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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 February, 2003, 14:33 GMT
Michael Schumacher
Michael Schumacher is expected to dominate again in 2003

Michael Schumacher towers over his era in Formula One like an omnipotent colossus, daring his rivals to challenge him and tossing them aside when they try.

Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Raikkonen tried very hard indeed in 2003 - but Schumacher still came out on top, winning arguably the greatest of his unprecedented six titles.

That all-time record underlines just how much Schumacher is finally reaping the reward of his move to Ferrari.

It was a move rooted in hubris - he wanted to become a legend by becoming known as the man who returned greatness to the sport's most legendary team.

PERSONAL DATA
Born: 3/1/69
Nationality: German
First GP: Belgium 1991
Wins: 70
Titles: 6
2003 position: 1st
Previous teams: Jordan, Benetton
He paid the price for a few years as Ferrari sruggled to beat Williams and then McLaren - but since 2000 the German and his team have indeed carved out the "Ferrari era" of which Schumacher talks so often.

His quest for a fourth consecutive drivers' title - another record - proved harder than even he probably imagined it would.

But he was always a narrow favourite to secure a triumph that leaves him standing alone in statistical terms as the most successful driver of all time.

Whether he is the greatest of all in absolute terms is less certain.

F1 in general has been the poorer for the lack of a credible challenger for Schumacher to test himself against - although Raikkonen, Montoya and Fernando Alonso at least look capable of stepping into Mika Hakkinen's shoes as that man.

And the German's tactics when he does face opposition are questionable at best - some would say they are abhorrent.

But those are about the only aspect of his driving open to criticism.

Peerless in wet or dry, in qualifying or race, in pure driving terms and in motivating a team, Schumacher is without doubt the greatest driver of his generation.





F1 2003
 

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