Formula 1 legend, Michael Schumacher, celebrates his 50th birthday today. The seven times world champion may remain behind closed doors after his tragic skiing accident in 2013, but his racing legacy continues.
Some remember Schumacher for his arrogance, both on and off track, and many associate him with some of the questionable tactics he deployed during his career. Whilst these qualities shouldn't be forgotten, Michael is better remembered for his unbelievable work ethic and driven mentality in the pursuit of success.
His capacity to drive on the limit, whilst also working out strategy has perhaps never been rivalled, even to this day. He also paved the way for a new generation of super-fit drivers - so much so, that when he retired (for the second time) at the age of 43, he was still one of the fittest drivers on the grid. And Michael also showcased the importance of the team in becoming winning titles, something which the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have used to great effect.
More than anything though, Michael Schumacher is remembered as a racer. Talented, super quick, and one of the greatest.
Here are seven memorable moments of Michael Schumacher's career:
P7 IN HIS FIRST QUALIFYING SESSION - SPA 1991
Schumacher burst onto the scene at Spa in 1991 to replace Jordan driver, Bertrand Gachot. Even though Schumacher had never driven the circuit before, he qualified an unbelievable seventh. His inexperience caught up with him on race day when he burnt his clutch at the start and retired on lap 1. The impression he left on the F1 paddock had not been forgotten.
16TH TO 1ST - SPA 1995
After a shunt in qualifying, Schumacher started down in 16th place. He climbed his way through the field, but when the inevitable Spa weather began to turn, Schumacher stayed out on slicks and held off Damon Hill who had pitted for wet tyres. Hill did eventually get past, but when the circuit dried, the win was Schumacher's.
FIRST WIN FOR FERRARI - BARCELONA 1996
Having joined Ferrari for the 1996 season, it was clear to Schumacher that winning would be difficult to do. The first season was a rebuilding year for the team. But heavy rain in at Barcelona gave Schumacher an opportunity to show his class as a driver. He dropped back to ninth at the start of the race, but carved his way to the lead and then dominated proceedings from there.
"YOU HIT THE WRONG PART MY FRIEND" - JEREZ 1997
There are some dark clouds which hang over Schumacher's career, none more so than this one at the 1997 finale in Jerez. Schumacher was disqualified from the entire championship for this move on championship rival Jacques Villeneuve.
FIRST FERRARI TITLE - SUZUKA 2000
Schumacher himself even credited this moment as his career highlight. After five years Michael and Ferrari secured the dream of a world title. The race in Suzuka between him and Mika Hakkinen was intense. Schumacher's speed and brilliant Ferrari strategy won the day though.
FINAL RACE FOR FERRARI - BRAZIL 2006
Schumacher entered his final race with Ferrari with a slim chance of winning an eighth title. That all but disappeared when he suffered a puncture, dropping him to the back of the field. What followed was a typical Schumacher performance. He fought back through the pack, rounding out his Ferrari career by mugging his successor, Kimi Raikkonen, into turn 1.
LAST POLE POSITION (SORT OF) - MONACO 2012
It's fair to say that Schumacher's second comeback wasn't a huge success. However, it was highlighted with a podium in Valencia, and this stunning pole position lap in Monaco. (Check out his one handed Swimming Pool section!) Unfortunately for Michael, he carried a grid penalty from the previous race, so couldn't take his place on the front of the grid.
Which was your favourite moment from Michael Schumacher's career?