Ferrari has paid tribute to Michael Schumacher's 20th anniversary in F1
|By Simon Strang
||Thursday, August 25th 2011, 11:44 GMT
Ferrari has paid tribute to Michael Schumacher 20 years to the day after the seven-time world champion made his Formula 1 debut at Spa in 1991.
The Italian manufacturer's president Luca di Montezemolo described the German, who enjoyed unprecedented success with Ferrari - winning five consecutive world drivers' titles between 2000 and 2004 ľas one of the most important figures in the history of the team.
"Michael will always be in the hearts of all the men and women who work in Maranello and of all fans of the Prancing Horse," di Montezemolo said on Ferrari's official website. "A large part of those twenty years of Formula 1 were spent with us. Together, we achieved results that will be difficult to repeat.
"His passion for racing is incredible, as is the effort he puts into it, along with the courage and determination he has always demonstrated, which won him the affection of us all.
"On behalf of everyone at Ferrari I wish to thank him for everything he did for us and I send him all our best wishes for this, his twentieth anniversary in the greatest sport in the world."
Ferrari's team principal Stefano Domencali added: "We have prepared a little something to mark this occasion."
"Even if today, he is our rival on the race track, Michael is still a friend and there is no way it could be any different, given everything we have shared over all these years, growing together," said Domencali. "When I look at his career statistics, especially those established during his long time spent at Ferrari, I realise just how extraordinary they are. In fact I imagine they will never be repeated.
"I have so many personal memories linked to him, some of them actually to do with this circuit, as well as other particularly enjoyable ones, which makes it very difficult for me to single out any one in particular.
"I prefer to think of the future, which I am sure will also produce some very satisfying moments."