Schumacher, Michael (shōˈmäkhər) [key], 1969–, German auto race driver, b. Hürth-Hermühlheim. Regarded as the best Formula 1 (F1) driver of his era, he debuted as a racecar driver in 1988 and within two years had become Germany's Formula Three champion. His first F1 race was the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix, and his first F1 victory was in the same event in 1992. Schumacher has driven the Jordan team (his first race), Benetton (1991–95), and Ferrari (1995–2006). He won the world championship in 1994, repeating the feat in 1995. His career was interrupted in 1999, when he suffered a broken leg in his first severe crash, but in 2000 he began a five-year reign as world champion, becoming the first driver to win the F1 title seven times. He has more than 90 career F1 race wins. He retired after the 2006 season, but announced in 2009 that he would race for Mercedes three years beginning in 2010.
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