Thursday, 03 january 2019, 05:50 , by Matthew Scott
With all the Formula 1 world coming together to celebrate Michael Schumacher's 50th birthday, there's not better time to look back at the legendary career of the greatest racing driver of all time. With seven world titles and 91 race wins to his name, Schumacher drove some of F1's most iconic cars – here we round up every machine he used in his glorious career.
This car was underneath him for only one race – and only a handful of corners at that – but it remains famous as Schumacher's debut car. His qualifying performance in Belgium stole the show, putting the underpowered Jordan onto seventh on the grid.
An immediate switch to the wealthier Benetton team followed and Schumacher scored three points finishes in this car to round out his debut campaign.
A maiden win, back at Spa-Francorchamps, was secured with this ride, as well as a handful of podiums, as Schumacher's first full season ended with a third-place finish in the championship.
A worthy competitor to Alain Prost's all-conquering Williams, but just not powerful enough to stop the Frenchman adding a fourth world title to his collection.
Schumacher began 1994 with six wins out of seven races, the other a second-place to Damon Hill, but the Briton surged back late in the campaign as Schumacher served a two-race ban for ignoring black flags at Silverstone. His coronation was similarly controversial as a collision with Hill in Adelaide secured the championship by a single point.
Schumacher's second world title also came with Benetton's sole constructors' championship win – the German and teammate Johnny Herbert sharing 11 wins with a 9-2 split across the 16-race campaign.
Hill finally got revenge for Williams after Schumacher's blockbusting move to Ferrari. A maiden win in red in the wet in Barcelona was a show of the German's greatness, nevertheless.
Five wins came in this evolution of the previous season's car, but it will forever be remembered for one of the darkest moments of Schumacher's career, disqualified from the championship for attempting to crash into eventual champion Jacques Villeneuve – ala Adelaide '94 – in Jerez.
Another car to feature in a titanic title tussle, this time with the McLaren of Mika Hakkinen, who came out on top at the final race of the season in Japan as Schumacher retired.
A great 'what if' as another championship scrap with Hakkinen was curtailed when Schumacher crashed at Stowe Corner during the British GP and suffered a broken leg that forced him to miss the next six races.
The beginning of an era. Nine wins helped Schumacher secure his first title with the Scuderia at Hakkinen's expense, with the title sealed at Japan to salve some of the wounds opened two years prior.
As the red cars began to ruthlessly dominate, as did Schumacher, matching Prost with a fourth world title and surpassing the Professor's race wins tally with a 52nd at his favourite spot for history-making: Belgium.
After starting the season with two outings in the F2001, switching to the F2002 resulted in one of F1's most dominant runs, with Schumacher either winning or finishing second in all of the remaining 15 races, climbing to the top step on 10 occasions.
A much tougher battle awaited Schumacher this year as Kimi Raikkonen and McLaren brought a renewed fight, but still he prevailed by just two points.
Arguably the most dominant machine in F1 history. Schumacher's 13 wins set across the 2004 campaign is a record that remains unbeaten (though matched by Sebastian Vettel in 2013) and his win percentage of 72.2% is bettered only by the 1952 campaign of Alberto Ascari, who won six of the eight championship races.
Finally dethroned, Schumacher won just once all year, at the wretched United States GP ruined by tyre fears, as Renault and Fernando Alonso got the better of them.
Ferrari 248 F1
Seven wins followed the next season – including Schumacher's 91st and last in China – but Alonso bested him yet again to seemingly end a legendary career with a runners-up finish.
Mercedes MGP W01
Of course, Schumacher would return to F1 with the newly formed Mercedes. Fourth place came in Spain, Turkey and Korea, but teammate Nico Rosberg was able to take to the podium three times in the same machinery.
Mercedes MGP W02
Again nothing to move along many statistical needles, but Rosberg also went without a podium – albeit scoring more points than his legendary stable-mate.
Mercedes F1 W03
A couple of final flourishes, most notably in Monaco, where a final qualifying victory was secured, although no pole position followed thanks to a penalty. The record 155th and final podium came in Valencia, but Rosberg had once again impressed – taking a first win in China – and it was the veteran who made way one the Silver Arrows hatched their plan to sign Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes.