Schumacher's 19 seasons in the sport saw him rewrite the record book and the rule book, primarily during his initial 16-year spell as the last three with Mercedes have been bitterly disappointing.
Here, we take a look at the highs and lows of the seven-times champion's career.
Six of the Best
1991: At the age of 22, qualifies a stunning seventh on his grand prix debut in Belgium with the unfancied Jordan team.
1992: Back in Belgium, and from third on the grid, Schumacher seals the first of his record 91 grands prix victories.
1994: Manages an heroic second place in Spain despite racing for 40 laps stuck in fifth gear.
1995: Reels in Jean Alesi in the closing stages at the Nurburgring, obliterating a 42-second deficit in 27 laps before passing the Ferrari around the outside on the penultimate lap.
1996: Wins at a wet Barcelona by 45 seconds after annihilating the opposition despite dropping to sixth at the start.
2003: Responds to the death of his mother overnight by winning in Imola despite his grief.
Six of the Worst
1994: Finishes second at Silverstone, but fails to serve a five-second stop-go penalty, then ignores black flags. Sixteen days after the event, the FIA World Motor Sport Council hands Schumacher a two-race ban and strip him of his second place.
1994: After hitting the Adelaide wall and terminally damaging his car, smashes into Damon Hill to secure his first world title.
1997: Cynically slams into Jacques Villeneuve in a failed bid to win the title. Is stripped of his second place in the championship by the FIA.
2002: Takes advantage of Ferrari team orders to pass team-mate Rubens Barrichello yards from the chequered flag in Austria for a victory greeted by derision from the crowd.
2002: Inexplicably attempted to engineer a dead heat at Indianapolis, only to lose out to Barrichello by 0.011 seconds.
2006: Parks his Ferrari across the track in Monaco in an attempt to disrupt qualifying and retain pole position. Sent to the back of the grid by stewards.