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Curtains down on Michael Schumacher's glittering career
With his final race at the Brazilian Grand Prix, Michael Shumacher has hanged his boots from the sport that he dominated for many of his 19 seasons. Let's look back at F1 race, ever since the German seven-time champion made his debut in 1991.

IT IS an end of an era, a legacy, end of Micheal Schumacher's glittering career, whose journey in Formula One has been nothing short of a dream, ever since he sat behind the wheels of F1 car in 1991, when he was just 22 years of age.

The German never looked back and went on to win seven World Championships, which is not an ordinary feat with the competition he faced from the best of the drivers in the F1 circuit.

He has been in the driver's cockpit for 21 years and his records just make him look phenomenal. Ever since his debut, he won an impressive 91 races in his career including 155 podium finishes to amaze fans all over the world. It was the 2002 and 2004 season, where he took the world by storm winning 11 and 13 races and finishing the season with 561 and 682 points respectively.

It was the Belgian Grand Prix, which would be sketched in his memory, for it was his first Grand Prix victory, where he drove for Benetton-Ford. In the coming seasons, he was one of the most talked about driver with 8 and 9 wins in 1994 and 1995 respectively, which helped him win his first two Driver's championship as well. But, for some reasons, the driver decided to split ways with Benetton, even when he had a year left for his contract to expire and opted for Ferrari who were ready to splash USD 60 million as salary for two years.

His days in Ferrari did not look very impressive initially, as he failed to win the driver's championship for four years. But, with the turn of the new millennium, it was all about Ferrari and Schumacher who put up a show for F1 fans all over the world with five consecutive driver's championship from 2000 – 2004. He could not have drove that red car much smoother than the way he did it for that span of 5 seasons. He was on a league of its own. In the years to follow, there were several other competitors who got the better of the German, especially Fernando Alonso who won the 2005 and 2006 drivers' championships.

In 2007, he decided to hang up his boots, but made a comeback for Mercedes in the 2010 season. But, the sport had moved too much ahead with some rule changes for the German to play catch up against the likes of Alonso, Vettel, Button, etc. After coming back from retirement, the German driver never looked at his best with a solo podium finish in his three years as a Mercedes driver. But, one also has to look at the quality of the car, which was lacking as compared to Ferrari, Red Bull etc.

Schumacher, the way he drove his car in the circuit with ease, irrespective of the race conditions, he always looked at his best, especially when he was inside a Ferrari car. It was his split second decisions that he took during race days, especially overtaking, which caught many eyes. It seemed that the driver had a third eye, as he knew exactly where the other racers were on the track – making it easy to make those risky maneuvers.

Though, many critics say that his biggest rival was Mika Hikkanen alone, but one should not count out the competitive spirit that had been a part of his forte, which saw him win an incredible seven World championship title. He was someone who never gave up, irrespective of the driver falling way back on the grid, he would climb all the way up and finish in the podium, at least, during his Ferrari days.

Not all would love to agree with it but, many consider Michael Schumacher to be one of the best F1 drivers that the championship has ever seen after it started in 1950. Alain Prost for many fans and experts has been the best driver in F1's history. It is a close call between the two, but there was no better scene than Schumacher driving his car around the F1 track. It was magic at the speed of knots.

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