He surely was a hell of a driver and he holds so many records in Formula One that you can't keep count. The new Mercedes team has enticed him out of retirement to fill their empty seat. In retirement since the end of 2006 and now 41 years old (next week) he is about to set some new records. It is very difficult for these drivers to return after being gone so long, but others have done it and went on to be World Champions. And Schumacher has nothing to prove after being a World Champion for a recordseting 7 times.
Even though he was a great driver it was hard for me to get on his bandwagon because of his dangerous intentional accidents in 1994 with Damon Hill and 1997 with Jacques Villeneuve. Damon Hill, former World Champion who is the son of two-time champion Graham Hill, is content these days to be the president of the British Racing Driver's Club and the manager of the racetrack that hosts the British Grand Prix. Villeneuve, also a former World Champion and the son of Formula One driver Gilles Villeneuve, has been out of Formula One for some time and is now racing in Le Mans and in NASCAR with a rumor floating around that he may return to Formula One in 2010.
Back to Schumacher for a minute, before his retirement at $80 million a year he was classified as the world's first billionaire athlete. He has donated at least $50 million to causes that were dear to him. A couple of which make me want to throw up, but it is his money and his causes. One was a €1.5 million to UNESCO and the other was $10 million to Bill Clinton. What the hell was he thinking? On the plus side he paid for the construction of a school for poor children and for area improvements in Dakar, Senegal. He supports a hospital for child victims of war in Sarajevo, which specialises in caring for amputees. In Lima, Peru he funded the "Palace for the Poor", a centre for helping homeless street children obtain an education, clothing, food, medical attention, and shelter.
It is going to be interesting to see what 2010 brings him.
photo provided by funmunch.com