During his long career in Formula One, German driver Michael Schumacher established himself as one of the greatest racers ever. From his debut in 1991 to retirement in 2012, he amassed a record seven World Drivers’ Championship titles and scorched all kinds of F1 benchmarks, often by massive margins. Formula One itself calls him “the most successful driver in the sport’s history.” Despite his wild success on the track, he was also an intensely private and complex person—and Schumacher, an upcoming documentary from Netflix, offers a deep dive into what made him tick.
Schumacher pulls together previously unseen archival footage as well as interviews with Schumacher’s family to piece together a detailed portrait of the F1 icon. On the track, he was known for his indomitable spirit, tough work ethic, and his intense desire to win.
“One hundred percent perfection,” Schumacher says in the opening scenes of the trailer. “I couldn’t live with anything lower.”
That will to win paid off: He quickly found success and went on to dominate F1 during his decades-long career. But the doc goes beyond his racing success and looks back into his childhood and life off the track as well. He began racing as a kid (starting out on go karts), and the experience of being scrappy and finding ways to win despite a limited budget helped forge his competitive spirit.
“When others threw away tires,” he says, “I put them on my kart and won races with them.”
Unfortunately, Schumacher’s life has also been marked by tragedy: After retiring from F1, he suffered a catastrophic brain injury while skiing in 2013. It’s an injury he’s still recovering from today. In interviews with his wife, children, and other family members, as well as F1 experts, the documentary explores how his fighting spirit continues to sustain him—and inspire the people around him, too.
Check out the full trailer above, and look out for the full doc when it’s released on Sept. 15 on Netflix.
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