Here is some history and information about F1 drivers. My main source for info is of course wikipedia! The pictures displayed are the ones I managed to find on the Internet (I sure hope I am not violating any copyright acts). On the left side you will find labels, links and search option, and on the right google ads. Enjoy

Monday, March 17, 2008

Mika Pauli Häkkinen

Mika Pauli Häkkinen (pronunciation ) (born September 28, 1968 in Helsingin maalaiskunta) is a Finnish racing driver and two-time Formula One champion. He was Michael Schumacher's greatest rival in F1 from 1998-2000 (see results section below). The German has said himself that Häkkinen is the rival he respected the most during his Formula One career.

Personal and early life

Mika Häkkinen was born in Helsingin maalaiskunta (now Vantaa), Finland on September 28, 1968 to Harri, a short wave radio operator and part-time taxi driver, and Aila Häkkinen, who worked as a secretary. Mika grew up with one sister, Nina, who ran a fan site for her brother until its closure in 1998. Häkkinen married Erja Honkanen in 1998. The couple have one son, Hugo Ronan (born December 11, 2000) and one daughter, Aina Julia (born May 12, 2005). Media reports in early 2008 suggested the couple were applying for divorce. Since 1991, Häkkinen has resided in Monte Carlo although he also has houses in France and Finland.

Racing career

Pre-Formula One (until 1990)

When Häkkinen was five years old, his parents hired a go-kart for him to take to a track near their home. On his first lap, Häkkinen was involved in an accident, escaping unhurt. Despite this crash, Häkkinen wished to continue racing and after persistently annoying his parents, the young Finn got his wish. His father bought Häkkinen his first go-kart, one that Henri Toivonen had previously competed with.

By 1986, Häkkinen had won five karting championships. 1982 World Champion Keke Rosberg helped Häkkinen by arranging him sponsorship that aided the Finn through the junior categories of open wheel racing. The "New Flying Finn" won three Scandinavian championships, then the Opel Lotus Euroseries championship before winning the British Formula Three championship and coming close to winning the 1990 Macau Grand Prix but missing out due to an accident, which resulted in his promotion to Formula One with the Lotus team.

Formula One (1991-2001)

Lotus (1991-1992)


Häkkinen joined Lotus in 1991. He qualified 13th for his Grand Prix debut in Phoenix, and would also have finished the race in the same position but his car experienced an engine failure on lap 60. Häkkinen scored his first Grand Prix points two rounds later in Imola, where he finished fifth from 25th on the grid, three laps behind the race winner, Ayrton Senna. Häkkinen finished the season in equal 15th alongside Satoru Nakajima and Martin Brundle.


Johnny Herbert joined Häkkinen for 1992. The Finn continued his form from 1991, with points scoring finishes in six Grands Prix, his best finishes being fourth places in France and Hungary. Häkkinen finished the season in eighth place in the Drivers' Championship, with almost six times as many points as during the previous season.

McLaren (1993-2001)


In 1993, Häkkinen joined McLaren as test driver with a view to be promoted into the race team later on. In Monaco he returned to racing with a guest drive in the Porsche Supercup race, an event he dominated. His hopes of stepping up to the race team were realised after Monza, when Michael Andretti left F1 after disappointing results. Häkkinen's McLaren race debut at Estoril was impressive. In his first outing for the team, he outqualified their star driver Ayrton Senna, much to the Brazilian legend's annoyance. Unfortunately, when pushing too hard through the final corner of the track during the race, he ran wide onto the dirty side of the curb, launching the car towards the pit wall. At the time he was running in a point-scoring position. He went on to score a podium finish fifteen seconds behind his triple world champion team-mate during the next weekend at Suzuka, his first career podium.


With Senna departing to Williams for 1994, Häkkinen became the leading driver for McLaren with Martin Brundle as his teammate. McLaren had also switched from Ford engines to Peugeot. During the season, Häkkinen took six more podium finishes to add to his sole podium of 1993, including a second place in Belgium. The Finn finished the year fourth in the Drivers' Championship with a tally of 26 points.


1995 would be the start of a long relationship between Häkkinen's McLaren team and the German car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz. A further two second places in Italy and Japan put the Finn's tally of podiums up to nine. Then, at the 1995 Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide, Häkkinen had a tyre failure during free practice, which resulted in him crashing heavily into the wall. He was saved only due to an emergency tracheotomy that was performed by the side of the track. This incident forged a strong bond between Häkkinen and team principal Ron Dennis, and also sent forth a new movement for extra safety in the sport. Luckily, Häkkinen recovered almost fully and was fit to race again in 1996 thus only missing one race.


The 1996 season saw McLaren improve; Mercedes-Benz were in their second season of engine supply to the team and Häkkinen managed to return to the podium, although his first win still eluded him. That season saw David Coulthard join the team from Williams. At the Spa circuit he nearly registered his first win while using a one stop race strategy, until Jos Verstappen caused a yellow flag to allow all other cars to pit under yellow. Based on timing, Häkkinen would have won the race by over 10 seconds without this event. Häkkinen finished fifth in the Drivers' Championship, scoring a total of 31 points.


McLaren were confident of success in 1997. With the distinctive red and white colours of Marlboro replaced by the silver and black colours of West, the team returned to their winning ways. Coulthard took the first win for McLaren in over three seasons at the Australian Grand Prix. Through the year the McLarens began to regularly challenge the frontrunners, but it was Coulthard who finished higher in the championship. Häkkinen came close to an elusive breakthrough victory a number of times in 1997, not least at Silverstone, A1-Ring and Nürburgring. At Jerez he finally managed to cross the line first, although Villeneuve had allegedly been asked to consider whether it was necessary to keep the Finn behind him at all costs in the closing stages of the race, this being due to the incident with Michael Schumacher in the closing stages of the race - an incident similar to the one in 1994's final race.


A winner at last, Häkkinen was confident of further success in 1998. With Adrian Newey, the renowned former Williams-Renault designer, now on board at McLaren, Häkkinen found himself in the fastest car for early 1998 season. He did not waste the opportunity, going on to win eight races and a maiden World Championship. His speed when under pressure was highly impressive, particularly at the final race in Japan, where he held his nerves and won the race. His title rival Michael Schumacher on the other hand, stalled on the grid, leaving himself too much to do to beat Häkkinen.


His title defence in 1999 was tougher. With the McLaren not as reliable as the previous year, he lost out on a number of points early in the season, but by the time of Schumacher's leg-breaking crash at Silverstone, he had overtaken the German in the standings. Eddie Irvine now took on the mantle of Ferrari team leader and through reliability problems with the McLaren, and mistakes from Häkkinen, took the title battle down to the last race, again in Japan. Häkkinen had made several major errors at Imola and Monza, both times crashing out whilst in a strong lead, and some questioned whether he could handle the pressure of a title decider once more. Come Japan however, he was back on top form and romped to a victory that secured him a second world championship, almost an entire lap ahead of title rival Irvine with Schumacher a close second.


As a double World Champion, he had joined an elite group of drivers. For 2000, he was eager to score a hat-trick of crowns, but an improved Ferrari, combined with some inspired driving from Michael Schumacher, saw him finish runner-up to the German. At Spa however, he had taken his greatest victory, with a sensational simultaneous pass on Michael Schumacher and Ricardo Zonta in the Kemmel straight. This was the last point in his career when he was both the reigning world champion and also leading the world championship of the current year, as in the next Grand Prix Schumacher took over the Championship lead, which he was to ascertain in an epic duel with Mika at the 2000 Japanese Grand Prix. Schumacher went on to describe his championship fight with Mika as the most satisfying one in his career, an indication of the great respect between the two multiple champions.


In 2001, he took part in what would prove to be his last season of Formula One. The McLaren was not as competitive and it was Coulthard who carried the threat to Schumacher for much of the season. There were days however when Häkkinen reminded people of his skills. In Spain he was in the lead on the last lap to record his fourth straight Spanish Grand Prix victory but he had a failure and was forced to retire yards away from victory. At Silverstone he dominated the race to take his first victory of the year, whilst at Indianapolis he put in a stirring drive to take his last Grand Prix win. At the end of the season he left racing, initially for a sabbatical, but by mid-2002 this had become full-time retirement.

DTM (2005-2007)

During 2004 Häkkinen announced plans for a Grand Prix comeback and held talks with Williams for 2005. A deal was not reached and he instead made a race comeback in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM), with Mercedes-Benz. It was a successful season, including one win at Spa.

For 2006 he again competed in the DTM championships with Mercedes, although it was a more difficult season, with a couple of second places his best results. Autosport magazine has speculated that Mika's style of driving is not especially suited to a DTM car.

At the 2006 Goodwood Festival Of Speed, Häkkinen drove the 2005 McLaren-Mercedes MP4-20. Many said that it was great once again to see Häkkinen in a McLaren, as he was the last driver to win the World Championship in a McLaren.

On the 26th January 2007 it was confirmed on that Mika would stay on at Mercedes for a third season in the series. His third season in the series though tainted by some bad luck in places, has been by far his most competitive, regularly qualifying on the front row and is currently the only driver in the series to have won two races this season.

Possible Return to F1

After Häkkinen's sabbatical year and subsequent retirement, rumours of his return have been reported on several occasions. Häkkinen was linked to Williams during the 2004 season, because of Montoya going to McLaren-Mercedes following year.

At the end of the 2006 season there were further rumours regarding Häkkinen returning to the wheel of a McLaren-Mercedes for the 2007 season. Autosport magazine reported that Häkkinen had tested a McLaren simulator twice during November and discussed a possible comeback with the team. On November 24 McLaren announced that Lewis Hamilton would take the team's second seat in 2007, ending the speculation of a possible return to a Formula One drivers seat. However, Mika may still participate in an advisory role with Ron Dennis stating that "Mika can evaluate some of the things we are developing and bringing to the car." On Thursday, November 30, Häkkinen tested the 2006 McLaren-Mercedes MP4-21 for a full day at the Circuit de Catalunya, in Barcelona, Spain. Mika completed 79 laps of the circuit, but his fastest lap was three seconds off the pace of regular race drivers. McLaren are using his expertise to see how Formula One has evolved over the years since his retirement from Formula One at the 2001 Japanese Grand Prix for possible developments which may come out of this testing. Ron Dennis has stated that this might be Häkkinen's only Formula One test for the Woking team.

Mika has also been named as the Responsible Drinking Ambassador for McLaren sponsor Johnnie Walker.[9]


Häkkinen announced his retirement from competitive motorsport on Sunday, November 4th 2007. He was quoted as saying that the decision "was not an easy one," but added that "racing is still in my blood and this decision does not mean that this will prevent me from racing for pleasure."

Pictures of more like Wallpapers of Mika Häkkinen

pic 1: F1 1992 Mika Hakkinen during San Marino Grand Prix
pic 2: F1 1995 Mika Hakkinen in the garage in Buenos Aires

pic 1: F1 1992 Johnny Herbert chases Mika Hakkinenin Mexico
pic 2: F1 1992 Mika Hakkinen during British Grand Prix

pic 1: The Flying Finn Mika Hakkinen
pic 2: F1 1996 Mika Hakkinen in the garage at Silverstone

pic 1: F1 1996 Mika Hakkinen during Australian Grand Prix
pic 2: F1 1996 Mika Hakkinen in Budapest

pic 1: F1 1995 Mika Hakkinen in Argentina
pic 2: F1 1993 Mika Hakkinen prepares to his first race with McLaren team

pic 1: F1 1996 Mika Hakkinen at Albert Park circuit
pic 2: F1 1996 Mika Hakkinen at Magny Cours

pic 1: F1 1996 Mika Hakkinen at Monza
pic 2: F1 1994 Mika Hakkinen at Monza

pic 1: F1 1995 Mika Hakkinen at Catalunya
pic 2: F1 1995 Mika Hakkinen during Spanish Grand Prix

pic 1: F1 1995 Mika Hakkinenin Montreal
pic 2: F1 1997 Mika Hakkinen in the garage in Barcelona

pic 1: F1 1997 Mika Hakkinen at Catalunya
pic 2: F1 1997 Mika Hakkinen at Jerez

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher (pronounced [ˈmɪçaʔeːl ˈʃuːmaχɐ], born January 3, 1969, in Hürth Hermülheim, Germany) is a former Formula One driver, and seven-time world champion. According to the official Formula One website, he is "statistically the greatest driver the sport has ever seen". He is the first 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 among Formula One fans.

After winning two championships with Benetton, Schumacher moved to 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 first and only Formula One driver to have an entire season of podium finishes (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. He was an assistant to Scuderia Ferrari CEO Jean Todt for the 2007 Formula One season.

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. He is the elder brother of former Formula One driver Ralf Schumacher.

Early years

Schumacher was born in Hürth Hermülheim, to Rolf, a bricklayer, and Elisabeth. When Schumacher was four, his father modified the young boy's pedal kart by adding a small motorcycle engine. After the young 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 DM800 (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 required 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, the second of which he won.

In 1989 Michael 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. He 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 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.

Formula One career


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","Regenmeister" and "Schu".

Schumacher is often credited with popularising Formula One in Germany, where it was formerly considered a fringe sport. 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, feel 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 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 though Schumacher had only seen the challenging Spa track as a spectator, he knew it well. During the race weekend, teammate 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, his first competition in a Formula One car. 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.

Benetton years

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 season with four points in six races. His best finish was fifth in his second race, the Italian Grand Prix, in which he outpaced his teammate 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 commenting "Michael 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. At the test session in preperation for the 1992 German Grand Prix, Schumacher was grabbed by the throat by Ayrton Senna. 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 1993 championship was again dominated by the Williams-Renaults of Damon Hill and Alain Prost. Benetton introduced their own active suspension and traction control early in the season, last of the frontrunning teams to do so. Schumacher was partnered by Riccardo Patrese in Patrese's last year in F1. 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.

1994–1995: World Championship years

In 1994, Schumacher won his first Drivers' Championship. The season, however, was marred by the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger during the third race of the year, the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola and by allegations of cheating.

Schumacher won six of the first seven races. He had been leading the Spanish Grand Prix, the fifth round, before a gearbox failure left him stuck in fifth gear for 42 laps. Schumacher finished the race in second place, behind Hill. 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. 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 fiasco 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, Schumacher made a mistake and left the track. After rejoining, he collided with Hill and crashed out of the race. Furthermore, the damage to Hill's car from the collision forced him to retire. Thus, he became the first German to win the Formula One World Championship.

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 teammate 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 near the start of the race. 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, the team would win only one more race before being bought by Renault in 2000.

Ferrari years

For 1996, Schumacher joined Ferrari, 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 Rene 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-Benneton 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 highlighted Schumacher's enticement 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.


"It was not a race. It was a demonstration of brilliance."
Stirling Moss about Schumacher at the 1996 Spanish GP[43]

In 1996, Schumacher finished third in the Drivers' Championship, as well as helping Ferrari edge out his old team Benetton for second in the constructors' race. 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, using an uncharacteristically flamboyant oversteering style. 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 scored a momentous win 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 and being faster 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 on if 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 admited 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 Micheal 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.

2000–2004: World Championship years

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, widely considered to be one of the most dominant racing cars in Formula One, to retain his Drivers' Championship. At the Austrian Grand Prix his teammate, Rubens Barrichello was leading but in the final metres of the race, under orders, slowed to allow Schumacher to win the race.[54] 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.[55][56][57] 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 and 2006 seasons 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. 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 10 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 returned to an F1 cockpit for the first time since retirement on 13th and 14th of November 2007, in Barcelona. The reason for this test was to help Ferrari prepare for 2008 season, the first without Traction Control and using Standard ECU (Electronic Control Unit). Upon return, Schumacher contributed fastest lap times, and it is confirmed that he will continue to test for Ferrari in Jerez. Testing is scheduled to begin on December 4th, marked with the return of slick tyres for the first time since the ban in 1998.


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 29 October 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.


In recognition of his contribution to Formula One racing the Nürburgring has renamed turns 8 and 9 (the Audi and Shell Kurves) as the Schumacher S. In a similar act of honouring Schumacher, he was awarded an FIA Gold Medal for Motor Sport in 2006.

The following year the Swiss Football Association appointed Schumacher as the Swiss ambassador for the 2008 European football championship. A month later he presented A1 Team Germany with the World Cup trophy at the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport 2007 awards ceremony. He received a standing ovation from the gathered crowd when he was announced on stage.

Schumacher has been honoured during his career. He has 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 received nominations for the 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007 awards. No-one has been nominated more times than Schumacher in the award's 7-year history.


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.

Advisor for Ferrari

2007: advisor

During the 2007 Formula One season Schumacher acted as Ferrari's advisor and Jean Todt's 'super assistant'. The German attended several Grands Prix during the season, even though that initially wasn't planned. 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 13 November 2007 Schumacher, who had not driven a Grand Prix car since he retired from Formula One a year ago, drove in Ferrari's F2007 in a testing session for Ferrari. He returned again on December 6-7 to continue helping Ferrari with their development program at Jerez circuit. He focused on testing electronics and tyres for the 2009 Formula One season.

2008: development of the car and third driver

In 2007, former Ferrari top manager Ross Brawn said that Schumacher is very likely and also happy to continue testing in 2008. In January of 2008, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo confirmed this, stating that Schumacher will be one of the team's third drivers. 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.

Controversies and criticism

During his long career Schumacher has been involved in several incidents which 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 have widely condemned his actions in 1997.

Championship deciding collisions

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 unrepairable 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 longtime 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 sidepod 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 2007 to be disqualified from a World Championship. Schumacher accepted the decision and admitted having made a mistake.

Other incidents

Two laps from the finish of the 1998 British Grand Prix, Michael Schumacher was leading the race when he was issued a stop-and-go penalty for overtaking a lapped car (Alexander Wurz) under a yellow flag. This penalty involves going into the pit lane and stopping for 10 seconds. But as the penalty was given with fewer than 12 laps remaining, and since it was issued as a handwritten note, the Ferrari team was confused as to whether the penalty was a stop and go penalty or merely a penalty of 10 seconds to be added to Schumacher's race time. The rules state that a driver must serve his penalty within three laps of the penalty being issued, and on the third lap after receiving the penalty, Schumacher turned into the pit lane to serve his penalty. However, this happened to be the last lap of the race, and Ferrari's pit box was located after the start/finish line, meaning that Schumacher finished the race before serving the penalty. The stewards initially resolved that problem by adding 10 seconds to Schumacher's race time, then later rescinded the penalty completely. In the same season, after a race-ending collision whilst trying to lap David Coulthard during the Belgian Grand Prix, Schumacher stormed into the McLaren garage and accused Coulthard of trying to kill him.

Historically, team orders had always been permitted in Formula One. During Schumacher's tenure at Ferrari, the team often employed team orders to benefit one of their drivers over the other. Usually Schumacher, as team leader, benefited. The notable exception came in the 1999 season in which he played a supporting role for Eddie Irvine after missing part of the season with a broken leg. However, 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. At the podium ceremony, Schumacher pushed Barrichello onto the top step, and for this disturbance, the Ferrari team incurred a US$1 million fine. Later in the season at the end of the 2002 United States Grand Prix, Schumacher let Barrichello pass in a similar fashion, causing a similar outcry. The FIA subsequently banned "Team orders which interfere with the race result".[100][101]

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.

Family and off-track life

Schumacher's younger brother Ralf was a Formula One driver until the end of 2007. 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 in Gland, Switzerland, near Lake Geneva. They will move in 2007 to a new $50M, 7000 ft² (650 m²) home with its own underground garage and petrol station, and with a private beach on Lake Geneva. The family has two dogs - one stray that Corinna fell in love with in Brazil, and a German Shepherd "Ed" whose entrance to the family made headlines after Schumacher personally drove a taxi through the Bavarian town of Coburg so that the family could catch a return flight to Switzerland, for which both Schumacher and the taxi driver would be reprimanded.

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.

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.

Schumacher provided the voice of a Rosso Corsa Ferrari F430 in Disney-Pixar's animated feature film Cars. In early March 2006, it was reported that Schumacher will play a small role in the movie Asterix at the Olympic Games.

Only pictures from 1991 to 2008 (one out of each year), but there is more to come!

pic 1: Michael Schumacher Jordan 1991
pic 2: Michael Schumacher Benetton 1992

pic 1: Michael Schumacher Benetton 1993
pic 2: Michael Schumacher Benetton 1994

pic 1: Michael Schumacher Benetton 1995
pic 2: Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1996

pic 1: Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1997
pic 2: Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1998

pic 1: Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1999
pic 2: Michael Schumacher Ferrari 2000

pic 1: Michael Schumacher Ferrari 2001
pic 2: Michael Schumacher Ferrari 2002

pic 1: Michael Schumacher Ferrari 2003
pic 2: Michael Schumacher Ferrari 2004

pic 1: Michael Schumacher Ferrari 2005
pic 2: Michael Schumacher Ferrari 2006

pic 1: Michael Schumacher Ferrari 2007*
pic 2: Michael Schumacher Ferrari 2008*
*testing for Ferrari

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Jean Alesi

Jean Alesi (born Giovanni Alesi June 11, 1964) is a French racing driver of Italian origins. His Formula One career included spells at Tyrrell, Benetton, Sauber, Prost, Jordan and most notably Ferrari where he proved very popular among the tifosi (Italian fanbase).

Early career

Alesi was born to Sicilian parents in Avignon, Vaucluse, which makes him an Italian national too. Starting his career with a passion for rallying rather than racing, he graduated to single seaters through the French Renault 5 championship. In the late 1980s he was very much a coming man in motor racing, winning the 1988 French Formula 3 title, and following it up in 1989 with the International Formula 3000 crown, both after duels with his rival Érik Comas. In 1989 Alesi actually tied on points for the F3000 title with Comas but won on the basis of better points finishes.

Formula One

Alesi debuted in the 1989 French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard in a Tyrrell-Cosworth, finishing fourth. He drove most of the rest of the season for Tyrrell while continuing his successful Formula 3000 campaign, (occasionally giving the car up in favour of Johnny Herbert when Formula 3000 clashed), scoring points again at the Italian and Spanish Grands Prix.

1990 was his first full year in Grand Prix racing, with the underfunded Tyrrell team. At the first event, the United States Grand Prix at Phoenix, he was a sensation, leading for 25 laps in front of Ayrton Senna with a car considered as inferior, and also re-passing Senna after the Brazilian had first overtaken for the lead. Second place in the Monaco Grand Prix followed the second place gained in Phoenix, and by mid-season, top teams were clamouring for his services in 1991. A very confused situation erupted, with Tyrrell, Williams, and Ferrari all claiming to have signed the driver within a very short period.

Ferrari were championship contenders at the time, and there he would be driving with fellow countryman Alain Prost, at that time the most successful driver in Formula One history. Alesi signed with Ferrari, making the choice that not only appeared to maximize his chances for winning the championship and for learning from an experienced and successful teammate, but that fulfilled his childhood dream of driving for the Italian team.

Ferrari, however, experienced a disastrous downturn in form in 1991, while the Williams team experienced a resurgence which would lead them to win five constructor's titles between 1992 and 1997. Alesi's choice of Ferrari over Williams seemed the most logical at the time, but turned out to be very unfortunate. One of the reasons for this failure was because Ferrari's famous V12 engine was no longer competitive against the smaller, lighter and more fuel efficient V10s of their competitors. Having a dismal 1991 season, Prost left the team describing the car as a "truck" and took a sabbatical.

In five years at the Italian marque Alesi gained little, except the passionate devotion of the Tifosi (Italian word that means supporters), who loved his aggressive style. That style, and his use of the number 27 on his car, led many to associate him with Gilles Villeneuve, a beloved and still-popular Ferrari driver from 1977-1982. Alesi and teammate Gerhard Berger won only one race each at Ferrari.

When Benetton's Michael Schumacher joined Ferrari in 1996, Alesi and teammate Gerhard Berger swapped places with him. Though Benetton was the defending constructors' champions, they were about to experience a lull in form like Ferrari in 1991. Schumacher went on to rejuvenate Ferrari, while Alesi and Berger spent two seasons at a declining Benetton riddled with bad luck and internal politics.

Alesi moved on, initially to Sauber and later Prost, the latter which was owned by his former Ferrari teammate Alain Prost. With Prost, Alesi was consistent, finishing every race, occasionally in points scoring positions, his best finish being at Canada. A fallout after the British Grand Prix, however saw Alesi walk out after the German Grand Prix, where he scored a point.

Alesi ended his open-wheel career in 2001 with Jordan, bookending his career nicely: Alesi had driven for Jordan in Formula 3000 when he won the championship in 1989.


Alesi was often regarded as flamboyant and emotional, but after his spectacular performance at Phoenix in 1990, his career was notable more for its longevity than for its results. In 2001, he became only the fifth driver to start 200 Grand Prix races, and he achieved thirty-two podiums, yet he only gained one victory. It could be suggested that Alesi's potential was unfulfilled since he spent his peak years during the uncompetitive period at Ferrari.

His sole win was an emotional triumph at the 1995 Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal on his 31st birthday. Although he had inherited the lead when Michael Schumacher pitted with electrical problems and Damon Hill's hydraulics failed, the victory was a popular one, particularly after several excellent but ultimately unrewarded drives the year before, namely in Italy. Alesi's win at Montreal was voted the most popular race victory of the season by many, as it was the scarlet red number 27 Ferrari - once belonging to the famous Gilles Villeneuve at his much loved home Grand Prix. Memorably, Schumacher gave Alesi a lift back to the pits after Alesi's car ran out of fuel just before the Pits Hairpin.

Alesi would never win another Formula One Grand Prix, although in 1996 only a suspension failure prevented him from taking victory at Monaco, while in 1997 he led the Italian Grand Prix from pole before relinquishing the lead to David Coulthard courtesy of a slow pit stop in the closing stages of the race.

In 2001, after coming in fifth at Canada, Prost's best result of the season, Alesi did a few donuts and threw his helmet into the crowd. He had previously won that race with Ferrari

Post-Formula One career

After Formula One, Alesi was a popular and successful driver in the DTM (German Touring Car Championship), where he placed fifth in the 2002 championship for Mercedes with one victory. He repeated this in 2003 but this time scoring two victories. In 2004 he finished seventh in the championship scoring no victories. In 2005 he won the opening race and went on to take seventh place in the standings once more. He retired from the DTM after finishing the 2006 season in 9th place.

Alesi is a wine connoisseur and has a vineyard near his hometown of Avignon, where he resides with his wife, Japanese model, actress, and pop singer Kumiko Goto( 後藤久美子 ), and their three children.

Occasionally, he appears on the programs dedicated to the F1 season, aired on the Italian state television as a guest.

DTM results


Alesi was an active spokesman for the Direxiv team in their bid for entry to the 2008 Formula 1 series. It was planned as a McLaren B Team with backing and engines from Mercedes. However, the proposal was beaten to the final grid place by Prodrive.

pic 1: F1 1990 Jean Alesi of France before the Portuguese Formula One Grand Prix held at the Estoril circuit
pic 2: F1 1991 Jean Alesi in Germany

pic 1: Jean Alesi Sao Paulo 1996 Benetton B196
pic 2: Zeltweg 1997 Details: left Eddie Irvine Ferrari F310B, right Jean Alesi Benetton B197

pic 1: F1 1993 Jean Alesiat Spa
pic 2: Jean alesi 1991

pic 1: F1 1990 Jean Alesi driving Tyrrell Fordat Monaco Grand Prix
pic 2: Jean Alesi Le Castellet 1989 Tyrrell

pic 1: F1 1992 Jean Alesi drinking water
pic 2: F1 1993 Jean Alesi ahead of both McLaren cars

pic 1: F1 1992 Jean Alesi pushing hard in Budapest
pic 2: F1 1992 Jean Alesi in Hockenheim 92 deb 1921

pic 1: F1 1992 Jean Alesi pushing hard in Monte Carlo
pic 2: F1 1991 Jean Alesi at San Marino Grand Prix

pic 1: F1 1992 Jean Alesi sitting in his car during German GP
pic 2: F1 1991 Jean Alesi sitting in his Ferrari during US GP

pic 1: F1 1991 Jean Alesi on pitstop during US GP
pic 2: F1 1991 Jean Alesi signing autographs in Monte Carlo

pic 1: F1 1990 Jean Alesi sitting in his Tyrrell during French Grand Prix
pic 2: F1 1990 Jean Alesi in his Tyrrell Ford before the German Grand Prix at the Hockenheim circuit in Germany

pic 1: F1 1991 Jean Alesi Racing Ahead
pic 2: F1 1991 Jean Alesi ahead of Alain Prostat Silverstone

pic 1: Estoril 1993, in front Jean Alesi, Ferrari F93A, in the back Ayrton Senna, McLaren MP4
pic 2: Jean Alesi Nürburgring 1995 Ferrari 412T2

pic 1: F1 1989 Jean Alesi during his first French Grand Prix
pic 2: F1 1990 Jean Alesi battlesin first corner at Monaco

pic 1: F1 1990 Jean Alesi driving Tyrrell Fordat Monaco Grand Prix
pic 2: F1 1990 Jean Alesi in Brazil