RALF Schumacher - Team WILLIAMS

Date of birth : 30 June 1975
Birthplace : Hürth-Hermühlheim
Marital status : Married to Cora, 1 child
Height : 178 cm
Weight : 73 kg

Wins : 4
Points scored : 177
Number of GP : 100
Pole Position : 1
Podiums : 18
First GP : 1997 (Melbourne)
Best result : 1


Michael Schumacher's little brother, Ralf, began his formula1 career in 1997 with the Jordan team, where he stayed for two years. He was initially known for his reckless moves and crashes, but gradually he began to carve out a reputation as a talented young driver.

His dissatisfaction with the Irish team grew, until his brother helped him to negotiate a place at Williams for 1999. This was year that Ralf Schumacher really came into his own. It began well in Melbourne, where he finished third for his new team. He followed this with fourth place in Brazil and from then on whenever the young German did cross the finishing line it was in a point scoring position, apart from one instance in Germany. He showed a maturity of driving he had not previously displayed and won many plaudits for his strong performances in the difficult FW21.

Where experienced team mate Alex Zanardi struggled, and eventually decided to give up the fight, Ralf flourished and scored all 35 points that the Williams team acquired. It could have been so different after the acrimony of his split with Jordan in 1998, whom he had to sue so as to extricate himself from his contract. In 1999, he came extremely close to taking his first win at the European Grand Prix, only to have his hopes dashed by a puncture, but he still hung on for fourth place.

He continued to do well in 2000 at Williams, again taking third place in the first race of the season, and initially setting himself apart as the quicker driver in the team. But as his team mate, Jenson Button, accrued experience, he began to gain on Ralf, and the young German appeared to lose focus at the end of the season. However, he still finished fifth in the drivers' championship with 24 points, and was the only Williams driver to appear on the podium.

2001 saw his debut win as well as a further two victories throughout the season. A strong run throughout the year saw him in a three way battle with David Coulthard and Rubens Barrichello for second in the drivers battle, however this failed to materialize and he was forced to settle for fourth place. 

2002 didn't get off to a good start for Ralf after he was involved in a first lap accident with the Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello. The Williams driver went airborne over the Brazilian and came to rest in the gravel trap, thankfully uninjured. Malaysia was a lot better, as here he took the chequered flag for the first and unfortunately, only time in the season. Ferrari proved to be too strong throughout the year and Ralf was forced to settle for fourth place once again, however, continuing to partner Juan Pablo Montoya, the German will fight Ferrari and McLaren for yet another year in an attempt to bring the world crown back to Williams. 

C A R E E R  H I G H L I G H T S

2002 Placed 4th with 42 Points
2001 Stays with Williams. Takes first victory in formula1 at the San Marino Grand Prix, and adds another two victories for the season. He also manages his first pole position in the French Grand Prix and scores the most points in one season, 49, during his formula1 career.
2000 Finishes fifth in the drivers' championship with 24 points. His second year at Williams sees him continue to mature and produce consistent performances.
1999 In his first year at Williams he collects 35 championship points and finishes 6th in the table. He visits the podium three times - in Australia, Britain and Belgium - and is on course to score his first ever win at the European Grand Prix before a puncture dashes his chances.
1998 Still driving with Jordan, he eventually picks up 14 championship points to finish 10th in the table. 2nd at Spa, and 3rd at Monza.
1997 Makes his Formula One debut in Australia with the Jordan team. Finishes third in Argentina and claims 11th spot in the Drivers' Championship.
1996 Wins the Japanese Formula 3000 Championship.
1995 Finishes second in the Monaco Grand Prix Formula 3 race then secures victory at Macau.




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