This August 25 years ago, F1 witnessed the first segment of what would revealed to be the most successful career in the Formula 1 history when a relatively unknown young German ace by the name of Michael Schumacher made his debut at the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix.
While the F1 legend Ayrton Senna would go on to claim victory in the Belgian Grand Prix on August 25, the Jordan team had given Schumacher his debut at F1.
Schumacher had stepped into the breach to replace Bertrand Gachot, who had been put in prison for spraying CS gas at a taxi driver in London.
The German did astonishing performance in qualifying and take a remarkable seventh place on the grid, just behind greats including Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell, Gerhard Berger and Senna – who would go on to become World Champion that season.
After an incredible start to the race the next day, which saw him overtake Jean Alesi, Schumacher’s drive was to suffer a miserable end on the first lap after a clutch failure.
“A new era in Formula One began with Michael’s debut in 1991 in Spa. He was subsequently the guiding star to more motorsport generations,” former Mercedes motorsport director Norbert Haug told dpa.
“Although it was impossible at that time to know that he would become the most successful driver in the history of this sport, you could bet that he would be an important player,” said former Ferrari team boss Jean Todt, who since 2009 has been the president of the governing FIA.
Schumi’s manager Sabine Kehm pointed out that Spa was not just important because of his debut. He celebrated his first grand prix win in Belgium in 1992 and wrapped up his quickest world title there in 2004, which turned out to be his last.
Seven-time F1 Champion Schumacher suffered a severe head injury in a skiing accident in the French Alps in December 2013 and after months in a coma he was transferred to his home in Switzerland. He has never been seen in public since his accident.
Every F1 fans still praying for ‘a miracle’ – #KeepFightingMichael Come On Schumi