Michael Schumacher was often a controversial figure in Formula 1, but no one can deny that he's up there with the greats in the history of the sport. No other driver has been able to focus relentlessly on honing a car, building a team around himself and systematically taking apart the opposition. 

With a focus on cutting costs and sharing parts, it's unlikely that we'll ever see the likes of Michael Schumacher again – with upwards of 20 F1 races a year nowadays, some of his epic records will inevitably fall, but his run of seven world titles seems difficult to emulate. 

With an epic career spanning from 1991 – the year Ayrton Senna won his third championship and racing against the likes of Prost, Piquet and Mauricio Gugelmin – all the way through to 2012, where he rubbed wheels with the likes of Alonso, Hamilton and Jerome D'Ambrosio, Schumacher has seen it all. Indeed, his latter comeback with Mercedes had a peculiar pathos to it, coinciding with the rise and domination of another German, young Sebastian Vettel. 

Schumacher's incredible 19 years of racing in the top tier of motorsport represent over a quarter of the total existence of the sport. He stands apart from all contenders. Check out his 20 F1 cars in our special gallery – click on the next button above to explore the images, starting with the Jordan 191.

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