Michael Schumacher Still Number 1 After 20 Years: Well, Almost

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Michael Schumacher Still Number 1 After 20 Years: Well, Almost
SPA FRANCORCHAMPS, BELGIUM - AUGUST 26: Michael Schumacher of Germany and Mercedes GP prepares to drive wearing a specially designed gold drivers helmet as he commemorates the 20th anniversary of his first F1 race during practice for the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit of Spa Francorchamps on August 26, 2011 in Spa Francorchamps, Belgium. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Bravo to Michael Schumacher for reaching a milestone. Twenty years ago in Spa, Eddie Jordan gave the young German driver his first start at Jordan.

The world lay blissfully unaware of what was to come. 

Seven world titles and various broken records later, the controversial champion exited the sport before making an unexpected comeback in 2010. 

To mark the occasion, Schumacher topped the time sheets in the first practice session at Spa. His lap of 1.54.355 was enough to beat his teammate Nico Rosberg by almost half a second.

To lead the pack on such an occasion could be deemed a poignant reminder of his excellence. Until, of course, you look deeper and realise the two Mercedes drivers were the only ones able to complete a quick lap before rain showers changed the direction for the rest of the session.

No other driver could get close to Schumacher and Rosberg's time, with Jenson Button being a distant third, eight seconds adrift.

Still, at least on face value, Schumacher marks his 20th anniversary by being the "No. 1." Unless every session goes the same unpredictable weather way, it is doubtful he will remain at the front.

So now, the real work for himself and the team begins as they chase a podium or high points-placed finish. 

Formula 1

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