30 Aug 2012

Schumacher to race in 300th grand prix

8:05 am on 30 August 2012

Michael Schumacher will compete in his 300th career grand prix at a Spa-Francorchamps circuit this weekend.

Only one other driver, Schumacher's former Ferrari team mate Rubens Barrichello, has reached such a milestone in Formula One.

Spa was where the German made an eye-catching debut in 1991, qualifying seventh as a little-known stand-in with the Jordan team, and where with Benetton in 1992 he took the first of his record 91 wins.

The longest track in Formula One, sweeping through the Ardennes forests, was also where he won his last championship in 2004 with Ferrari.

The 43-year-old has won there six times, more than any other driver.

Schumacher is currently 12th overall in the current standings and a massive 135 points behind Ferrari's leader Fernando Alonso with nine of the 20 races remaining.

Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen still holds the lap record at Spa, set with McLaren in 2004, and the Finn's last grand prix victory was at Spa with Ferrari in 2009 before he left F1 for two years to go rallying.

Raikkonen, fifth overall and 48 points adrift of Spaniard Alonso, has won four times in Belgium - including three times in a row between 2004 and 2007 - and has the best record at Spa over the last 10 years.

Mercedes, who took a breakthrough win in China with Nico Rosberg in April and celebrated Schumacher's return to the podium for the first time since 2006 when he finished third in Valencia in June, will hope to make it a weekend to remember even if they are far from favourites.