On January 3 1969, the man who would go on to become the most successful Formula 1 driver of all-time was born in Hurth, Germany.

50 years on, his legacy is still felt by everyone in the sport to this day and will continue to do so for many more years.

Whether you view him in the red of Ferrari, the silver of Mercedes or the Blue of Benetton, whether you see him as the benchmark, the greatest, a cheat or a villain, you can’t escape from the fact he was one of a kind and left a mark no one else has before or since.

Michael Schumacher is still recovering from the injuries he suffered in a skiing accident in December 2013, a cruel reminder that even the great are still human.

While his condition remains unclear and guarded from public life, Schumacher’s ruthlessness, dedicated, passionate persona reminds F1 fans of the memories he left behind.

To celebrate the seven-time world champions 50th birthday, here are some of Schumacher’s greatest rivals and peers remembering him in their own words.