His extraordinary Formula 1 career started on the 25th of August in 1991 at the Belgian Grand Prix and a lot of stories are told about this special weekend: that Michael and his manager spend the night in a youth hostel, that Michael was ill shortly before the weekend and only because of a small white lie was allowed to drive, that he learned the track on his own, by cycling around the track on a bicycle, that Bertrand Gachot was not allowed to drive because he had assaulted a London taxi driver, that Michael Schumacher became seventh in the qualifying and that his debut ended after a few hundred metres because of a damage to the gearbox.
The Monza Legend
The fact that Michael’s career finally got going at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza is less known. He had his ups and downs in Spa, like his first victory and the legendary collision with David Coulthard, and also Monza was always good for some sensations: 1996 he won the Tifosi’s heart, 2000 he left the press-conference in tears and on September 10th in 2006 he announced his retirement.
His story of success had started 15 years before that – exactly in that Italian village called Monza. Endless contract negotiations between his first team Jordan and his new employer team Benetton went by. The talks started at the day after his debut in Spa and ended the night before the free practice in Monza.