker AMD has reportedly decided to drop the sponsorship of the team and is just waiting for its contract to expire after its former Vice President and Sales Executive (who was an avid fan of motorsports) had left the company and Olympus a japanese digital cameras producter.

Apart from sponsors, Ferrari have the following companies as official suppliers: Magneti Marelli, OMR, SKF, Europcar, Iveco, NGK, Puma, Tata Consultancy Services, Brembo, BBS, SELEX Communications, Technogym, Schuberth, Microsoft (note: the sponsors/suppliers information is accurate for the 2009 season).

In 2004, Ferrari also surpassed Ford as the most successful F1 engine manufacturer, with 182 wins (to Ford's 176 wins). Due to the availability of the Cosworth V8 to private teams, a total of 6,639 Ford-powered cars were entered between 1967 and 2004, compared to 1,979 starts for Ferrari and Petronas-badged engines during the same period.

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Michael Schumacher

BMW Sauber with "Thanks Michael" messages towards Michael Schumacher on the back of their cars

Michael Schumacher (German pronunciation: ˈmɪçaʔeːl ˈʃuːmaχɐ; ) (born January 3, 1969, in Hürth-Hermülheim, Germany) is a former Formula One driver, seven-time world champion, and current advisor and occasional test driver for Ferrari. According to the official Formula One website, he is "statistically the greatest driver the sport has ever seen". He is the only German to win the Formula One World championship, and is credited with popularising Formula One in Germany. In a 2006 FIA survey, Michael Schumacher was voted the most popular driver of the season among Formula One fans.

After winning two championships with Benetton, Michael Schumacher moved to Scuderia Ferrari in 1996 and won five consecutive drivers' titles with them from 2000–2004. Schumacher holds many records in Formula One, including most drivers' championships, race victories, fastest laps, pole positions, points scored and most races won in a single season. Schumacher is the only Formula One driver to have an entire season of podium finishes, a feat he accomplished in 2002. His driving sometimes created controversy: he was twice involved in collisions that determined the outcome of the world championship, most notably his disqualification from the 1997 championship for causing a collision with Jacques Villeneuve. After the 2006 Formula One season Schumacher retired from race driving.

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. He is the elder brother of former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher, currently racing in Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM). They stand as the only brothers in F1 history to have both won races and scoring the first ever 1-2 finish in Formula One.

Schumacher was born in Hürth Hermülheim, to Rolf, a bricklayer, and Elisabeth. When Schumacher was four, his father modified his pedal kart by adding a small motorcycle engine. After Schumacher crashed it into a lamp post in Kerpen, his parents took him to the local karting track at Kerpen-Horrem where he became the youngest member of the karting club. His father soon built him a proper kart from discarded parts and at the age of six Schumacher won his first club championship. To support his son's racing, Rolf Schumacher took on a second job renting and repairing karts at the circuit, while his wife worked at the track's canteen stand. Despite the extra income, when Schumacher needed a new engine costing 800 DM (400 €) his parents were unable to afford it, but their son was able to continue racing through support offered by several local businessmen.

In Germany, the regulations require the driver to be at least 14 years old in order to obtain a kart license. To get around this, Schumacher obtained a license in Luxembourg in 1981, at the age of 12.

In 1983, he obtained his German license and the year after he won the German Junior Kart Championship. From 1984, Schumacher won numerous German and European kart championships. He joined Eurokart dealer Adolf Neubert in 1985. By 1987 he was the German and European kart champion, at which point he withdrew from school and began working as a mechanic. In 1988 Schumacher made his first step into single-seat car racing by racing in the German Formula Ford and Formula König series, winning the latter.

In 1989, Schumacher signed with Willi Weber's WTS Formula 3 team. For the next two years, funded by Weber, he competed in the German Formula 3 series, winning the title in 1990. Towards the end of 1990, along with his Formula 3 rivals Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Karl Wendlinger, he joined the Mercedes junior racing programme in the World Sports-Prototype Championship. This was an unusual move for a young driver: most of Schumacher's contemporaries would instead compete in Formula 3000 on their way to Formula One. However, Weber advised Schumacher that exposure to professional press conferences and driving powerful cars in long distance races would help his career. Schumacher gained victory at the season finale at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in a Sauber-Mercedes C11 and finished fifth in the drivers' championship. He continued with the team in the 1991 World Sportscar Championship season, winning again at the final race of the season at Autopolis in Japan with a Sauber-Mercedes-Benz C291, leading to a ninth place finish in the drivers championship. In 1991, he competed in one race in the Japanese Formula 3000 Championship, finishing second.

Schumacher was noted throughout his career for his ability to produce fast laps at crucial moments in a race, to push his car to the very limit for sustained periods. Motor sport author Christopher Hilton observed in 2003 that "A measure of a driver's capabilities is his performance in wet races, because the most delicate car control and sensitivity are needed," and noted that like other great drivers, Schumacher's record in wet conditions shows very few mistakes: up to the end of the 2003 season, Schumacher won 17 of the 30 races in wet conditions he contested. Some of Schumacher's best performances occurred in such conditions, earning him the title "Regenkönig" (rain king) or "Regenmeister" (rain master). He is known as "the Red Baron", due to his red Ferrari and in reference to the German Manfred von Richthofen, the famous flying ace of World War I. Schumacher's nicknames include "Schumi", "Schuey" and "Schu". Schumacher is often credited with popularising Formula One in Germany, where it was formerly considered a fringe sport. When Schumacher retired in 2006, three of the top ten drivers were German, more than any other nationality and more than have ever been present in Formula One history. Younger German drivers, such as Sebastian Vettel, felt Schumacher was key in their becoming Formula One drivers. In the latter part of his Formula One career, and as one of the senior drivers, Schumacher was the president of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association.

Schumacher made his Formula One debut with the Jordan-Ford team at the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix, driving car number 32 as a replacement for the imprisoned Bertrand Gachot. Schumacher, still a contracted Mercedes driver, was signed by Eddie Jordan after Mercedes paid Jordan $150,000 for his debut. The week before the race, Schumacher impressed Jordan designer Gary Anderson and team manager Trevor Foster during a test drive at Silverstone. His manager Willi Weber assured Jordan that Schumacher knew the challenging Spa track well, although in fact he had only seen it as a spectator. During the race weekend, team-mate Andrea de Cesaris was meant to show Schumacher the circuit but was held up with contract negotiations. Schumacher then learned the track on his own, by cycling around the track on a fold-up bike he had brought with him. He impressed the paddock by qualifying seventh in this race. This matched the team's season-best grid position, and out-qualified 11-year veteran de Cesaris. Motorsport journalist Joe Saward reported that after qualifying "clumps of German journalists were talking about 'the best talent since Stefan Bellof'". Schumacher retired on the first lap of the race with clutch problems.

After his debut, and despite Jordan's signed agreement in principle with Schumacher's Mercedes management for the remainder of the season, Schumacher was signed by Benetton-Ford for the following race. Jordan applied for an injunction in the UK courts to prevent Schumacher driving for Benetton, but lost the case as they had not yet signed a contract. Schumacher finished the 1991 Formula One Season with four points in six races. His best finish was fifth in his second race, the Italian Grand Prix, in which he finished ahead of his team-mate and three-time World Champion Nelson Piquet.

At the start of the 1992 Formula One season the Sauber team, planning their Formula One debut with Mercedes backing for the following year, invoked a clause in Schumacher's contract which stated that if Mercedes entered Formula One, Schumacher would drive for them. It was eventually agreed that Schumacher would stay with Benetton, Peter Sauber said that " didn't want to drive for us. Why would I have forced him?". The year was dominated by the Williams of Nigel Mansell and Riccardo Patrese, featuring powerful Renault engines, semi-automatic gearboxes and active suspension to control the car's ride height. In the 'conventional' Benetton B192 Schumacher took his place on the podium for the first time, after finishing third in the 1992 Mexican Grand Prix. He went on to take his first victory at the 1992 Belgian Grand Prix, in a wet race at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, which by 2003 he would call "far and away my favourite track". He finished third in the Drivers' Championship in 1992 with 53 points, three points behind runner-up Patrese.

The Williams of Damon Hill and Alain Prost also dominated the 1993 season. Benetton introduced their own active suspension and traction control early in the season, last of the frontrunning teams to do so. Schumacher won one race, the Portuguese Grand Prix where he beat Prost, and had nine podium finishes, but retired in seven of the other 15 races. He finished the season in fourth, with 52 points.

The 1994 season was Schumacher's first Drivers' Championship. The season, however, was marred by the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger during the San Marino Grand Prix and by allegations that several teams, including Schumacher's Benetton team, broke the sport's technical regulations.

Schumacher won six of the first seven races and was leading the Spanish Grand Prix, before a gearbox failure left him stuck in fifth gear. Schumacher finished the race in second. Following the San Marino Grand Prix, the Benetton, Ferrari and McLaren teams were investigated on suspicion of breaking the FIA-imposed ban on electronic aids. Benetton and McLaren initially refused to hand over their source code for investigation. When they did so, the FIA discovered hidden functionality in both teams' software, but no evidence that it had been used in a race. Both teams were fined $100,000 for their initial refusal to cooperate. However, the McLaren software, which was a gearbox program that allowed automatic shifts, was deemed legal. By contrast, the Benetton software was deemed to be a form of 'launch control' which would have allowed Schumacher to make perfect starts, which was explicitly outlawed by the regulations. At the British Grand Prix, Schumacher was penalised for overtaking on the formation lap. He then ignored the penalty and the subsequent black flag, which indicates that the driver must immediately return to the pits, for which he was disqualified and later given a two-race ban. Benetton blamed the incident on a communication error between the stewards and the team. Schumacher was also disqualified after winning the Belgian Grand Prix after his car was found to have illegal wear on its skidblock, a measure used after the accidents at Imola to limit downforce and hence cornering speed. Benetton protested that the skidblock had been damaged when Schumacher spun over a kerb, but the FIA rejected their appeal. These incidents helped Damon Hill close the points gap, with Schumacher leading by a single point going into the final race in Australia. On lap 36 of the race Schumacher ran off the track while leading from Hill. After rejoining at a reduced speed, he collided with Hill as Hill attempted to pass him, and crashed out of the race. The damage he caused to Hill's car forced him to retire. As neither he nor Hill scored, Schumacher won the championship, the first German to do so.

In 1995 Schumacher successfully defended his title with Benetton. He now had the same Renault engine as Williams. He accumulated 33 more points than second-placed Damon Hill. With team-mate Johnny Herbert, he took Benetton to its first Constructors' Championship and became the youngest two-time world champion in Formula One history.

The season was marred by several collisions with Hill, in particular an overtaking manoeuvre by Hill took them both out of the British Grand Prix on lap 45 and again on lap 23 of the Italian Grand Prix . Schumacher won nine of the 17 races, and finished on the podium 11 times. Only once did he qualify worse than fourth; at the 1995 Belgian Grand Prix, he qualified 16th, but went on to win the race. After Schumacher left Benetton at the end of the year, the team won only one more race before being bought by Renault in 2000.

In 1996, Schumacher joined Scuderia Ferrari S.p.A., a team which had last won the Drivers' Championship with Jody Scheckter in 1979 and which had not won the Constructors' Cup since 1983 with drivers René Arnoux and Patrick Tambay at the wheel. He left Benetton a year before his contract with them expired; he later cited the team's damaging actions in 1994 as his reason for opting out of his deal. A year later, ex-Benetton employees Rory Byrne and Ross Brawn, who had been Technical Director at Benetton since 1991, and who was one of the key members behind Schumacher's title successes with the team in 1994 and 1995, decided to join Schumacher at Ferrari. This increased Schumacher's motivation to build a more experienced and potentially championship-winning team around him.

Ferrari had previously come close to the championship in 1982 and 1990. The team had suffered a disastrous downturn in the early 1990s, partially as their famous V12 engine was no longer competitive against the smaller, lighter and more fuel efficient V10s of their competitors. Various drivers, notably Alain Prost, had given the vehicles labels such as "truck", "pig", and "accident waiting to happen". The poor performance of the Ferrari pit crews was considered a running joke. At the end of 1995, though the team had improved into a solid competitor, it was still considered inferior to front-running teams such as Benetton and Williams. Schumacher declared the Ferrari 412T good enough to win the championship.

Schumacher, Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne, and Jean Todt (hired in 1993), have been credited as turning this once struggling team into the most successful team in Formula One history. Three-time World Champion Jackie Stewart believes the transformation of the Ferrari team was Schumacher's greatest feat. Eddie Irvine also joined the team, moving from Jordan.

Schumacher finished third in the Drivers' Championship in 1996, and helped Ferrari to second place in the constructors' championship ahead of his old team Benetton. He won three races, more than the team's total tally for the period from 1991 to 1995. During the initial part of the 1996 season, the car had had reliability trouble and Schumacher did not finish 6 of the 16 races. He took his first win for Ferrari at the Spanish Grand Prix, where he lapped the entire field up to third place in the wet. In the French Grand Prix Schumacher qualified in pole position, but suffered engine failure on the race's formation lap. However at Spa-Francorchamps, Schumacher used well-timed pit-stops to fend off the Williams' Jacques Villeneuve. Following that, at Monza, Schumacher won in front of the tifosi. Schumacher's ability, combined with the improving reliability of Ferrari, enabled him to end the season, putting up a challenge to eventual race and championship winner Damon Hill at Suzuka.

Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve vied for the title in 1997. Villeneuve, driving the superior Williams FW19, led the championship in the early part of the season. However, by mid-season, Schumacher had taken the Championship lead, winning five races, and entered the season's final Grand Prix with a one-point advantage. During the race, held at Jerez, Schumacher and Villeneuve collided as Villeneuve passed his rival. Schumacher retired from the race and Villeneuve scored four points to take the championship. Schumacher was held to be at fault for the collision and was disqualified from the Drivers' Championship.

In 1998, Finnish driver Mika Häkkinen became Schumacher's main title competition. Häkkinen won the first two races of the season, gaining a 16 point advantage over Schumacher. With the Ferrari improving significantly in the second half of the season, Schumacher won six races and had five other podium finishes. Ferrari took a 1–2 finish at the Italian Grand Prix, which tied Schumacher with Häkkinen for the lead of the Drivers' Championship with 80 points, but Häkkinen won the Championship by winning the final two races. There were two controversies; at the British Grand Prix Schumacher was leading on the last lap when he turned into the pit lane, crossed the start finish line and stopped for a ten second stop go penalty. There was some doubt whether this counted as serving the penalty, but the win stood. At Spa, Schumacher was leading the race by 40 seconds in heavy spray, but collided with David Coulthard's McLaren when the Scot, a lap down, slowed in very poor visibility to let Schumacher past. After both cars returned to the pits, Schumacher rushed to McLaren's garage and accused Coulthard of trying to kill him. Later in 2003 David Coulthard admitted it was his mistake after he was involved in a similar incident in the European Grand Prix, this time he shunted the back of the backmarker just like Michael did in 1998.

Schumacher's efforts helped Ferrari win the Constructors title in 1999. He lost his chance to win the Drivers' Championship at the British Grand Prix: At the high-speed Stowe Corner, his car's rear brake failed, sending him off the track and resulting in a broken leg. During his long absence, he was replaced by Finnish driver Mika Salo. After missing six races, he made his return at the inaugural Malaysian Grand Prix, qualifying in the pole position by almost a second. He then assumed the role of second driver, assisting team mate Eddie Irvine's bid to win the Drivers' Championship for Ferrari. In the last race of the season, the Japanese Grand Prix, Häkkinen won his second consecutive title. Schumacher would later say that Häkkinen was the opponent he respected the most.

Schumacher won his third World Championship in 2000 after a year-long battle with Häkkinen. Schumacher won the first three races of the season and five of the first eight. Mid-way through the year, Schumacher's chances suffered with three consecutive non-finishes, allowing Häkkinen to close the gap in the standings. Häkkinen then took another two victories, before Schumacher won at the Italian Grand Prix. At the post race press conference, after equalling the number of wins (41) won by his idol, Ayrton Senna, Schumacher broke into tears. The championship fight would come down to the penultimate race of the season, the Japanese Grand Prix. Starting from pole position, Schumacher had the early lead, but soon lost it to Häkkinen. After his second pit-stop, however, Schumacher came out ahead of Häkkinen and went on to win the race and the championship.

In 2001, Schumacher took his fourth drivers' title. Four other drivers won races, but none sustained a season-long challenge for the championship. Schumacher scored a record-tying nine wins and clinched the world championship with four races yet to run. He finished the championship with 123 points, 58 ahead of runner-up Coulthard. Season highlights included the Canadian Grand Prix, where Schumacher finished 2nd to his brother Ralf, thus scoring the first ever 1–2 finish by brothers in Formula One; and the Belgian Grand Prix in which Schumacher scored his 52nd career win, breaking Alain Prost's record for most career wins.

In 2002, Schumacher used the Ferrari F2002 to retain his Drivers' Championship. There was again some controversy however at the Austrian Grand Prix, where his teammate, Rubens Barrichello was leading but in the final metres of the race, under orders, slowed to allow Schumacher to win the race. The crowd broke into outrageous boos at the result and Schumacher tried to make amends by placing Barrichello at the top step of the podium. At the United States Grand Prix later that year, Schumacher dominated the race and was set for a close finish with Barrichello. At the end he slowed down and Barrichello took the victory. In winning the Drivers' Championship he equalled the record set by Juan Manuel Fangio of five world championships. Ferrari won 15 out of 17 races, and Schumacher won the title with six races remaining in the season. Schumacher broke his own record, shared with Nigel Mansell, of nine race wins in a season, by winning eleven times and finishing every race on the podium. He finished with 144 points, a record-breaking 67 points ahead of the runner-up, his teammate Rubens Barrichello. This pair finished 9 of the 17 races in the first two places.

Schumacher broke Juan Manuel Fangio's record of five World Drivers' Championships by winning the drivers' title for the sixth time in 2003, a closely contested season. The biggest competition came once again from the McLaren Mercedes and Williams BMW teams. In the first race, Schumacher ran off track, and in the following two, was involved in collisions. He fell 16 points behind Kimi Räikkönen. Schumacher won the San Marino Grand Prix and the next two races, and closed within two points of Räikkönen. Aside from Schumacher's victory in Canada, and Barrichello's victory in Britain, the mid-season was dominated by Williams drivers Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya, who each claimed two victories. After the Hungarian Grand Prix, Michael Schumacher led Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Räikkönen by only one and two points, respectively. Ahead of the next race, the FIA announced changes to the way tyre widths were to be measured: this forced Michelin, supplier to Williams and McLaren among others, to rapidly redesign their tyres before the Italian Grand Prix. Schumacher, running on Bridgestone tyres, won the next two races. After Montoya was penalised in the United States Grand Prix, only Schumacher and Räikkönen remained in contention for the title. At the final round, the Japanese Grand Prix, Schumacher needed only one point whilst Räikkönen needed to win. By finishing the race in eighth place, Schumacher took one point and assured his sixth World Drivers' title, ending the season two points ahead of Räikkönen.

In 2004, Schumacher won a record twelve of the first thirteen races of the season, only failing to finish in Monaco after an accident with Juan Pablo Montoya during a safety car period when he briefly locked his car's brakes. He clinched a record seventh drivers' title at the Belgian Grand Prix. He finished that season with a record 148 points, 34 points ahead of the runner-up, teammate Rubens Barrichello, and set a new record of 13 race wins out of a possible 18, surpassing his previous best of 11 wins from the 2002 season.

In 2005 Schumacher's sole win came at the United States Grand Prix. Prior to that race, the Michelin tyres, used by most teams, were found to have significant safety issues. When no compromise between the teams and the FIA could be reached, all but the six drivers using Bridgestone tyres dropped out of the race after the formation lap. However, rule changes for the 2005 season required tyres to last an entire race, tipping the overall advantage to teams using Michelins over teams such as Ferrari that relied on Bridgestone tyres. The rule changes were partly in an effort to dent Ferrari's dominance and make the series more interesting. Less than half-way through the season, Schumacher said "I don't think I can count myself in this battle any more. It was like trying to fight with a blunted weapon.... If your weapons are weak you don't have a chance." The most notable moment of the season for Schumacher was his battle with Fernando Alonso in San Marino, where he started 13th and finished only 0.2 seconds behind the Spanish driver. Schumacher retired in six of the 19 races. He finished the season in third with 62 points, less than half the points of world champion Alonso.

2006 became the last season of Schumacher's racing career. After three races, Schumacher had 11 points and was already 17 points behind Alonso. He won the following two races, his first wins in 18 months, not including the boycotted 2005 United States Grand Prix. Schumacher was stripped of pole position at the Monaco Grand Prix and started the race at the back of the grid. This was due to him stopping his car and blocking part of the circuit while Alonso was on his qualifying lap; he still managed to work his way up to 5th place on the notoriously cramped Monaco circuit. By the Canadian Grand Prix, the ninth race of the season, he was 25 points behind Alonso, and the three wins that followed helped him reduce his disadvantage to 11. His win at Hockenheim was the last home win for a German as of 2008. After his victories in Italy (in which Alonso had an engine failure) and China, in which Alonso had tyre problems, Schumacher led in the championship standings for the first time during the season. Although he and Alonso had the same point total, Schumacher was in front because he had won more races.

The Japanese Grand Prix was led by Schumacher with only 16 laps to go, when, for the first time since the 2000 French Grand Prix, Schumacher's car suffered engine failure. Alonso won the race, which gave him a ten point championship lead. With only one race left in the season, Schumacher could only win the championship if he won the season finale and Alonso scored no points.

Before the Brazilian Grand Prix, the last race of his career, Schumacher conceded the title to Alonso. In pre-race ceremonies, football legend Pelé presented a trophy to Schumacher for his years of dedication to Formula One. During the race's qualifying session, Schumacher had the best time of all drivers through the first two sessions; but a fuel pressure problem prevented him from completing a single lap during the third session, forcing him to start the race in tenth position. Early in the race Schumacher moved up to sixth place. However, in overtaking Alonso's teammate, Giancarlo Fisichella, Schumacher experienced a tyre puncture caused by the front wing of Fisichella's car. Schumacher pitted and consequently fell to 19th place, 70 seconds behind teammate and race leader Felipe Massa. Schumacher recovered and overtook both Fisichella and Räikkönen to secure fourth place. His performance was classified in the press as "heroic", an "utterly breath-taking drive", and a "performance that ... sums up his career".

Schumacher in conjunction with Schuberth helped develop the first lightweight carbon helmet. In 2004, a prototype was publicly tested by being driven over by a tank; it survived intact. The helmet keeps the driver cool by funneling directed airflow through fifty holes.

Schumacher's helmet sports the colours of the German flag and his sponsor's decals. On the top is a blue circle with white astroids. After Schumacher joined Ferrari, a prancing horse was added on the back. In 2000 in order to differentiate his colours from new teammate Rubens Barrichello, Schumacher changed the upper blue colour and some of the white areas to red. In his final Grand Prix race, Schumacher wore a special helmet that included the names of his ninety-one Grand Prix victories.

Schumacher has been honoured many times during his career. In April 2002, for his contributions to sport and his contributions in raising awareness of child education, he was named as one of the UNESCO Champions for sport, joining the other eight which include Pelé, Serhiy Bubka and Justine Henin. He won the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award twice, in 2002 and 2004 for his performances in the 2001 and 2003 seasons respectively. He has also received nominations for the 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007 awards. No-one has been nominated more times than Schumacher in the award's seven-year history.

In honour of Schumacher's racing career and his efforts to improve safety and the sport, he was awarded an FIA Gold Medal for Motor Sport in 2006. In 2007, in recognition of his contribution to Formula One racing, the Nürburgring racing track renamed turns 8 and 9 (the Audi and Shell Kurves) as the Schumacher S, and a month later he presented A1 Team Germany with the A1 World Cup at the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport 2007 awards ceremony. He was nominated for the Prince of Asturias Award for Sport for 2007, which he won both for sporting prowess and for his humanitarian record.

In 2008 the Swiss Football Association appointed Schumacher as the Swiss ambassador for the 2008 European football championship.

While Schumacher was on the podium after winning the 2006 Italian Grand Prix, Ferrari issued a press release stating that he would retire from racing at the end of the 2006 season. Schumacher confirmed his retirement. The press release stated that Schumacher would continue working for Ferrari. It was revealed on October 29, 2006 that Ferrari wanted Schumacher to act as assistant to the newly appointed CEO Jean Todt. This would involve selecting the team's future drivers. After Schumacher's announcement, leading Formula One figures such as Niki Lauda and David Coulthard hailed Schumacher as the greatest all-round racing driver in the history of Formula One. The tifosi and the Italian press, who did not always take to Schumacher's relatively cold public persona, displayed an affectionate response after he announced his retirement.

During the 2007 Formula One season Schumacher acted as Ferrari's advisor and Jean Todt's 'super assistant'. He attended several Grands Prix during the season. Schumacher drove the Ferrari F2007 for the first time on October 24 at Ferrari's home track in Fiorano, Italy. He ran no more than five laps and no lap times were recorded. A Ferrari spokesman said the short drive was done for the Fiat board of directors, who were holding their meeting in Maranello.

On November 13, 2007 Schumacher, who had not driven a Formula One car since he had retired a year earlier, undertook a formal test session for the first time aboard the F2007. He returned in December, to continue helping Ferrari with their development program at Jerez circuit. He focused on testing electronics and tyres for the 2008 Formula One season.

In 2007, former Ferrari top manager Ross Brawn said that Schumacher is very likely and also happy to continue testing in 2008. Michael Schumacher later explained his role further, saying that he will "deal with the development of the car inside Gestione Sportiva", and as part of that, will drive the car, but not too often.

During 2008 Schumacher has also competed as a motorcycle racer in the IDM Superbike-series. He states that he has no intention of a second competitive career in this sport.

He is quoted as saying that riding a Ducati was the most exhilarating thing he has done, the second most being sky diving.

During his long career Schumacher has been involved in several incidents, which have caused considerable controversy. Schumacher has been vilified in the British media for his involvement in title-deciding collisions in 1994 and 1997. German and Italian newspapers widely condemned his actions in 1997.The 1994 incident was viewed by the FIA as a racing incident, and brought no sanction; whereas the 1997 incident saw Schumacher disqualified from the championship standings.

Going into the 1994 Australian Grand Prix, the final race of the 1994 season, Schumacher led Damon Hill by a single point in the Drivers' Championship. Schumacher led the race from the beginning with Hill closely following him. On lap 35, Schumacher went off track, hitting a wall with his right side wheels. It is unknown whether Schumacher's car was damaged, as he returned to the track at reduced speed but still leading the race. At the next corner, when Hill attempted a pass on the inside while Schumacher was turning into the corner, Schumacher and Hill collided. Schumacher's car was tipped up onto two wheels and eliminated on the spot. Hill pitted immediately and retired from the race with irreparable damage. As neither driver scored Schumacher took the title.

Opinion is divided over the incident. British Formula One journalist and author Alan Henry has written that Schumacher was blamed by "many F1 insiders" for the incident, however British Formula One commentator Murray Walker believes it was not a deliberate move. The race stewards judged it a racing accident and took no action against either driver.

At the 1997 European Grand Prix at Jerez, the last race of the season, Schumacher led another driver, this time Williams' Jacques Villeneuve, by one point in the Drivers' Championship. Although Schumacher and Villeneuve had set the same time during qualifying, the Canadian driver started the race in pole position due to his being the first to set the time. By the first corner of the race, Schumacher was ahead of Villeneuve. On lap 48, Villeneuve passed Schumacher at the Dry Sac Corner. As he did so, Schumacher turned into the Williams, the right-front wheel of Schumacher's Ferrari hitting the left side pod of Villeneuve's car. Schumacher retired from the race immediately while Villeneuve was able to finish the race in the third place, taking four points and so becoming the World Champion.

Two weeks after the race, Schumacher was excluded from the results for the season after a FIA disciplinary hearing disqualified him, finding that his "manoeuvre was an instinctive reaction and although deliberate not made with malice or premeditation. It was a serious error." This made him the only driver in the history of the sport, as of 2008 to be disqualified from a World Championship. Schumacher accepted the decision and admitted having made a mistake.

In 1994, it was found that the Benetton car had a launch-control system hidden its software that could be activated via a sequence of driver actions. While this caused controversy, the team successfully argued that the rule "banning" such software for 1994 merely stated that such software must not be used, rather than saying it must not be present. Later in the season, Schumacher was banned for 2 races following the 1994 British Grand Prix, where his team instructed him to keep racing despite being shown the black flag for several laps while they argued with officials about a penalty incurred for overtaking Hill on the parade lap. Furthermore, the team faced allegations of tampering with their fuel rig in order to speed up refuelling, resulting in a large fire that engulfed Jos Verstappen's car at the 1994 German Grand Prix.

In 1995, Schumacher and Benetton were publicly determined not to incur such controversy, but got off to a bad start when Schumacher and Williams driver David Coulthard were disqualified for fuel irregularities. On appeal, both drivers had their results and points reinstated, but both teams lost the points the results would normally have earned in the constructors championship.

At the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix, Schumacher's teammate, Rubens Barrichello, took pole and led the race from the start. In the final metres of the race, the Brazilian driver, under orders from Ferrari, slowed his car to make way for Schumacher to pass and win the race. This angered fans who were watching the race and it was claimed that the team's actions showed a lack of sportsmanship and respect to the spectators, with many claiming that Schumacher did not need to be "gifted" wins in only the 6th race of the season, particularly given that he had already won 4 of the previous 5 grand prix, and that Barrichello had dominated the race weekend up to that point. At the podium ceremony, Schumacher pushed Barrichello onto the top step, and for this disturbance, the Ferrari team incurred a US$1 million fine. The switching of positions did not bring a penalty, as it did not involve breaking an actual sporting or technical regulation. Later in the season at the end of the 2002 United States Grand Prix, Schumacher slowed down within sight of the finishing line, meaning that Barrichello took the win by 0.011 seconds, the 2nd closest margin in F1 history. Nobody, including Barrichello, appeared to know why Schumacher lifted, and Schumacher's own explanation varied between it being him "returning the favour" for Austria (now that Schumacher's title was secure), or trying to engineer a dead-heat a feat derided as near-impossible in a sport where timings are taken to within a thousandth of a second. The FIA subsequently banned "Team orders which interfere with the race result".

Although Schumacher took the pole position during the qualifying for the 2006 Monaco Grand Prix, there was controversy near the end of the session. Schumacher stopped his car in the Rascasse corner, partially blocking the circuit, while his main contender for the season title, Fernando Alonso, was on his qualifying lap. Schumacher stated that he simply locked up the wheels going into the corner and that the car then stalled while he attempted to reverse out. Alonso believed he would have been on pole if the incident had not happened. Schumacher was later stripped of pole position by the race stewards and started the race at the back of the grid.

Schumacher's younger brother Ralf was a Formula One driver until the end of 2007. Their stepbrother Sebastian Stahl has also been competing as a race car driver. In August 1995, Michael married Corinna Betsch. They have two children, Gina-Maria (born in 1997) and Mick (born in 1999). He has always been very protective of his private life and is known to dislike the celebrity spotlight, preferring a simple life. The family currently lives near Gland, Switzerland. Their home is a 650 m² mansion with its own underground garage and petrol station, situated on a private beach on Lake Geneva. The family has two dogs - one stray that Corinna fell in love with in Brazil, and an Australian Shepherd named "Ed" whose entrance to the family made headlines. Schumacher personally drove a taxi through the Bavarian town of Coburg after collecting the dog, enabling the family to catch their return flight to Switzerland. Both Schumacher and the taxi driver were reprimanded by local police.

In 2005 Eurobusiness magazine identified Schumacher as the world's first billionaire athlete. His 2004 salary was reported to be around US$80 million. Forbes magazine ranked him 17th in their "The World's Most Powerful Celebrities" list. A significant share of his income came from advertising. For example, Deutsche Vermögensberatung paid him $8 million over three years from 1999 for wearing a 10 by 8 centimetre advertisement on his post-race cap. The deal was extended until 2010. He donated $10 million for aid after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. His donation surpassed that of any other sports person, most sports leagues, many worldwide corporations and even some countries.Schumacher's bodyguard Burkhard Cramer was killed in the tsunami along with his two sons.

One of his main hobbies is horse riding, and he plays football for his local team FC Echichens. He has appeared in several football charity games and organised games between Formula One drivers.

Schumacher is a special ambassador to UNESCO and has donated 1.5 million Euros to the organization. Additionally, he paid for the construction of a school for poor children and for area improvements in Dakar, Senegal. He supports a hospital for child victims of war in Sarajevo, which specialises in caring for amputees. In Lima, Peru he funded the "Palace for the Poor", a centre for helping homeless street children obtain an education, clothing, food, medical attention, and shelter. He stated his interest in these various efforts was piqued both by his love for children and the fact that these causes had received little attention. While an exact figure for the amount of money he has donated throughout his life is unknown, it is known that in his last four years as a driver, he donated at least $50 million.

Since his participation in a FIA European road safety campaign, as part of his punishment after the collision at the 1997 European Grand Prix, Schumacher has continued to support other campaigns, such as Make Roads Safe, which is led by the FIA Foundation and calls on G8 countries and the UN to recognise global road deaths as a major global health issue.

In 2008, Schumacher was the figurehead of an advertising campaign by Bacardi to raise awareness about responsible drinking, with a focus on communicating an international message 'drinking and driving don't mix'. He featured in an advertising campaign for television, cinema and online media, supported by consumer engagements, public relations and digital media across the world.

Also in 2008 it was revealed that he was a donor to the William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park of Bill Clinton. He donated at least 5,000,000 Dollars but no more than 10,000,000 Dollars.

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Johnny Herbert

Johnny Herbert driving for Benetton at the 1995 Canadian Grand Prix.

John Paul Herbert (born 25 June 1964 in Romford, London, England) is a British racing driver from England. He competed in Formula One, winning three races, and also in sports cars winning the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1991 driving a Mazda 787B. He enjoyed much success in lower-level motor racing but never managed to achieve the same level of performance at the top level of motorsport.

During the mid-1980s, Johnny Herbert was widely regarded as a coming man of motor racing, comparable to the Scot Jim Clark. Winning the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch in 1985, Herbert caught Eddie Jordan's attention, and together they won the 1987 British Formula Three title. Disaster struck in 1988, though, as Herbert, then a championship hopeful in International Formula 3000 was caught up in a major accident at Brands Hatch, badly breaking his legs in a fearsome impact with the barriers. It was an act of huge bravery that saw him back in a racing car at the beginning of 1989, despite the fact he could barely walk. Even more remarkably, he was now in Formula 1, scoring points on his debut in Brazil driving for the Benetton team, then managed by his long time mentor and friend Peter Collins.

However, Herbert's performances could not keep up that standard, and with the Benetton team under new management, he was dropped after failing to qualify for the Canadian Grand Prix. Herbert returned to Formula 3000, this time in the highly regarded Japanese series. It wasn't long before he received another call from Grand Prix racing, this time Tyrrell. From 1990 to 2000, Herbert was a fixture in Formula One, switching to the dwindling Lotus team, now managed by Peter Collins. After 3 years of frustration, Herbert left Lotus in mid 1994, joining Ligier and then Benetton for the last few races of the season. Although he failed to score any points in 1994, he was retained as Michael Schumacher's team-mate for 1995. At the British Grand Prix, he inherited a hugely popular Grand Prix win after Michael Schumacher collided with Damon Hill. He followed this in similar circumstances at Monza, finishing 4th in the championship.

After being dropped by Benetton, Herbert drove for Swiss outfit Sauber in 1996-1998, scoring two podium places. Moving to Stewart Grand Prix in 1999, he was routinely outqualified by his younger team mate Rubens Barrichello but scored his third and final Grand Prix win in a remarkable wet/dry European Grand Prix. Staying at Stewart after the team was purchased by Ford and became Jaguar, Herbert endured another frustrating and pointless season, ending the year being stretchered off at Malaysia after a suspension failure caused him to crash heavily.

Since retiring from Grand Prix racing, Herbert has concentrated on Sports Cars, trying to repeat his Le Mans 24 Hours overall win of 1991. Recent years have seen him as one of the front runners in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), where he won several events and was a challenger for the 2003 crown.

In 2004, Herbert, along with Jamie Davies won the Le Mans Series championship at the wheel of an Audi R8 winning the races at Monza and Spa along the way.

In 2005, Herbert was appointed to the post of Sporting Relations Manager at Jordan Grand Prix, which was then renamed Midland F1 for the 2006 World Championship. However, in September of that year Spyker Cars bought the team, and renamed it Spyker MF1. Another of the new owners' decisions was to not renew Herbert's contract.

In 2007, Herbert entered the Le Mans 24 Hours driving for the factory Aston Martin team at the wheel of the Aston Martin DBR9 in the GT1 class. Herbert, along with Peter Kox and Tomáš Enge drove the 007 numbered car to a 9th placed overall finish and 4th in the GT1 class.

In 2008, Herbert won the first season of the Speedcar Series.

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2007 Formula One season

Kimi Räikkönen, the 2007 World Drivers' Champion.

The 2007 Formula One season was the 58th FIA Formula One World Championship season. It began on 18 March and ended on 21 October after seventeen Grands Prix. The Drivers' Championship was won by Ferrari driver Kimi Räikkönen by one point at the final race of the season, making Räikkönen the third Finnish driver to take the title. An appeal by McLaren regarding the legality of some cars in the final race could have altered the championship standings, but on 16 November, the appeal was reportedly rejected by the International Court of Appeal, confirming the championship results. Räikkönen entered the final race in third position in the drivers' standings, but emerged as champion after the chequered flag, a feat that had been accomplished only by Giuseppe Farina in 1950.

A major talking point of the season had been an espionage controversy involving Ferrari and McLaren, which led to McLaren being excluded from the World Constructors' Championship. As a result, Ferrari clinched the championship at the Belgian Grand Prix.

The 2007 season was significant in that it heralded the end of the existing Concorde Agreement between the existing Formula One constructors and Bernie Ecclestone. In particular, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Honda (collectively the Grand Prix Manufacturers' Association) had a number of outstanding disagreements with the FIA and Ecclestone on financial and technical grounds. They had threatened to boycott Formula One from the 2008 season onwards and instead stage their own rival series, before signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at the 2006 Spanish Grand Prix.

The 2007 Australian Grand Prix was the first time since the 1986 Spanish Grand Prix that there was a Formula One field without a Cosworth engine.

Honda F1 ran with an "Earth livery" on their RA107 car, the first time since 1968, when sponsorship in the sport became widespread, that a team ran sponsor-free for an entire season.

Pre-season testing began in November 2006 at the Circuit de Catalunya, with ten of the eleven teams participating in the test sessions. The most notable absentees were Fernando Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen, who were still under contract at Renault and McLaren respectively. Jenson Button was also absent as he had suffered a hairline fracture on his ribs after a go-karting accident in preparations for the November tests. Lewis Hamilton made his first appearance in a McLaren since being confirmed as Alonso's team-mate for 2007.

Felipe Massa topped the times on the first two days of testing. Massa's testing partner, Luca Badoer, took the fastest time on the third day, although interest was on the fact that double World Champion Mika Häkkinen joined Hamilton and de la Rosa at McLaren for a one off test, although the Finnish driver was over three seconds slower then Badoer's time, completing 79 laps of the Spanish circuit. He hopes to be of continued benefit to McLaren over the coming winter.

The other big story of 2007 is the return to a single tyre formula (Bridgestone). It is possible that this accounts for some of the reason why Ferrari led the most recent test, although it has been claimed by Bridgestone that the 2007 tyre is of a completely new build, thus minimising any real benefit for the 2006 Bridgestone teams (Ferrari, Toyota, Williams, Midland/Spyker and Super Aguri).

Toyota was the only team out for the fourth day of testing at Barcelona, as the Japanese works team chose to miss the first day of testing. Both Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli's fastest laps were quicker than Massa and Badoer's times during the previous three sessions. Testing resumed on December 6 at Jerez, with the majority of teams attending the session. Both Ferraris of Massa and Badoer were first and second fastest, with McLaren's Lewis Hamilton making up the top three in third. Hamilton improved on his position the following day by taking the fastest time, a second faster than Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella.

Japanese works teams Honda and Toyota topped the times for the next two days of testing: Honda's Rubens Barrichello and Toyota's Franck Montagny were fastest, although Toyota had the Jerez track to themselves when Montagny took the fastest time. Heikki Kovalainen and Pedro de la Rosa took the fastest times on the fourth and fifth day of testing at Jerez. Also of note, on the last day of testing Fernando Alonso made his McLaren testing debut after an agreement with manager Flavio Briatore. This did not call for an end to his agreement (which ended on the 31st of December).

The following teams and drivers participated in the 2007 Formula One season. Drivers are numbered as per the official FIA 2007 entry list. All team details are as per the Formula 1 Official Website, except where noted. Note that there is no driver number 13 as per the historical tradition.

The following teams launched their 2007 entries as below.

The season started at Albert Park in Australia on 18 March and Kimi Räikkönen took a lights to flag victory there with Fernando Alonso coming second and debutant Lewis Hamilton finishing 3rd. Felipe Massa took his first pole of the season in Malaysia but Fernando Alonso won his first race with McLaren with rookie, Lewis Hamilton, continuing his excellent pace to finish second. Felipe Massa won from lights to flag in Bahrain and Spain and in both races Lewis Hamilton finished second, becoming the first rookie to finish on the podium in more than his first two outings. McLaren would dominate Monaco with Fernando Alonso winning from Lewis Hamilton after the pair had lapped everybody apart from themselves and Felipe Massa, who was not too far from being lapped.

The Canadian GP was a very dramatic affair with 4 safety car periods and one of the biggest crashes of Formula One in recent years. The race started off with the second all McLaren front row with Lewis Hamilton taking his first pole position followed by Fernando Alonso. Alonso made a mistake in turn 1 losing several places while Lewis Hamilton was opening a gap between himself and Nick Heidfeld. On lap 22 the first safety car period began after Adrian Sutil hit the cement wall. The safety car went into the pits on lap 28 but before the lap could be completed Robert Kubica made one of the most bizarre accidents in the history of Formula One. He apparently lost his front wing after hitting Jarno Trulli. He then went wide and hit a bump on the grass that launched him into the air and into a massive impact with the retaining barrier at a peak G Force of 75G. The safety car was once again deployed and went in on lap 35. Lewis Hamilton once again opened up a gap to second placed Nick Heidfeld until lap 50 when Christian Albers left a lot of debris on the track after a crash forcing the deployment of the safety car. The race restarted on lap 55 and was deployed again on lap 56 after Vitantonio Liuzzi hit the so called `Wall of Champions`. The safety car period was extended after Jarno Trulli hit the tyre barrier at the exit of the pitlane after trying to catch up with the field. On the restart Lewis Hamilton led to the finish to claim his maiden win in only his sixth race. The next race at Indianapolis saw Lewis Hamilton take a lights to flag victory after a 300kph side by side battle with Fernando Alonso for the lead. Ferrari took their first 1-2 finish in France with Kimi Räikkönen winning from polesitter, Felipe Massa.

In Britain Lewis Hamilton thrilled his home crowd by taking his third pole position in front of them. It wasn't to last, however, he went on to finish a distant third behind winner, Kimi Räikkönen and Fernando Alonso. Europe (Germany) would see Lewis Hamilton's run of consecutive podiums come to an end. After a mighty crash in qualifying he started in 10th in the race. On lap 4 he aquaplaned off the circuit in a torrential rainstorm but fortunately for him the race was stopped. He restarted after his car was pulled out of the gravel but after taking a gamble to change to dries on a drying track he spun off several times but recovered to finish 9th, just missing out on the final point.

After a controversial qualifying incident between Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton, Alonso was demoted to 6th on the grid at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton then took a lights to flag victory with Raikkönen coming second. In Turkey Felipe Massa took a dominant lights to flag victory followed by Kimi Raikkönen and Fernando Alonso. Lewis Hamilton finished fifth after he suffered a tyre failure while running in 3rd. In Italy Fernando Alonso won from Lewis Hamilton followed by Kimi Raikkönen. In Belgium Raikkönen won from Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso.

The Japanese Grand Prix moved to Fuji Speedway and this event was marked by treacherous weather and was started under safety car conditions. Lewis Hamilton survived a brush with Robert Kubica to win from Heikki Kovalainen and Kimi Räikkönen. At the last 3 corners Robert Kubica and Felipe Massa ran side by side in a battle for 6th and Fernando Alonso aquaplaned and crashed on lap 41 of 67. In China Lewis Hamilton won his 6th pole of the season and led up to lap 28 when he was overtaken by Kimi Räikkönen and he then spun off entering the pitlane. The season finale marked the first time since 1986 that 3 drivers had a chance of becoming world champion at the season finale, and the first time since the inaugural season in 1950 that the man stood in third before the final race went on to win the championship, the driver then being Giuseppe Farina. Lewis Hamilton was the favourite with 107 points followed by Fernando Alonso on 103 points and Kimi Räikkönen on 100 points. Lewis Hamilton started 2nd but dropped to the back of the pack after a gearbox problem. He recovered to 7th but Kimi Räikkönen won the race and the championship. The final standings were Räikkönen on 110 points followed by Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso each on 109 points.

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Source : Wikipedia