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|Grand Prix entered:||165|
|Grand Prix starts:||162|
|World Championships: ||0|
|First Race:||09 March 1997 Melbourne, Jordan|
|Last Race:||Grand Prix of Brazil 2006, Toyota|
|2003 ||Williams|| |
|2002 ||Williams|| |
|2001 ||Williams|| |
|2000 ||Williams|| |
|1999 ||Williams|| |
|1998 ||Jordan|| |
|1997 ||Jordan|| |
Ralf Schumacher (born June 30, 1975 in Hürth-Hermulheim near Cologne) is a German Formula One racing driver for the Toyota team. He is the younger brother of seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher and has been one of the top runners in the sport, especially in his BMW WilliamsF1 Team days.
He started racing at age three on his parents' go-kart track in their hometown of Kerpen. In 1995, he finished third in the German Formula 3 championship, and then won the Japanese Formula Nippon championship (ex Japanese F3000) Championship in 1996 with two race wins.
Ralf made his Formula One debut in 1997 with the Jordan team and finished on the podium in just his third race, at Argentina. However Ralf retired in more than half his races that season and ended up behind team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella. The following season Jordan was powered by Honda and proved capable of race wins when Ralf followed team mate Damon Hill to second place in Belgium. In the knowledge that a deal had been done with BMW in 1999 he changed to the Williams team and scored three podium finishes and sixth in the World Drivers Championship with the underpowered Supertec engine. However Heinz-Harald Frentzen who replaced him at Jordan scored two wins and four podiums that year.
|BMW-Williams, Ralf Schumacher, Suzuka 2000|
The 2000 season was considered by many a bit of a disappointment for Ralf. Running the powerful new BMW engine, he was expected to compete for wins, but despite only four mechanical failures and being the senior driver in the team, he was only able to match the three podium finishes of the previous year. In 2001, however, he broke through with his first three Grand Prix wins at Imola, Montreal and Hockenheim. In 2002, he won the Malaysian Grand Prix but finished the championship behind team mate Juan-Pablo Montoya, and in 2003, he won the European Grand Prix (at the Nurburgring) and the French Grand Prix, helping, along with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya the Williams team finish second in the Constructors Championship in 2002 and 2003.
On June 20, 2004, Ralf was seriously injured in a serious accident at the United States Grand Prix. The acceleration was measured at 78 g (765 m/sÂ²), one of the most severe in all of motor racing history, resulting in a concussion as well as two minor fractures to his spinal column.
In 2005, Ralf transferred to the Toyota team. In the first 12 races of the season he performed worse than team mate Jarno Trulli, however in Spa he was able to challenge for the lead most of the race and ended up setting the fastest lap. Toyota team brought "b" version of TF105 car to 3 last races of the season which allowed Ralf to take pole position in Japan, and finish China GP in the brilliant third position a week later. This modified version of the car secured 6th position in Drivers Championship for Ralf, 2 points ahead of his team mate Jarno Trulli.
Ralf remains with Toyota for 2006, however the team has been off the pace in early races, although he did finish 8th in Malaysia. At the third race of the season in Australia he finished a strong 3rd, in a race where several drivers made mistakes he managed to keep the car on the road and set solidly fast laps, and a penalty for speeding in the pitlane did not appear to harm his result.
Ralf is married to Cora and they have a son David (b. 2001).
RALF SWITCHES TO DTM
After 11 years in the Formula 1 World Championship, Ralf Schumacher (32) races with the Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class in the DTM.
Ralf Schumacher tested the AMG Mercedes C-Class during four and a half test days in Estoril, Portugal for about 490 laps; which was more than 2,000 kilometres or approximately 12 DTM race distances. It was his first outing with an AMG Mercedes since 20th July 1997 when he was a guest driver in a race of the FIA GT Championship in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium with an AMG Mercedes CLK-GTR. This was also Schumacher’s last opportunity to drive a race car with a roof.
At the age of three, Ralf Schumacher drove a kart for the first time. At the age of 16, he won his first title clinching the German Kart Junior Championship in 1991. One year later, he participated in his first ever car race – in the ADAC Formula Junior at Nuremberg’s Norisring. In 1995, he entered Formula 3 becoming runner-up in the German Championship and winning the Formula 3 Grand Prix in Macau. The following year, he won the Japanese Formula Nippon and was invited to his first Formula 1 test in Silverstone by McLaren Mercedes. In 1997, he made his Formula 1 debut with Jordan Peugeot.
From 1997 until 2007, Ralf participated in 180 Grands Prix, won six out of them and also started six times from pole position. He scored a total of 329 World Championship points. In 2001 and 2002, he finished the Drivers’ Championship with Williams BMW in fourth place respectively. At the Brazilian Grand Prix on 21st October 2007, he finished his Formula 1 career with Toyota. Behind his brother Michael, Ralf is the most successful German Formula 1 driver in the history of the championship since 1950.
"Of course I know that neither the media nor the spectators consider me the greatest race driver of all times and this is not what I’m aiming for.”
“During my last three years in Formula 1, I didn’t have much success and it almost sounded strange to me when Norbert mentioned in our conversation, that short before this time I had managed to win two Formula 1 Grands Prix within only eight days.”
“However, I am still the same Ralf as at those times, the same racer who has fun in motor sports and who wants to compete with the best.”
“Now I am able to do so in the DTM which I know very well since the mid-nineties when I was a young up-coming driver racing in Formula Junior and Formula 3 which had been staged as a supporting programme of the DTM. Then I dreamed of racing in the main event sometime.”
“I like the series, I like the environment, I like the enthusiastic and positive spectators. And I like Mercedes – with them I got my first chance to test a Formula 1 car in 1996 and who knows how my Formula 1 career had turned out if I had accepted the McLaren Mercedes offer to become their test driver for 1997.“
“But then I wanted to drive races, and that’s what I still want today, more than ten years later.”
“I will learn in the DTM, I will work hard and I will put it behind me if people will criticize me if I should have problems during the first couple of races.”
“It was decisive for our engagement of Ralf that he showed enthusiasm for the DTM and his willingness to commit himself to a learning period with the for him unknown race touring cars and with the enormous competitiveness of the entire field.”
“Needless to describe Ralf’s driving skills, until today he is the most successful German Formula 1 driver behind his brother Michael and this is not because these successes were a present.”
“It is clear that in the DTM Ralf has at first to get used to starting positions with two-digit numbers and that during his learning year he probably will start rather from the last third of the field than from the second third.”
“Ralf is ready to go this way of learning and our technical team will support him entirely.”
“With the attitude Ralf showed during the tests and in our conversations I am convinced that the DTM will experience a new driver who will start with skills and concentration and who has everything to inspire both the crowd and his team.”
“Ralf will soon have a new image and I think that in his first year in the DTM this will not be based on his results but on his commitment to fight sportsmanlike, hard and fair with an extremely tough competition and thus to learn to improve to the top step by step.”
“Neither did Ralf not ask us for a Formula 1 bonus in his salary nor did he require a special status within the team – compliments for this attitude: This is the only correct and therefore best pre-condition for his new career.”