Despite his departure from Formula 1 at the end of the 2012 season, such was the prolific talent of Michael Schumacher that a decade later he still holds many of the sport’s most prestigious records.
Coming to Formula 1 in 1991 for a one-off appearance for Jordan, Schumacher spent 18 years on the grid during which he amassed 91 Grand Prix victories and 68 pole positions.
While both of these records were broken by Lewis Hamilton, the numbers are still in the German’s favor when it comes to many of Formula 1’s greatest achievements.
Most Drivers’ Championship titles: Seven
By securing his first grand prix victory in his first full season in Formula 1, it was clear to many in the paddock that Schumacher was going to be something special. But what he would achieve was unprecedented.
The German captured his first world title in 1994, beating Damon Hill by just one point after the two collided at the season-ending Australian Grand Prix. It was the first, but not the last, controversial moment to cast a shadow over Schumacher’s career, but he put that behind him by taking a second title the following season, this time destroying Hill with 102 points to 69.
That, however, would be followed by a five-year dry spell, with Schumacher displacing Benetton from Ferrari with the Italian outfit chasing their first drivers’ title since 1979. Schumacher broke the duck in 2000, emerging victorious in a tough battle against Mika Hakkinen.
His success in 2000 began a five-year winning streak with the German dominating the drivers’ standings to extend his tally to an unprecedented seven.
It’s a record he holds today with Lewis Hamilton, the Mercedes driver securing his seventh place in 2020. But while they share it, Schumacher has the longest consecutive streak with his five-year run with Ferrari. Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Juan Manuel Fangio have all managed four consecutive years.
Most consecutive seasons with at least one game win: 15
Schumacher has not only won grand prix in 15 of his 18 full seasons on the Formula 1 grid, he has also done so for 15 years in a row.
The German’s first race victory was quite fitting at the 1992 Belgian Grand Prix where he beat Nigel Mansell by 36.5 seconds in the changing conditions. Although he could be said to have been lucky that Sunday, a mistake which resulted in an early pit stop which allowed him to beat Mansell, he still had to do the work.
The fact that he has added another 90 Grand Prix victories to his tally speaks to talent, not luck.
He recorded his last win at the 2006 Chinese Grand Prix, a P1 that put him in world title contention despite the German announcing it would be his last season in F1. But, as China scored their final victory, he was beaten to the crown by Fernando Alonso.
Although Schumacher made a comeback in 2010, signing with Mercedes, he was unable to add to his haul of victories and finished with 91 P1s he recorded during his first 15 seasons in the sport.
Schumacher is also tied with Hamilton for this record, the Briton failing to make it his own last season when he recorded a winless season.
Most races remaining after winning the title: six
Last season Max Verstappen reclaimed one of Schumacher’s record with 15 wins on the season, Schumacher had previously held the record with 13. But while the Red Bull driver beat it and won the title with four races to spare, he is not was able to match Schumacher’s six races to spare in 2002.
That season, which included the controversial Austrian Grand Prix in which Rubens Barrichello was ordered to give his teammate the win with Schumacher overtaking him across the line by 0.182 seconds, saw the German wrap up the title at the French Grand Prix .
Such was Schumacher’s form that season, when he held off Kimi Raikkonen at Magny-Cours, he raced to a 62-point lead in the title race, enough gap to hand him his third title in three years.
That race was round 11 in a 17-race season, Schumacher winning with six races remaining. Nigel Mansell is second in the history books having won the 1992 title with five races to go.
Highest podium percentage in a single season – 100%
With his Ferrari in a championship of its own in the 2002 season, and especially with Schumacher at the wheel, calling his campaign “dominant” hardly does it justice.
Authoritative, commanding, superior, supreme, and superhuman come to mind.
Although Schumacher only managed seven pole positions that season, not having all Saturday his way, Grand Prix Sunday was a different story.
The German finished on the podium in each of the season’s 17 races, recording 11 wins and five second places. Only once was he even third. His 144 points for the season was double what his teammate Barrichello had.
P1 or P2 from round three, Brazil, to round 17 in Japan, he also put together longest ever streak of 1-2 finishes at 15. His podium finishes that season also extended his streak of top threes to 19 , a streak that started at the 2001 United States Grand Prix. He was unable to continue in 2003, off the podium at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
Vettel is next in line with 89.4% in 2011, where he finished on the podium 17 times in 19 races.
Most hat-tricks: 22
If a driver wants to let his rivals know that he has reigned supreme, perhaps the best way to do it, other than winning a full lap race like Schumacher did at the 1994 Brazilian Grand Prix, would be to secure the hat-trick: pole position , the race win and the fastest lap of the race.
A better one would be the Grand Chelem, which includes pole position, race win, fastest race lap, and lead in every lap of the race.
Schumacher has five, Jim Clark holds the record with eight, but when it comes to hat-tricks it’s the Ferrari legend who sits at the top having accomplished that feat 22 times. This is Hamilton’s 19 and Jim Clark’s 11.
Schumacher scored his first hat-trick – and also his first Grand Chelem – at the 1994 Monaco Grand Prix, beating pole position Mika Hakkinen by almost a full second. Running from stoplight to flag, he led every lap, set a fastest race lap time of 1:21.076 and won by 37 seconds ahead of Martin Brundle.
His last hat-trick came at the 2006 French Grand Prix, where he beat Felipe Massa in qualifying by 0.17 seconds, set a 1:17.111 on lap 46 and won by 10 seconds ahead of Alonso.