If there is one name that resounds in modern Formula 1 like no other, it would have to be that of Michael Schumacher. The winner of seven titles and 91 races is unquestionably the most accomplished driver in F1 history.
Schumacher began his career at Jordan but switched to Benetton one race later. He went on to win two titles with the Flavio Briatore-led team. In 1996, the German moved to Ferrari with a promise that he would bring the legendary team its first title in two decades. It took him four years to make that pledge a reality but he reiterated its fulfilment, and how!
The Schumacher era - which is often likened to that of an emperor - spanned from 2000 to 2004. Along with Ferrari, he spelled utter domination for five consecutive seasons. But as with all good things, the dream run had to come to an end. Young Spaniard Fernando Alonso beat the German to the 2005 and 2006 titles, and Schumacher subsequently decided to retire from the sport.
The 'master of the wet' has numerous traits which set him apart as a racer. His ability to conserve his car and extract maximum performance, his ruthless overtaking skills and his unmatched car control are but a few.
His return to F1 after three seasons on the sidelines has been anything but a reflection of his past performances. The media hammered his comeback, as his results did not even match of what could be defined as mediocre. He was outpaced by his teammate Nico Rosberg on numerous occasions and there have been calls for him to retire yet again. Nevertheless, the German swept the criticism behind him as he prepares for yet another season.