Formula One, also known as Formula 1 or F1 and referred to officially as the FIA Formula One World Championship, is the most restrictive class of single seaterauto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). The "formula" in the name refers to a set of rules with which all participants' cars must comply. The F1 season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix (translated to English as "Big Prizes"), held on purpose-built circuits and public roads. The results of each race are combined to determine two annual World Championships, one for the drivers and one for the constructors, with racing drivers, constructor teams, track officials, organizers, and circuits required to be holders of valid Super Licences, the most restrictive class of racing licence issued by the FIA.
Formula One cars race at high speeds – up to 360 km/h (220 mph) – with engines the performance of which is limited to a maximum of 18,000 revolutions per minute (RPM). The cars are capable of lateral acceleration in excess of 5 g in corners. The formula has had much evolution and change through the history of the sport. Europe, where all the Formula One racing teams are based, is the sport's traditional base and where about half of each year's races occur. However, the sport's scope has expanded significantly during recent years and an increasing number of Grands Prix are held on other continents.
Michael Schumacher; born 3 January 1969 in Hürth, North Rhine-Westphalia) is a retired Formula One racing driver. Most famous for his eleven-year spell with Ferrari, Schumacher is a seven-time World Champion and holds many of the formula's driver records including most championships, race victories, fastest laps, pole positions, points scored and most races won in a single season – 13 in 2004. After winning two consecutive championships with Benetton in 1994/5, Schumacher moved to Ferrari in 1996 and won another five consecutive drivers' titles with them from 2000–2004. Schumacher retired from Formula One driving in 2006 staying with Ferrari as an advisor; he later signed a 3-year contract to drive for the new Mercedes team starting in 2010. His career has not been without controversy, including being twice involved in collisions in the final race of a season that determined the outcome of the world championship, with Damon Hill in 1994 in Adelaide, and with Jacques Villeneuve in 1997 in Jerez. Off the track Schumacher is an ambassador for UNESCO and a spokesman for driver safety. He has been involved in numerous humanitarian efforts throughout his life and donated tens of millions of dollars to charity.
... that the longest gap between consecutive Grand Prix starts by a driver is more than 10 years? Jan Lammers retired from the Dutch Grand Prix on July 3, 1982, and did not make another start until the Japanese Grand Prix on October 25, 1992.