In a 308-race career spanning three decades, Schumi won the F1 championship a record-breaking seven times.
He won the drivers title for both Benetton and Ferrari, combining a win-at-all-costs driving style with an almost intuitive ability to work with team engineers on the perfect set-up of his race car.
There was no doubting his speed, technical knowledge or bravery. But there was also no doubting his ruthlessness. Just ask Damon Hill or Jacques Villeneuve – two drivers who Schumacher collided with during final races of F1 seasons where the title was still very much up for grabs.
The crash with Hill cost the Englishman the 1994 title, the shunt with Villeneuve rebounded on Schumi, handing the 1997 title to the Canadian and landing Schumacher with a retrospective disqualification from the entire season.
Many other controversial incidents dogged Schumacher throughout his career, but none should detract from the fact that the German was the finest driver of his generation and one of the all-time F1 greats.
Fellow German Sebastian Vettel may well take many of Schumacher's F1 records over time, but Schumi will always be mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Fangio and Senna when the talk turns to motorsport legends.
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