Watch: Schumacher make his Mercedes World Sportscar race debut

In this free episode from Motorsport.tv’s rich Duke Classic Video archive, relive the drama of Michael Schumacher’s first start in the 1990 World Sportscar Championship at Dijon in France – as well as a startline shunt that almost took out the pace car!

Schumacher was making his race debut in the series, having been disqualified from his planned first start at Silverstone after receiving outside assistance when his Mercedes’ gear linkage broke in qualifying. Stewards excluded the car, which he shared with Jochen Mass, from the meeting.

Schumacher was sharing the drive across the season with fellow Mercedes junior drivers Karl Wendlinger and Heinz-Harald Frentzen. At Dijon, Schumacher showed his class with a stellar stint after taking over from Mass in the #2 Sauber Mercedes C11, one of the fastest and most iconic Group C cars in history.

Schumacher immediately lapped the Jaguar of Andy Wallace, and began to carve into the lead of the #1 car driven by Mauro Baldi, despite running a lower turbo boost setting. He effectively halved the gap to the leading car.

Baldi pitted first, allowing Schumacher to lead briefly before he handed the car back to Mass. Baldi’s co-driver Jean-Louis Schlesser held on to win by 4s, but that stint from Schumacher had kept the pressure on, and resulted in a 1-2 finish for Mercedes. It was also the first of many world championship-level podiums from Schumacher.

Schumacher drove the car on two more occasions in 1990, finishing second again at the Nurburgring, but then going on to win the season finale with Mass in Mexico City by two laps.

Normally part of its premium content, Motorsport.tv has made select Duke episodes free during COVID-19 lockdown. If you like what you see, be sure to join Motorsport.tv to access over 750 episodes of Duke Archives, featuring thousands of hours of exclusive digitized footage.

Visit the Duke channel HERE.

shares
comments
Toyota pushes back hypercar rollout to October
Previous article

Toyota pushes back hypercar rollout to October

Next article

Alonso claims 2021 plans are "more or less" set

Alonso claims 2021 plans are "more or less" set
How Formula E's double-duty drivers got on at Le Mans Prime

How Formula E's double-duty drivers got on at Le Mans

Eight Formula E drivers made the 7,000-mile sprint from the streets of Jakarta to the fabled Circuit de la Sarthe and every one had a story to share at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours. Despite a range of triumphs and disappointments, each driver doubling up on the day job played a key role in their teams' fortunes

Le Mans
Jun 14, 2022
How junior formula giant Prema is readying for its Le Mans future Prime

How junior formula giant Prema is readying for its Le Mans future

Prema remains a colossus in single-seaters, but the serial Formula 2 and Formula 3 title-winning squad has joined forces with top GT squad Iron Lynx for an attack on sportscars in the FIA World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series. Ahead of its debut at the Le Mans 24 Hours, its sights are firmly fixed on LMP2 glory – and a future in Hypercars next year...

Le Mans
Jun 8, 2022
The British rookies targeting a good first impression at Le Mans Prime

The British rookies targeting a good first impression at Le Mans

Three young Britons will make their first starts in the Le Mans 24 Hours this weekend in the highly-competitive 23-car GTE Am field. But how did they get here? Motorsport.com hears their stories.

Le Mans
Jun 7, 2022
The wingless wonder Peugeot hopes will restore it to Le Mans glory Prime

The wingless wonder Peugeot hopes will restore it to Le Mans glory

Peugeot went radical with the initial plan for its Le Mans Hypercar project, and then stuck to its guns. Here’s how things are shaping up a few weeks before the debut of the 9X8 in next month's Monza World Endurance Championship round

WEC
Jun 1, 2022
How Toyota’s sole survivor turned the tables at Spa Prime

How Toyota’s sole survivor turned the tables at Spa

After a chastening opening to the season at Sebring that ended in an enormous accident, Toyota's #7 crew got their World Endurance Championship underway with victory at a treacherously slippery Spa to make up for its sister car's Sebring defeat to Alpine, as Glickenhaus's promising qualifying turned to disaster in the race

WEC
May 9, 2022
How Toyota's WEC dominance was curbed at stormy Sebring Prime

How Toyota's WEC dominance was curbed at stormy Sebring

Toyota’s stranglehold on the FIA World Endurance Championship ended at the 2022 opener at Sebring, but all accusing eyes were on the Balance of Performance system as the key to the shake-up. Here's how it unfolded, to see Alpine celebrating under a stormy sky having blown away the defending champions...

WEC
Mar 21, 2022
Why Penske remains ambitious for its WEC learning year Prime

Why Penske remains ambitious for its WEC learning year

Team Penske is gearing up for its role in running Porsche’s LMDh programme from 2023 by entering this year's World Endurance Championship with an LMP2 car. Although the team is considering 2022 as a season to learn, it is no less serious about winning than ever - which should make the already fiercely competitive class even more so

WEC
Mar 17, 2022
Why Peugeot couldn't afford to take a Le Mans gamble in 2022 Prime

Why Peugeot couldn't afford to take a Le Mans gamble in 2022

Ahead of the much-anticipated arrival of its new 9X8 Hypercar, Peugeot revealed that it would not be entering this year's Le Mans 24 Hours with its incoming machinery. Although development restrictions for homologated cars are partially responsible, the French marque can draw on its own lessons from its history in sportscars

WEC
Feb 28, 2022