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Rediff.com  » Sports » Down memory lane: The best and worst of Michael Schumacher

Down memory lane: The best and worst of Michael Schumacher

December 30, 2013 10:52 IST

Image: Michael Schumacher
Photographs: Pascal Rondeau/Allsport/Getty Images

Formula One icon Michael Schumacher suffered a serious head injury while skiing in the French Alps on Sunday morning. Rediff.com jogs down the memory lane and presents some of the highlights and low points of the 44-year-old German's career since he made his debut with Jordan in 1991.

-'Come on Michael!' Sporting world echoes in support

-Former F1 champion Schumacher 'critical' after skiing fall

The seven-time world champion Schumacher raced for the last time in Formula One at the Brazilian Grand Prix in November 2012, finishing seventh before heading into his second retirement.

SIX OF THE BEST:

Belgium 1992

Schumacher's first race win, in the wet, and one in which he showed all his tactical brilliance.

Overtaken by Benetton team mate Martin Brundle after sliding off, Schumacher noticed that the Briton's tyres were worn out. Reckoning that his must be as well, he pitted immediately for rain tyres. It was a masterstroke of timing that won him the race.

Controversial win from 16th place on the grid


Photographs: Tony Duffy/Getty Images

Belgium 1995

A victory from 16th place on the starting grid in changing conditions and with the German staying out on slick tyres in the wet.

The outcome was tainted by controversy, with Schumacher given a suspended one-race ban for weaving on the straights to prevent Damon Hill overtaking.

Drove the 'greatest race' for Benetton


Photographs: Anton Want/ALLSPORT/Getty Images

Europe 1995

In his last race in Europe for Benetton, Schumacher reeled in Jean Alesi and overtook the Frenchman two laps from the finish to win in front of his home fans at the Nuerburgring in a race hailed as the greatest of his second championship year.

Wins first race at Ferrari in Spain


Photographs: Anton Want/ALLSPORT/Getty Images

Spain 1996

Schumacher's first win for Ferrari, again in the rain, and he lapped the entire field bar the two men on the podium with him -- although he was 45 seconds clear of second-placed Alesi.

"If anyone had asked me how much I would bet on me winning here, I would have said not one penny," declared Schumacher.

Followed Ross Brawn's instructions for Hungary win


Photographs: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Hungary 1998

An inspired drive, coupled with a three-stop strategy at a circuit where overtaking was deemed almost impossible. Schumacher had to drive a series of sprints after technical director Ross Brawn asked him to make up 25 seconds in 19 laps.

Schumacher replied 'Thank You' and did just that.

First title for Ferrari


Photographs: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Japan 2000

The race that clinched Schumacher's first title for Ferrari, ending their 21-year wait for a drivers' crown.

Schumacher had trailed McLaren rival Mika Hakkinen for almost 40 laps before getting ahead with pitstop strategy on one of his most emotional afternoons.

Schumi marred by allegations of cheating


Photographs: Stuart Milligan /Allsport/Getty Images

THE WORST:

Australia 1994

Schumacher faced furious accusations of cheating after an infamous collision with Briton Damon Hill in the title-deciding Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide.

The incident on the 31st of 81 laps knocked both drivers out of the race and Schumacher won the crown by one point.

Served a two-race ban for failing to serve a stop/go penalty


Photographs: Stuart Milligan /Allsport/Getty Images

Britain 1994

Schumacher was shown the black flag for failing to serve a stop/go penalty. He ignored it, claiming later not to have seen it.

The flag was withdrawn after Benetton explained the 'misunderstanding' and Schumacher served the penalty.

The German was later handed a two-race ban and the team fined $500,000 (311,895.70 pounds).

Schumacher: The collision king


Photographs: Mike Cooper/ALLSPORT/Getty Images

Europe 1997

Another collision, this time at Jerez, with Schumacher trying to ram Canadian Jacques Villeneuve off the track in the title decider.

This time it backfired, Villeneuve won the championship and Schumacher was excluded from the final classification.

Ferrari ordered Barichello to slow down and alllow Schumi to win


Photographs: Mike Cooper /Allsport/Getty Images

Austria 2002

A black day for Formula One, with worldwide outrage after Ferrari ordered Rubens Barrichello, who had dominated the entire weekend and led from start to finish, to slow and allow Schumacher to win. He did so at the last corner.

There was no need for it.

The German had won four of the five previous races and ended up taking the title by a record margin.

Schumi's 'most dangerous move'


Photographs: Tom Shaw/Getty Images

Hungary 2010

Schumacher, defending 10th place against Barrichello, impeded the Brazilian with a risky move that squeezed the Williams against the wall on the pit straight at around 300kph.

The German lost the place anyway and was handed a 10-place penalty on the grid for his next race.

Barrichello said it was the most dangerous move he had experienced in his F1 career.

Deliberately blocking the track during qualifying


Photographs: Paul Gilham/Getty Images

A BIT OF BOTH:

Monaco 2006

Schumacher again revived accusations of cheating when he was sent to the back of the grid for deliberately blocking the track in the dying seconds of qualifying, preventing rivals from beating him to pole position.

He atoned for it during the race, storming through to finish fifth and with the fastest lap.