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Fastest Lap, Last Win and Pre-race Crash: The Legacy Michael Schumacher Left Behind at Chinese GP

Mahim Suhalka

Fastest Lap, Last Win and Pre-race Crash: The Legacy Michael Schumacher Left Behind at Chinese GP

The 2024 season marks 12 years since Michael Schumacher last raced in Formula 1. The German legend, albeit always away from the public eye, has not left our thoughts. So, as the Chinese Grand Prix returns after a four-year absence, the undeniable connection between the two needs to be highlighted.

Despite its absence since 2019, the Chinese GP holds a rich history in the sport in its 17-year long history. Making its debut in 2004, the winner of the inaugural race was Schumacher’s teammate Rubens Barrichello. However, the German made a mark on the Shanghai International Circuit as well. He made a record that has stood the test of time and withered different eras, the record for the fastest lap.

Since the 2004 Chinese GP, many teams and drivers have dominated. We’ve seen the F1 car completely change and modernize beyond recognition. We’ve seen the cars become faster and stronger. However, no one has been able to break Michael Schumacher’s fastest lap record on the track which stands at 1.32.238.

However, the German only managed to secure one win in China before he hung up his helmet in 2006. It was a special race win because the 2006 Chinese GP marks the last and 91st race win of Michael Schumacher’s illustrious career. However, it wasn’t enough to steal the championship away from Fernando Alonso. Nevertheless, Schumacher can look back at China with fond memories even though he had to forge those fond memories as it wasn’t always hunky dory in Shanghai for him.

Michael Schumacher’s poor track record in China

Despite his record, Michael Schumacher did not enjoy a great track record in China. The German started the 2004 race from the pit lane after an overnight engine change. The change was motivated by spin during the qualifying which ended his session early. On top of starting from the pit lane, the German also crashed into Christian Klein on the 11th lap of the race. So despite his best efforts, the German only managed to put his Ferrari in 12th.

The following year was worse. In 2005, Schumacher was involved in a bizarre crash with Christijan Albers on the formation lap. The German turned his slow-moving Ferrari into the path of the Dutchman running at speed. The collision caused considerable damage to both cars forcing them to take on spares.

However, in 2005, Schumacher could not even finish his race as he spun off. To add insult to injury, he was also reprimanded after the race by stewards for the incident with Albers. However, he more than made up for it in the 2006 Chinese GP which is now etched in history as the great Micael Schumacher’s last race win in the sport.

Post Edited By:Samriddhi Jaiswal

About the author

Mahim Suhalka

Mahim Suhalka

Mahim Suhalka is an F1 journalist at the SportsRush. With an ever-growing love for the sport since 2019, he became a part of the industry two years ago and since then has written over 2200 pieces. A Lewis Hamilton fan through and through and with Hamilton's loyalties shifting to Ferrari, so will his. Apart from F1, he is a Football fanatic having played the sport and represented his state in various tournaments as he still stays in touch with the sport. Always a sports enthusiast Mahim is now translating his passion into words.

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