Michael Schumacher is The Stig (sort of)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Top Gear has ‘revealed’ the identity of its mysterious Stig on the first episode of its new series.

And who was beneath the mask of the white-suited Stig? None other than seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher.

Schumacher appeared on the show to drive the Ferrari FXX, a track-only car based on the Ferrari Enzo which he was involved in developing.

It’s likely that Schumacher only donned the Stig’s disguise as a one-off, and the speculation about who he really is will continue. The first, black-costumed Stig was former Andrea Moda F1 driver Perry McCarthy. The current (white) Stig is believed to be played by several people.

After years of suffering through Schumacher’s grindingly tedious press conference appearances it was great to see him in an environment where he showed a bit of personality. He even got a few laughs – Clarkson asked him “who was rubbish?” of his former F1 rivals to which Schumacher replied: “Ah, you know, my English isn’t so good…”

Clarkson, of course, got a couple of jabs in, adding later: “You have a desire to win – like when I’m playing chess with my son and when he’s not looking I nick his queen. Well, it is the same as running into Damon…”

Sadly, Schumacher wasn’t available to set a lap in the ‘Reasonably-priced Car’, which might have allowed some comparison with other F1 drivers to have taken on the challenge, such as Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Damon Hill, Nigel Mansell and Mark Webber.

But it’s great to see Schumacher in his retirement is game for a laugh.

Update: OK he did ‘do’ a lap, but allegedly got lost…

Read more: Lewis Hamilton matches Jenson Button on Top Gear

92 comments on “Michael Schumacher is The Stig (sort of)”

  1. Great gag and it’s funny the amount of people that believe he is actually the Stig. COME ON GUYS!!

    1. what are you talking about of course it is schumacher he is the only one who could be as gd as the stig no on else is as gd as the stig nd that last lap was a joke lap

      1. *facepalm*

      2. What Tom said…

        1. Sush Meerkat
          21st June 2009, 22:34

          what James said.

          1. What Meerkat said.

      3. What Harry James Potter said..

      4. Course he did the Ferrari FXX lap but he’s not always the Stig!

  2. I don’t believe it for a second, but it was still a brilliant surprise. Nice one, BBC.

  3. I really wasn’t expecting that. Was a great suprise :) great interview too :)

  4. Haha the lap at the end was hilarious!

  5. The lap at the end was the best.

    1. Nice one Andy!

      1. Well i was disappointed in the beginning when they said who was the stig… but it is not Michael Schumache already at the test drive he was not wearing the suit properly…but apart from that my guess is ferrari didn’t want the real stig to drive the FXX and only Michael Schumache was allowed so he acted like the stig…its not the first time a company didn’t let the real stig drive a car.

        1. Wasn’t it heikki Kovalainen that drove the Renault F1 car round the track in less than a minute??

          That was cool!

  6. why did they get MS to pretend he is the stig or is he actually ?… I didn’t think for one minute he was but then I wondered why they would pretend he is?

    1. Think it was more to fuel speculation, he did the lap in the fxx and tg probably decided they might as well give the viewers what they want; the stigs identity, only to backtrack and start the guessing all over again.

      Another reason may be to cast doubt on the widely rumoured identity of the stig being ben Collins and at times company test drivers like Luca badoer, as many have uttered stig, Schumacher and identity in the same sentence, the best way to continue the speculation would be to say it’s Schumacher.

      1. Sush Meerkat
        21st June 2009, 22:33

        it would make sense for it to be Ben Collins, he’s always part of the “back up” team they bring for races… you know the ones with all the Touring car racers and Ben Collins for some arbutrary reason.

    2. Well it is an entertanment show… she they like to joke about things… and rember its F1 last race at silverstone today… mabie that has something to do with it.

    3. TG is not all intended for hardcore prtrol heads its more an entrtainmnt programe infact you culd hate cars but love tg.Ben Collins is someone i had never heard of before i researched the stig.if Ben C was the stig there wuld be a big lead up,he wuld slowly take off the helmt (building up the exitment)and it wuld be some bloke no one recodnised or heard of,instintly killing the stigs legacy.What i think happend is tg where tyng to get MS for the star in the reasnbly priced car for a long time and when they got him he brought the FFX and at the last minute they decided to pass him off as the stig.All 3 TG presenters are good friends and know each other well,surly behind the scenes they are freinds with the stig,notce how Ms sounds kinda shy in the interview as if he dosnt personaly Know Jeramey at all.

      1. Mussolini's pet cat
        22nd June 2009, 10:06

        What are you on about??? Schuey was there to do the interview and drive the FFX, that’s all…. The whole ‘stig-being-schuey’ thing was a bit of fun. BTW, Did you know that the word gullable is the only english word that doesnt rhyme with anything.

        1. Did you know that the word gullable is the only english word that doesnt rhyme with anything.

          Did you know I almost replied to point out that “Orange” doesn’t rhyme with anything either…

          D’Oh!!

          1. Mussolini's pet cat
            22nd June 2009, 14:03

            lol, nice one…

          2. Nothing rhymes with silver either (to the best of my knowledge).

          3. don’t forget ‘month’

        2. Gullible rhymes with laughable, or any word ending with ..able, ible.

          Orange has no natural rhyme.

          1. um, Tiomkin, do you know what gullable means??? Clearly not mate lol!!!!!

        3. What? He never said he believed Michael Schumacher was the stig once in his comment.

          He was infact commenting on why Schumacher couldn’t possibly be the stig, and how the Top Gear boys might have convinced Schumacher to pretend to be the stig.

          Read the the comment before coming to conclusions.

          1. Wait, ignore that, i think i’ve been caught out by the order comments appear after they’ve been posted.

            I thought you were replying to ‘Michael’, whereas i’m guessing you’re replying to someone else…

            Sorry if that’s the case. :)

  7. do you really think the greatest F1 driver would do a weekly programme for the BBC. He is still far too busy for that, He played into the roll and he is not as dry as you may think, remember he is German and English is not even his 2nd language. He has made many and good comments in Italian on RAI coverage over the years.

    1. rampante he did f1 which he did every week nd he gave it up so he would have time to do a weekly programme for teh bbc pluse he doesnt do it every week it is all done at once cus at start of show it showed wats going to happen in this series nd if they hadnt done it before then they wouldnt know

      1. sigh

        1. Mussolini's pet cat
          22nd June 2009, 10:08

          lol, it gets worse……

    2. Is it just me or does Ms look like Siveen Smiths (Nourbugring woman) twin

  8. should have been revealed as james may !!!!

    1. Mussolini's pet cat
      22nd June 2009, 14:55

      Brian May more like

  9. Sush Meerkat
    21st June 2009, 22:27

    Ferrari FXX, a track-only car based on the Ferrari Enzo which he was involved in developing.

    Its actually called an Enzo Ferrari, as opposed to Ferrari Enzo. Call it a Ferrari Enzo in front of the PR guys next time your with them to see the reaction you get.

    1. HatesThickPeople
      22nd June 2009, 0:23

      Its actually an enzo fxx you soft shroom…

      1. Sush Meerkat
        22nd June 2009, 0:55

        I know, I was talking about this bit

        only car based on the Ferrari Enzo

        So I’m right you soft err err FAFFLESAUCE!

        1. I don’t care how they officially do it, its made by a Ferrari, It’s called an Enzo, therefore Ferrari Enzo.

  10. Comon, they had a one of a kind ferrari, and MS was a ferrari F1 driver??

    its pretty obviously a putup job

    nicely done though

  11. The reason he was on the show is because it was his FXX- he was gifted one from Ferrari and his is the only black one in existance.

    1. his is the only black one without a white stripe! there a few more black ones.

  12. also, many celebs that have gone round the track and commentated how nice he was and patient. Not something you’d imagine Shuey to be.

    Also, hasn’t the stig already posted a time in the F1 lap times? 1:44 or something like that?

    Oh and on the Top Gear website their is a video to watch Shuey talk about the Fxx. It’s not playing atm, but underneath it says “how many laps does shuey need before knowing the Top Gear track” Erm I think is he were the stig he’d know that by now!

  13. After seeing the car being presented, knowing Schumacher worked heavily with on it with the team… I thought it was a great way to leave it at the top of the boards with a very relaxed and comical interview with the man himself.

    So was it Schumacher who drove around the track or was it the Stig? I’d like to see one lap from each driver to compare the differences, in the FXX + Gumpert Apollo.

    Either way, what a bombshell to start the season off – well done

  14. I don’t think that Michael was ever the Stig. He was just there to drive the Ferrari and Ferrari probably said no to the real stig driving it. Best solution and best spin would say stick Michael in a Stig suit.

  15. Great lap being 7 seconds quicker than the next supercar, I was stunned thinking that Ferrari have taken a leap forwards and then saw the driver….

    1. Well now, at this point I must don my best anorak and point out that the Caparo T1 did a similar time (to within a few tenths) but it was disallowed on the grounds that it can’t clear a speed hump.

      Seems a bit of a rum deal to me if a road-legal car with low ground clearance isn’t allowed on the board, but a track-only car is.

      1. Sush Meerkat
        24th June 2009, 9:51

        point out that the Caparo T1 did a similar time (to within a few tenths) but it was disallowed on the grounds that it can’t clear a speed hump.

        And the Harrier Jump Jet did it in 36 seconds, even though it can clear speed humps by a huge ammount it was still dissallowed. I call SHENANIGANS!

  16. In the 2008 Race of Champions, when Schumacher was eliminated he commented that he has never been as good with closed-wheel cars. Certainly his career so far – and ROC appearances – suggest that he’s not making that comment lightly.

    Of course, he’s too talented a driver to not put in a massively fast time in a massively fast car if he knows it well enough.

  17. the stig was named in court documents relating to hammond’s jet-dragster crash, but i won’t be repeating it here. meanwhile, come ooooooon, internet! hurry up!

  18. Oh dear, some people will believe anything

  19. James may finally beat clarkson in a race and captain slow was in the car this time just goes to show the equipment is superior to the driver , which would explain all clarksons road race victories.
    this seems to be the problem that williams is afflicted with .

  20. i think its a one off just for this episode its MS. U can tell the size of his body is different from other stig’s. I think its mostly played by Ben Collins.

    1. Yes i have thought it was Ben a long time ago, especially when he has been used in the show without his white suit a few times.
      And i guessed perry mcarthy before.

      yes yes i’m a bighead lol

  21. This might not have been the stig but it may be the new stig who knows?

  22. I cannot believe how many people are so gullable on this article. It amkes you wonder how they get on with proper subjects seen on here.

  23. The Stig appeared to be in one of the garages at Silverstone, or was it only a Stormtrooper-esque fueling guy? :-)

    1. I think he was probably there as part of the BBC’s coverage. Or maybe Top Gear were doing some sort of tie-in that hasn’t been shown yet.

      As for MS being The Stig – while I would love to think that he is, do you really think they’d have been able to keep that quiet?

      Does kind of throw doubt on how the FXX compares to the other cars though as MS would undoubtedly be quicker it a car he helped develop and probably knows as well as any F1 car he ever drove, than The Stig who would have only had a few laps to familiarise himself with the car.

      My favourite part of the interview though was when Jezza asked him if he found F1 boring this season with 1 driver winning everything – classic!!

    2. He took a 2 seater F1 car around the track a while before the F1 cars did their out lap.

  24. LOOK AT THE CREDITS AT THE END IT SAYS MICHAEL SCHUMACHER ‘SPECIAL GUEST’ AND THE STIG UNKNOWN SO THERE U GO THE STIG IS NOT MICHAEL SCHUMACHER

    1. Mussolini's pet cat
      22nd June 2009, 10:10

      really…….sigh

      1. what he said : )

  25. The Stig is obviously not Michael Schumacher. Probably the only way Top Gear were allowed to get the Ferrari on the track was if Schumacher drove it, remember Bugatti didn’t let The Stig drive the Veyron around the track for ages. With all the speculation around the Stig’s identity they thought they would just pull a stunt, when I read he would remove his helmet I thought it would be someone who was obviously not the real Stig.

    I wondered if the Ferrari would pass the speed bump test to be allowed on the power lap time chart as other cars have smashed the record before but not been allowed on the chart.

    If The Stig isn’t the person who he has been rumoured to be for quite sometime, I doubt he would be any driver who has competed in F1 while the current Stig has been around simply because of scheduling conflicts.

    While Top Gear will use different Stigs for the special features, it would make sense to use the same Stig for the power laps just so you have a meaningful comparison.

    1. Top Gear Fan
      22nd June 2009, 10:59

      The 30th FXX made is black, and it’s the only black one made, and it was made especially for Schumacher, so it’s his car. So he probably wouldn’t let them have it unless he could drive it. As soon as I saw that car, I new Schuey would be in the show somehow.

  26. The stig is taller than schumacher!

  27. Mussolini's pet cat
    22nd June 2009, 10:08

    I heard that the Stig is a guy called Stuart Bilsland!

    1. I heard the name of the guy who plays the Stig is an anagram of One Athletic Link.

      1. Mussolini's pet cat
        22nd June 2009, 21:43

        am i missing something?

    2. stuart bilsland
      21st October 2009, 16:00

      I wish

  28. my mum txt me telling me it was shuey and i knew she was wrong straight away. always nice to see shuey though and it generated alot of interest.

  29. When I saw him standing there at the beginning, I said to my husband straight away ‘That’s not the Stig.’ It was the was he was standing and they way he walked and he had a slimmer frame then the Stig. Michael Schumacher pulling the helmit off just confirmed that to me!!!

    I think it is a ploy to stop everyone talking about Ben Collins.

  30. Jesus Wept.

    Is’nt it obvious how it works? Here try this on for size. Top Gear has a regular “Race Driver”, he will get to do the main driving as “the stig”….However, WHEN a car comes along that is too precious, new, special, then the AutoManufacturer will INSIST on THEIR test driver doing the driving…….And for that they will dress them up as the Stigg….

    Wake up folks…..

  31. It amuses me no end that despite JC clarifying at the end of the show that it was indeed a joke, people are still getting so excited by this.

  32. I missed it unfortunately. Did anyone on the show ask Old Schuey how much he enjoyed falling off motorbikes? :-)

    1. Mussolini's pet cat
      22nd June 2009, 14:54

      No, but JC mentioned his deliberate ramming of Damon in Adelaide ’94…

  33. I won’t get as personal and belittle other contributers on this blog but to those that are still questioning the “stunt” that was played out on TG last night here is a small article that should silence the matter…….but then again there’s always one!!

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/celebs/news/2009/06/22/top-gear-s-the-stig-takes-off-his-mask-to-reveal-michael-schumacher-115875-21461492/

    1. not the mirror again…. NOOOOOO!

  34. Ben Collins is the day to day stig. When they do something special, like the FFX, the put the white suit on whoever – in this case Shumi. When renault F1 rocked up, it was Kovi, when they did the Skidu thing, it was a famous skidu champion. Basically it’s Ben Collins, unless they dont trust him with the kit like the FFX.

    1. Mussolini's pet cat
      22nd June 2009, 18:39

      It wasnt a case of trusting Ben, Ferrari wouldnt let anyone else drive it other the MS

  35. the only reason schumacher is the stig is they will not allow anyone but ms and owners to drive them 1 million pounds each would you ?

  36. The timing of this is interesting. Why now? Is it because people have hit the nail on the head and got Stigs identity correct? I think TG have shot themselves in the foot and accidentally confirmed The Stigs identity. Incidentally, no mention of The Stig in the preview of the second show.

  37. I hope Michael is the Stig, and I hope he’ll swap places with Kimi tomorrow :)

  38. I have a feeling that we will see the real stig in the next episode, but he will do something to show he is angry at TG for replacing him that episode and mystery will be re-newed.
    It is also possible that he someone they found that is really good, but didn’t want to be pro so he took this job instead. It probably is someone we have never heard of.
    Chances are he is from Finland and a former Rally Car or Touring car driver. The Finnish have an abundance of good drivers.
    At first as he was taking off the helmet and i saw the bottom of the face I thought it was Ralf S. but it wasn’t.

  39. It was just a stunt, and looks like it worked out rather well for them! Bet the ratings went through the roof. Having said that I thought Schuey was great – very witty. Nice to see a side of him you don’t often get to witness.

    And no Brian, The Stig won’t be angry that Schuey impersonated him. That would require emotion, and The Stig doesn’t ‘do’ emotion !

  40. NOT THE STIG HIS WHOLE BODY POSTURE IS WRONG ( the stig never walks with his head down, and also walks much slower when on camera) have a good look you will see what i mean

  41. Yeah, he clearly walks differently than the stig on every other episode. I think they had Michael Schumacher invited (and pretended to be the stig) since he probably was driving the Ferrari. He works for ferrari as an advisor and ocasionaly test drives their cars. And since Jeremy said that none of the Fxx ferraris was allowed out of Ferrari’s track i guess they would only lend this Ferrari to top gear with Michael as the driver.
    Great show though!!
    Hope the season rocks!!!

  42. I dont see any reason to why it couldn’t be mike.. All of you that are so certain of that it isn’t mike have no valid proof/opinion of that.. however all of the arguments that were mencioned here could be true or not.
    Why couldn’t it be possible that mike is part of this show as a hobby or something that Is just fun for him..
    /TopGear Rocks!

  43. … and on and on it goes.
    i agree with all who say the stig is not MS. TG needed to create a driver that would be constant and dependable, infact the stig is an enigma that can be anyone, any gender and test drive any vehicle. being the enigma he is,(aside from his “some say ..” peculiarities) he is the best driver in the world. there u have it.

  44. wen the stig was reveld my mum was the person tho his left wering the pink top

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