Schumacher's debut 25 years ago changed F1

Michael Schumacher made his Formula One debut 25 years ago at the Belgian Grand Prix and F1 insiders say the importance of that moment can not be overestimated.

He qualified in a heady seventh place but the race on August 25, 1991 was less successful with his car developing a technical problem on the first lap. But the 22-year-old had already made a big impression.

"A new era in Formula One began with Michael's debut in 1991 in Spa. He was subsequently the guiding star to more motorsport generations," former Mercedes motorsport director Norbert Haug told dpa.

Germany's Schumacher went on to become the most storied F1 driver of all time with an unprecedented seven world titles. This weekend's Belgian Grand Prix will bring the memories flooding back for many in the sport.

"Although it was impossible at that time to know that he would become the most successful driver in the history of this sport, you could bet that he would be an important player," said former Ferrari team boss Jean Todt, who since 2009 has been the president of the governing FIA.

Schumacher's manager Sabine Kehm pointed out that Spa was not just important because of his debut. He celebrated his first grand prix win in Belgium in 1992 and wrapped up his quickest world title there in 2004, which turned out to be his last.

Schumacher suffered severe head injuries in a skiing accident in 2013 and after months in a coma he was transferred to his home in Switzerland. He has never been seen in public since his accident.

Kehm gave no update on the 47-year-old's condition. This week fans will think back to happier times, when a hero emerged to dominate F1.

Last update: Tue, 23/08/2016 - 11:57
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