Monday October 9th, 2000
German newspapers hailed Michael Schumacher's Formula One World Championship on Monday with an emotional outpouring of tributes and toasts to the German national hero who won the title in an Italian car.
"You are the greatest of all time!" wrote Bild, the country's largest selling daily, in huge letters across the top of its front page next to an enormous picture of Schumacher embracing his wife Corinna.
"Bravo Schumi -- Now you are immortal."
The Ferrari red colour of Schumacher's uniform was splashed on the front page of papers across the country and the near-religious ecstasy that erupted in Germany was reflected in the columns of the newspapers' coverage on Monday.
"Michael Schumacher, the fastest, the uncontested champion, now has every reason in the world to thumb his nose at all those who doubted him and Ferrari," wrote the conservative daily Die Welt.
"A dream has been fulfilled and it will have far-reaching consequences," the paper added. "Ferrari and Formula One are alive again in this season and a new monument has been created ...Hard work and self-sacrifice have been rewarded. That's the signal that Schumacher has sent out."
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said Schumacher had reached his goal after five long years of making Ferrari the world champion for the first time since 1979.
"Schumacher has become the star of the industry," wrote the FAZ. "He has surprised the world not only with his brilliant driving style. Engineers often praise his precise reports about the handling of his car."
The newspaper noted that the three-time world champion is also one of the wealthiest sportsmen in the world, estimating his 2000 pre-tax income of some 100 million marks ($45 million) as well as marketing and licence revenues.