Michael Schumacher: Record holder of Formula One records
By Berthold Bouman
Michael Schumacher announced his second retirement from Formula One today, and there isn’t a Formula One driver on this planet who holds as many records as Schumacher. The now 43-year old German started his career in 1991 during the Belgium Grand Prix at the circuit of Spa-Francorchamps for the team of Eddie Jordan. He qualified in seventh place, but his race was short as he had to give up during the first lap due to a broken clutch, he didn’t even get further than Eau Rouge.
The German became Formula One World Champion a record seven times, in 1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004, before he at the end of 2006 decided to retire. He has until today participated in 302 races of which he started 301, not a record as his ex-Ferrari team mate Rubens Barrichello holds the record with 326 Grands Prix.
Schumacher scored 91 wins during his career, 40 more than Alain Prost (41) and 50 more than Ayrton Senna (31). But Schumacher’s winning percentage, 30,13% is not a record, as Argentinian legend Juan Manuel Fangio holds that record with a percentage of 46,15%.
He also holds the record of the most wins during one season, in 2004 he won 13 of the 18 races, which boils down to 72%, not the highest percentage, as Italian Alberto Ascari won six of the 8 races in 1952, which is 75%.
Schumacher shares the category ‘Most consecutive wins’ again with Ascari, both have a record of seven consecutive wins, Ascari in 1952-1953, Schumacher in 2004 as he won the European, Canadian, United States, French, British, German and Hungarian Grand Prix.
In the category ‘Most consecutive wins from first race of season’, Schumacher this time shares the record with Nigel Mansell, both won five consecutive races, Schumacher in 2004, Mansell in 1992, the same year he became World Champion.
He is also a winner when it comes to ‘Most wins at the same Grand Prix’, he won the French Grand Prix eight times, in 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2006. He also won the Canadian and San Marino Grand Prix seven times, and the Belgian, Spanish, Japanese and European Grand Prix six times.
He also holds the record of most pole positions, he scored 68 poles in 302 races, a percentage of 22,52. But the record of percentage of pole positions goes to Fangio again, he scored a percentage of 55,77, or 29 poles in 52 races. And Schumacher therefore scored pole position and the victory in 40 races of the 302 he participated in, and scored pole, victory and the fastest lap in 22 races.
Most pole positions at the same venue is shared by Schumacher and Senna, Schumacher was eight times on pole for the Japanese Grand Prix, Senna was eight times on pole for the San Marino Grand Prix.
The German started the race from the front row in 116 of his 302 races, or 38,41%. He also holds the record of 77 fastest race laps, second is Prost with 41, and third is Kimi Raikkonen with 37 fastest laps. Schumacher also holds the record of ‘Most fastest laps in one season’, as he in 2004 ten times scored the fastest lap in the 18 races of that season.
He scored a total of 155 podium places, second is Prost with 106, and Fernando Alonso is currently third with 81 podium places. In 2002 he scored a record of 17 podium places during the 17 races of that season, and during the 2001-2002 season he scored a record of 19 consecutive podium places.
Schumacher scored a record of 1560 points during his career, and finished in the points in 220 of his 302 Grands Prix, he also holds the record of ‘Most consecutive points finishes’, as he from 2001 until 2003 finished in the points 24 times.
He led 11 races from start to finish, and led 142 races for at least one lap. Which adds up to 5,111 laps leading a Grand Prix, Senna is second with 2,987 laps, third is Prost with 2,684 laps. And Schumacher therefore was in the lead for 24,144 km in total.
In total he won 22 different Grands Prix, won 72 races for one team, Ferrari, and he holds many more records, the ones above are the most interesting records. It also must be said he lost a few records, as he during the 52 races after his comeback in 2010, did not score one single win, and only one podium place, which had a big impact on the percentages.
And there is no better way than to conclude this story with Schumacher’s own words this morning at Suzuka, “I would like now to concentrate until the end of the season for the last races, and enjoy them together with you. Let’s have fun!”