Michael Schumacher will mark the 20th anniversary of his F1 debut in next weekend's Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps – and to celebrate, the record-breaking German legend is set to throw a party to which 'the whole paddock' will be invited.
Schumacher was plucked from comparative obscurity to make his grand prix bow with Jordan at Spa on 25 August, 1991, and he immediately served notice that he was something rather special indeed by qualifying a superb seventh in the striking Jordan-Ford 191 – four places further up the grid than infinitely more experienced team-mate Andrea de Cesaris.
Clutch failure on the opening lap of the race may have led to an early bath, but never mind – a star had been born – and just a fortnight later, 'Schumi' was in a Benetton. Two years later still, he was world champion for the first time – and the rest, as they say, is history...
Although the 91-time grand prix-winner's current top flight comeback with Mercedes Grand Prix has been less-than-sparkling, he has vowed to see through his three-year contract with the Brackley-based outfit, and aside from producing a special black-and-gold cap to commemorate two decades in F1, he is also set to host a party at Spa.
“It will be a special moment for me,” he is quoted as having said by Cologne newspaper Express
. “I will invite the whole paddock for a drink on Saturday evening.”