Michael Schumacher’s legend status can be attributed to his impressive Formula One track record: 7 World Championship titles, 91 Grand Prix victories, 155 podium finishes and 68 pole positions.
As the 2023 Formula One season kicks off this coming weekend in Bahrain, I figured it was the perfect time to showcase my visit to the Michael Schumacher Private Collection exhibition.
The permanent exhibition at Motorworld in Cologne, Germany includes some of Schumacher’s original race cars, plus racing memorabilia, personal items and more.
The exhibition starts with cars from Schumacher’s pre-F1 era, namely his 1988 European Formula Ford and 1989 Formula 3 Reynard 893. After taking two wins and seven podiums in the latter, Schumacher missed out on the 1989 German F3 title by just one point.
At the other end of the exhibition floor, you’ll find the Group C endurance car that Schumacher raced in 1991 – a Sauber Mercedes-Benz C291, powered by a 3.5L V12 good for 600hp. This machine turned out to be a perfect preparation tool for Formula One.
Schumacher’s 100cc Tony Kart makes an appearance too. He once said that karting is “the elementary school of motorsports, especially for driving feeling, duel behavior and overtaking understanding. There is no better school.”
Even after becoming a Formula One world champion, Schumacher spent hours behind the wheels of his racing karts.
Michael Schumacher’s Formula One story begins with the magnificent Jordan 191 – specifically a bright green and blue 7UP-liveried car from 1991.
Schumacher received a one-off opportunity to race the car at the Spa-Francorchamps round, and this quote from an interview proves that back then he already had nerves of steel: “The first tests were frightening on the first laps, but then at Spa it was as if I had never done anything else. Driving Eau Rouge in that car, that downforce was a crazy feeling. Driving full throttle there was the absolute highest of the feelings I had known until then.”
He sensationally qualified seventh on the grid, but sadly Schumacher’s race ended after only 500 meters due to clutch failure.
Nearby, I found a couple of Benettons – the Camel-liveried B191B from 1992 and the second title-winning Mild Seven B195 from 1995.
The most iconic Benetton is elevated on pillars next to the museum’s central staircase – the victorious B194 car from 1994. Schumacher dominated the ’94 F1 season by winning eight rounds, including the tragic San Marino GP, where his win was sadly overshadowed by the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger.
Schumacher’s career at Scuderia Ferrari started in 1996 at the wheel of an F310, a car that the German driver described as rather mediocre. He finished third in his first season with Ferrari, while Damon Hill became the first son of a world champion to also win a Formula One title (Damon’s father Graham won titles in 1962 and 1968).
From this point, the exhibition became a sea of Rosso Corsa red.
After a year to forget in 1997 (Schumacher was disqualified for his actions in the season-ending European GP after he collided with Jacques Villeneuve) and averagely successful 1998 and 1999 seasons, it all started clicking for Ferrari and the German driver.
From 2000 to 2004, Team Marlboro Red became the dominant force in the Formula One championship, rewarding Schumacher with five back-to-back titles.
In 2005, Fernando Alonso and Renault finally put pay to the winning streak. Alonso and Renault took the Formula One title again in 2006, and at the end of that season Schumacher retired.
Of course, a few years later Schumacher made the greatest comeback in the history of Formula One, announcing his return, but this time with the Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team for the 2010 season. He contested the following two championships with Mercedes, before retiring once more at the end of 2012.
The following year, a skiing accident drastically changed Schumacher’s life.
As my time at Motorworld came to an end, I started feeling nostalgic about the many hours I spent watching Formula One as a kid. Back then, Schumacher was in his prime, winning championship after championship. Here I was, surrounded by the actual cars he achieved such greatness in.
On a pragmatic note, I’m surprised that this museum can accessed by anyone for free. It’s a heartwarming experience for any seasoned Formula One fan, and I’m hoping that the thousands of visitors who make the pilgrimage to Motorworld Cologne-Rhineland for The Michael Schumacher Private Collection exhibition will result in a lot of positive energy being sent the legend’s way.
Man I don't even know how I missed Schumacher's collection at Motorworld it's an amazing display that pays tribute to his legacy which makes me think of him more
I hope that he gets well soon as it's been nearly a decade now from the skiing incident I hope that we get to see him again just one last time
Yes, 80s-90s F1 was the last real F1 era. Nowadays its a soap opera for men
No livery is as iconic and memorable as the Schumacher's Rosso Corsa red.
Nice collection of stuff. Not a Ferrari fan but I've been an F1 fan for 20 years. I remember the year Schummy won almost every race and how "boring it was. And when Rubens was told to pull over and let Michael win on the last lap. That was disgusting!!!! Michael's skills were great. But my man(Lewis) is the persion all others need to emulate. 8-time world champion. God, he was robbed. Reminds me of Marvin Hagler. Porsche and German cars rule. I think Max is from NYC. He drives WAY TOO aggressively.
It it wasn't for Verstappen I would not have watched a race since he entered the sport. You know which other legend was agressive and got it wrong sometimes? Senna.
Best driver ever no one close to compìte whit Michael
Awesome write up and photos. Real racing, not the stance crap / pseudo builds that normally get posted here. Schumacher was one of the greatest drivers of all time and there have been tons of great documentaries / features on him. Jeremy Clarkson did a show called Science of Speed or something and it had Schumi on it for one episode. The insight into how his brain works was really incredible. Totally different level of human.
There is also a segment in Science of Speed where they analyze his throttle trace which was really interesting.
Unfortunately, real racing is lost now a days with younger people who think drifting and time attack is racing lol. It's not and if you dare to say this you get lit up like a flame thrower in the comments by the uneducated and inexperienced. Open wheel high hp / high downforce cars that race wheel to wheel for position are the highest form of driving there is in terms of physical ability and feel of the limit.
Years ago at one of my local tracks a guy bought an ex Schumacher F1 car and was trying to break the record, but he couldn't stay pinned at 200mph through one of the corner--which a GT3 racing car will take at maybe 100-105mph if they are on fresh slicks / producing some downforce. That was one of the moments I realized how talented these drivers really are. I think he was "only" capable of going about 180mph through the turn...f*king nuts stuff.
Brilliant feature. Cheers!
Lol, people like Loeb, Ogier, Rohrl, McRae and Makinen aren’t racing drivers in your book huh?
WRC drivers are amazing but it is not a form of racing in the true sense of word. It is a form of time trials.
You are trying to implode my argument under the guise that I am saying certain people are not talented or it is not their profession. That is not the case.
Wheel to wheel racing is racing. Everything solo against the clock is time trials. This is a fact.
Every form of racing is against the clock as well as other drivers. What I found humorous is that you thought open wheel cars were the highest form of driving and that’s simply not true.
No Nate, that is not true. In a wheel to wheel race all you have to do is finish ahead of another driver it is not time and position based. This was common knowledge about 20 years ago and it seems like a lot of you younger people really nave no clue about what racing really is. Start reading books and get smarter.
High downforce open wheel cars are the absolute pinnacle of circuit racing. No one has ever questioned that. You're not that intelligent or educated about cars it seems.
Having said that, one thing that is interesting is that Michael Schumacher entered into the national finals in the United States in 2010 I believe and he did not finish in the top ten.
People commenting on this stuff are really funny to listen to. You all know very little about actual motorsport history and what makes a car difficult / challenging to drive. I would guess most of you have little to no experience on track. The person who I got to road race with developed F1 cars and passed a lot of this information onto me.
The internet is full of low IQ people with very big megaphones in 2023.
I have yet to see a race (and I go to many) where a driver has won and not done so in the shortest amount of time over a designated distance or who has traveled the longest distance in a set amount of time. Please prove otherwise, and I’m not referring to season championships, just a race. Also, the dictionary clearly defines a race as a contest of speed between multiple contestants, not a wheel to wheel event.
I didn’t realize who I was speaking with because you have changed your screen name so many times or I wouldn’t have bothered responding. I just didn’t want your misinformation confusing more people.
I would get up at 3am to watch the formula 1 race and see Schumacher in the red Ferrari I don't know how my wife would put up with that but she did it my 4-year-old daughter would get up and watch with me. That was a great time in formula 1 Long live Schumacher
Thanks for all the shows and Good times
Awesome! He was a legend!
Very cool to see all of these legendary cars. I do find it odd how several of the Marlboro-liveried cars have been changed to be in line with modern sensibilities. I understand no longer having tobacco sponsors, but to undo the past feels strange. Not to mention it looks goofy just having a white block where something is obviously missing.
Goosebumps from the opening image to the last word in this article, coming from a Hakkinen fan.