From Go-Carts to Race Cars: a Look at F1′s Michael Schumacher

He may be F1‘s most successfull driver, but that doesn’t mean the 2006 Formula One season is any easier for him. Michael Schumacher has come a long way from his first cart race at age five, to his current number 5 position in the 2006 F1 standings. From the time he became German Junior Champion in 1984, anyone associated with racing knew Schumacher had the gifts to really make an impact on the sport.

A slew of impressive kart performances jumpstarted his career: winning the German Junior Championships again in ’85, Second Place in the Junior World Championships in Le Mans, 3rd place in the 1986 German Senior Kart Championships, and finally capping his learning curve by winning both the German and the European Senior Kart Championships in 1987).

In 1988, Schumacher transitioned into the big leagues: embarking on his first season in a Formula racing car, drawing the attention of Willi Weber, who was looking for up-and-coming talents. During a Formula Ford race on the rain-soaked Salzburgring, Michael stormed from 7th to 1st place during just one lap.

In his first Formula 3 season in 1989, Michael Schumacher won two races and ended the championships just one point behind in third place, after Heinz-Harald Frentzen. The champion was Karl Wendlinger. The rest, as they say, is history. But the truth is, in nearly 20 years of continuous driving, you’re only as good as your last performance on the track.

Michael Schumacher is a five-times World Champion F1 driver and tops the list of most Grand Prix wins in the history of Formula One.

Currently 21 points behind series leader Fernando Alonso, and with 11 races still ahead of him, Michael Schumacher faces his most challenging season yet.

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