Ten things you may not have known about seven-time Formula One world champion and Scuderia Ferrari legend Michael Schumacher:
1- Schumi might be a racing legend, but that’s not his only passion. He is also a huge soccer fan and even played for a number of amatuer clubs in Switzerland, even scoring some impressive goals. His favorite teams are FC Kohln from his native Germany and Newcastle United of the English Premier League.
2. He wore his good luck charm, a beaded African Shamballa bracelet, for every one of his races.
3. Schumi’s role with Ferrari often went beyond racing. One of the other things he did for the Italian automaker is help design the Ferrari Enzo, one of the quintessential icons of modern supercar design and performance.
4. Unlike a lot of other athletes, Michael Schumacher was never concerned with being a celebrity and just wanted to be the best at what he loves doing. Even though he helped design one of the most expensive supercars ever made, he’s not a fan of driving flashy cars. His personal vehicle before the skiing accident was a relatively modest Fiat 500 Abarth.
5. Even though Schumi isn’t a fan of driving flashy cars, he did own a Ferrari FXX gifted to him by the Ferrari team. It has since been sold for over $2 million.
6. In a great display of generosity, Michael donated $10 million for aid after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, surpassing all athletes, some sports leagues, corporations and even countries. This may have something to do with the fact that Schumacher’s bodyguard Burkhard Cramer and Cramer’s two sons were killed in the tsunami.
7. Even though he is widely regarded as the greatest Formula 1 pilot of all time, Schumacher himself considers Ayrton Senna more worthy of the distinction. Schumi was right behind Senna in the 2nd position when he crashed at the 1994 San Marino GP.
8. The Michael Schumacher Wolrd Champion Tower is currently being constructed in Dubai. It is going to be the first of seven towers to be constructed worldwide and named after Formula 1 legends.
9. Michael Schumacher has been a winner since childhood. His parents signed up him up to a karting club in Kerpen-Horrem at age 6, where he won his first karting championship on a kart build by his father out of discarded parts. He was so good that when his parents couldn’t afford an engine he would need to keep competing, he was helped out by local businessmen.
10. In Disney/Pixar’s Cars Schumi voiced a Ferrari F430 that shares his name and success.