January 3 is the day that Michael Schumacher turns 50. To mark the record-holding Ferrari world champion driver’s birthday, Ferrari has opened a new special exhibition dedicated to his life and achievements with the brand.
Ferrari is calling the exhibition, at its museum in the Maranello headquarters, “Michael 50”. Naturally it’s full of the special Grand Prix cars Schumacher drove to take eleven world championships.
That includes the first Ferrari F1 car Schumacher drove competitively, the F310. In this car Schumacher won three races in 1996, more than Ferrari had managed in the previous five seasons combined. Ferrari’s first Schumacher-era championship car, the F399 of 1999, is also present. The German managed fifth place in the standings with two race wins, despite breaking his leg halfway through the season. It was enough to secure Ferrari the constructor championship.
Bookending Schumacher’s run of five straight driver titles are the F1-2000 and F2004. The first gave Ferrari its first drivers’ world title since 1979, and captured its second constructor title in a row. Four more championships in a row for both driver and manufacturer followed, with the last coming courtesy of the F2004.
Schumacher’s final Ferrari F1 car is also on display. With the 248 F1 in 2006 he won seven races, including his 91st and last race win, although it wasn’t enough to take one more championship.
There’s also a section dedicated to Schumacher’s road car development prowess. Even after ending his racing career with Maranello, the German continued to work for the brand on the road car side. Significant vehicles from his time include the F430 Scuderia and California, both of which appear in the display.
Ferrari has created the display in association with the Keep Fighting foundation. The charity aims to continue Schumacher’s own charitable work following the driver’s head injury sustained while skiing in 2013, and subsequent long-term convalescence.