Ralf Schumacher: From racing driver to team owner in F4 and series partner of the German GT Championship

Published on Thursday, September 30, 2021

Ralf Schumacher: From racing driver to team owner in F4 and series partner of the German GT Championship

Ex Formula 1 star Ralf Schumacher (46) plays a major role at the crowning moment of every race in the German GT Championship. When the ADAC GT Masters winners celebrate with the traditional champagne shower at the presentation ceremony, they do so with Schumacher Selection – a sparkling wine from the vineyards of the seven-time Grand Prix winner. Since 2019, victories in the ADAC GT Masters have been celebrated with Schumacher Selection – as they will be this weekend (1st to 3rd October) at the Sachsenring. In an interview, Schumacher reveals how he became so passionate about wine and talks about the young generation in motorsport, which he is supporting with his own, very successful team in ADAC Formula 4. Nitro will broadcast both races at the iconic circuit live on free-to-air TV, from 16:00 on Saturday and Sunday. The races can also be seen free and without subscription via livestream at motorsport.tv and adac.de/motorsport.

How do you go from racing driver to vintner?
Ralf Schumacher: “In motorsport, you always come into contact with champagne on the podium. Plus, I have always had a passion for good wine. When I needed a good wine for my restaurant Schumacher’s in Bergheim (near Cologne), I came across the Klet Brda vineyard in Slovenia. They gave me a Ribolla Gialla white wine to taste. I was surprised how good it was, as I had never really heard anything about that kind of wine. The vineyard’s other types were also outstanding and I decided to add the wine to the list in my restaurant. After a few more visits, I decided to expand the cooperation. The result was my own wine brand – Schumacher Selection.”

What sort of wines do you have in your range?
“The palette is growing gradually. I now have fresh white wines and red wines matured in oak barrels, but also a traditional sparkling wine and a sweet wine to round off the assortment. It is particularly important to me to be able to offer high-quality wine at a fair price. The focus is primarily on the gastronomy, my wine should have something exclusive about it and not be available from any old online merchant.”

You are a partner of the ADAC GT Masters with your sparkling wine. Why?
“As I mentioned, the champagne shower is an integral part of the presentation ceremony in motorsport. I have been associated with the ADAC GT Masters platform for a long time, because my Formula 4 team, which I run together with Gerhard Unger, lines up at events for this series. As such, we got talking and came up with the idea that victory could actually be celebrated with Schumacher’s Selection – and that has now been the case for two years. Apart from that, it obviously helps to raise awareness of the brand. Plus, VIP guests can enjoy my wines in the hospitality. So, it’s a harmonious concept.”

Let’s move from wine to motorsport: how do you think your US Racing team is getting on this season in Formula 4?
“On the whole, we have made a good start to the season. Tim Tramnitz claimed the first win of the season last time out in Hockenheim and is now second in the table. With Luke Browning in third place, we have another iron in the fire.”

What goals have you set yourself and US Racing for this season?
“We obviously want to be champions, otherwise there is not point being here. However, it is just as important to give talented young drivers a good education. In ADAC Formula 4, they learn the tools they will require in higher series, which will hopefully pave the way for one or two to make it into Formula 1.”

What is important for a young driver with his or her sights set on Formula 1?
“Discipline, willpower and hard work. You have to be prepared to keep learning all the time, take everything in, and never be satisfied. However, the budget obviously also plays a role.”

Your son David is following in your footsteps and finished his second season in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship in Sochi at the weekend. How happy are you with him?
“I am pleased that David is making his way in motorsport. He struggled a little at first in Formula 3, which is perfectly normal. Then he took his first victory in Spielberg, which made me incredibly proud.”

ADAC GT Masters 2021 calendar, subject to change

14.05. – 16.05.2021

Motorsport Arena Oschersleben

11.06. – 13.06.2021

Red Bull Ring (A)

09.07. – 11.07.2021

CM.com Circuit Zandvoort (NL)

10.09. – 12.09.2021

DEKRA Lausitzring

01.10. – 03.10.2021


22.10. – 24.10.2021

Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg

05.11. – 07.11.2021


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