It’s hard to put into words the impact Michael Schumacher has had on Formula 1, and the world of motorsport as a whole, but anyone immersed in the sport during the 1990s and early 2000s will know the weight his name holds.
Racing in 306 Grands Prix on his march to a record seven World Championships (1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004), Schumacher also claimed records for most wins (91), most wins with the same team (72), most wins in a season (13), most podiums (155), most fastest laps (77), and according to the official Formula One website “statistically the greatest driver the sport has ever seen" at the time of his retirement.
With this year's theme ‘Speed Kings – Motorsport's Record Breakers’, there seems no less deserving a man and a career to celebrate than that of Schumacher’s.
With an entire avenue of the F1 Paddocks dedicated to a range of his in-period chariots, fans flocked to reminisce and study some of racing’s most iconic cars.
Whether the 1988 Van Diemen-Ford RF88 which would pave the German’s route into F1, the cult-classic Jordan-Ford 19 in its 7-UP and Fujifilm green livery, the Benetton-Ford B194, or the imposing collection of Ferrari’s including the V10 Ferrari F2004; Schumacher’s presence was felt in a big, big way.
On Sunday, celebrations climaxed with a Schumacher moment in front of Goodwood House, with huge crowds braving the wet weather to witness the likes of Jean Todt, Damon Hill, Ross Braun and Michael’s wife, Corinna Schumacher, gather to celebrate the unrivalled achievements of F1’s most successful driver. With a highlight reel of a gleaming career played on big screens and a selection of his cars lined-up on the Goodwood drive, the occasion was an emotional one for all involved.
Ending with Ferrari-inspired red fireworks and a rousing round of applause, the mood was reflective, and a little sombre as everyone’s thoughts turned to the great man himself. The ultimate F1 Speed King, record-breaker, and icon.
Photography by James Lynch.