A car dealer from Kent was left with an extra shock after being hit by a van when he discovered that the driver was multiple Formula One champion Michael Schumacher.

Schumacher was at the wheel of a FIAT Ducato van when the incident occurred on Sunday afternoon, with the German reported to be making his way to a private airfield near Lydd.

Martin Kingham was closing a security gate on his premises when he was struck by Schumacher's vehicle, which was overtaking another car at the time.

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While he escaped without injury, he was left with a story to tell.

"I was putting the security bars up outside the garage before going home," Kingham told the Daily Mirror. "I have to stand on the edge of the road and keep an eye on traffic.

"Out of nowhere I heard a bang from behind me. It spun me round and I was thrown forward on to my face, hitting the bonnet of a parked van. Then I saw a big blue van go by and realised they'd hit me. I thought I recognised the driver, but my head was spinning.

"He was screaming, 'What the f*****g hell were you doing in the road?' He seemed cross, as if I was in the wrong. I called the police."

Schumacher passed a breathalyser test before Kingham was informed of who exactly had been at the wheel of the van.

"The officers asked me to wait in my office while they spoke to him," he said. "An officer came in and said 'This guy's claiming to be Michael Schumacher'. Then another told us she'd seen his ID and it was him.

"Try telling people you were hit by Michael Schumacher and see what response you get. My wife thought I was winding her up. I guess it shows once a racing driver, always a racing driver. The old ladies were probably only doing 30mph and he fancied his chances.

"He probably wasn't expecting me to be in the road. Still, I'm lucky to be in one piece and I suppose it's a great story, so no harm done."

A spokesperson for Schumacher confirmed the incident and said the former Ferrari man had co-operated fully with police at the scene.