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Ralf Schumacher

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Ralf Schumacher (born June 30, 1975 in Hürth-Hermülheim near Cologne) is a German Formula One racing driver for the Toyota team. He is the younger brother of seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher and has won six F1 races during his career, which has spanned from 1997 to the present day.

He started racing at age three on his parents' go-kart track in their home town of Kerpen. After finishing runner-up in the national karting series, Schumacher graduated German Formula Three in 1995. Finishing runner up in this series was not the highlight of the year for him though, as he also won the Macau street race, a feat also accomplished by his brother Michael. In the race he beat future F1 team-mate Jarno Trulli, Pedro de la Rosa and Norberto Fontana, the driver he finished runner-up to in German Formula 3.

In 2005, Schumacher transferred to the Toyota F1 team after Williams refused his salary demands. In the first 12 races of the season he was out-performed by team mate Jarno Trulli, however in Spa-Francorchamps, he was able to challenge for the lead most of the race and ended up setting the fastest lap. Schumacher earned his first podium with Toyota F1 at the Hungarian Grand Prix, chasing down brother Michael Schumacher for 2nd place. The Toyota team brought the "B" specification of their TF105 car to the last three races of the season which allowed Schumacher to take pole position in Japan and finish the Chinese Grand Prix in third position a week later. This modified version of the car secured sixth position in the Drivers Championship for Schumacher, two points ahead of Trulli.

Ralf Schumacher earned Toyota their first point of the 2007 season by finishing in eighth place in the Australian Grand Prix, one place ahead of team-mate Jarno Trulli. However, Trulli then finished in seventh place in both of the following two races in Malaysia and Bahrain, scoring 2 points in each. Schumacher, meanwhile, failed to score in either. In the Spanish Grand Prix, he was involved in a collision with Alexander Wurz of Williams, dropping him to the back of the field. He eventually retired with a mechanical problem. Monaco proved to be another struggle for Schumacher, as he qualified 20th and finished the race in 16th, 0.9 seconds behind Trulli. Trulli is contracted to race for the Toyota F1 team until the close of the 2009 F1 season, while Ralf's contract expires after the current 2007 season. It is rumoured that the Toyota team are unhappy with his performance, which may mean that Schumacher could have to start looking elsewhere for a future F1 seat.

A change in fortunes seemed to occur at the Hungarian Grand Prix (the scene of his first podium finish for Toyota). Schumacher started 5th on the grid after setting the 6th fastest time (Fernando Alonso was relegated to 6th). He held off Alonso for much of the race until the third sector and went on to finish 6th. This fortune, however, was short lived as at the Turkish Grand Prix Schumacher put in an inexpicably poor qualifying performance to start 16th for the race while Trulli was up in 9th. Ralf finished 12th and ahead of his team mate but only after Trulli was punted off the track at the first corner of the race by Giancarlo Fisichella.

In October of 2001 Ralf married Cora-Caroline Brinkmann a former model . On October 23, 2001, their son David was born.


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