Commentary

Schumacher had stranglehold on F1

Updated: January 7, 2010, 5:47 PM ET
By Tom McKean | ESPN.com

Michael SchumacherAP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de OlzaJust when you thought Michael Schumacher had called it a career … he rises again.

We have introduced you to Sebastien Bourdais, Sam Hornish Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Tom Kristensen, Sebastein Loeb, Valentino Rossi and Bern Schneider as we roll out the nine candidates for ESPN.com's Driver of the Decade -- in alphabetical order -- one at a time. Our panel of experts has voted for its top drivers. You will get your turn in a SportsNation fan vote Friday.

The Driver of the Decade will be revealed Monday.

Meet candidate No. 8 …

Michael Schumacher
Series: Formula One

Winning a race in the premier motorsports series in the world is tough enough; dominating is another story. But that's just what Schumacher did between 2000 and 2004, winning five straight Formula One titles. That stretch alone tied him for the most titles in Formula One history, which spans all the way back to its inaugural season in 1950.

Schumacher notched 48 wins between 2000 and 2004, while no other driver had more than seven. To put that further into perspective, the most career Formula One wins by a driver other than Schumacher is 51. That means that during the first five years of the new decade, Schumacher won 56 percent of the races. His 2003 title season also broke Juan Manuel Fangio's record of five Formula One titles.

To cap his career, Schumacher finished third in 2005 and second in the 2006 standings.

Last summer, Schumacher was set to return to an F1 cockpit, replacing the injured Felipe Massa. But a neck injury he suffered in a February 2009 motorcycle accident prevented the comeback.

Not to be denied, Schumacher is coming out of retirement in 2010 to race with Mercedes.

Tom McKean is a studio researcher at ESPN.