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Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher
Source: dpa

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Special trim: spoiler chin

Is it his perfect cornering or the centrifugal force of his chin? Michael Schumacher, NRW's own local hero from Kerpen, becomes Formula One World Champion for the first time on 13 November 1994. His success triggers a surge of enthusiasm for a sport which hardly any fan can actually practice.

Michael Schumacher (born 3 January 1969 in Hürth-Hermülheim)

Even as a small child he races around at high speed. He takes up go-kart racing at the age of five and becomes German Junior Champion ten years later.

Soon his big dream comes true - in 1991 he drives a Benetton-Ford in his first Formula One Season. He then goes on to win the world championship twice in a row in 1994 and 1995.

His driving skills can't be denied, but his attitude is somewhat controversial. The tabloid press call him "Cheating Schumi", claiming he causes calculated accidents and tampers with cars in order to get an advantage over the other top drivers.

Anyway, there's no doubt about the financial advantage of his move to Ferrari in 1995 - one paper puts his earnings at two-million marks per race, plus a five-million-mark monthly salary.

And then there's the money from advertising: it's said that the 8 x 10 centimetre logo space on his cap is worth 4.8 million marks a year. So money does smell after all - of fuel and motor-oil!

Dirk Bitzer

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