Schumacher was at the peak of his powers in 2001, taking his fourth F1 world drivers’ title – his second with Ferrari.
A 16-year-old Lewis Hamilton was currently racing in karting during this time, racing alongside childhood friend and future F1 teammate, Nico Rosberg.
The three drivers – all of whom would write their names in the F1 history books as world champions – took to the German karting track of Kerpen in the World Championship Karting final.
Both Hamilton and Rosberg were set to make the move up the junior ladder to cars for the following year, so it was a last chance opportunity to impress, particularly as Schumacher was also competing.
Schumacher topped the practice sessions but could only manage 22nd in qualifying, losing out in the wet conditions.
The German was put in the same race as Hamilton in the afternoon, with the British driver finishing second behind Vitantonio Luizzi – who would also make it into F1 in the following years.
Schumacher recovered from 22nd to finish eight, 9.5s behind the Italian.
Fast forward to the second heat, Schumacher qualified 16th, while Hamilton only managed 26th.
The Ferrari driver then showed his class in the finals, moving up to third from 16th on the grid, but his hard work was undone by an uncharacteristic mistake, spinning on lap 15 which dropped him down the order.
Hamilton fared better, finishing seventh after starting down in 26th.
The action didn’t stop there as during the final race, Schumacher, Rosberg and Hamilton all enjoyed strong finishes.
Schumacher ran fourth ahead of Rosberg in sixth, and Hamilton in ninth.
The trio benefitted from an incident between the two leaders, allowing Schumacher to be promoted to second – once Maro Ardigo was disqualified.
Schumacher was ultimately classified second, with Rosberg third and Hamilton seventh.
After the event had come to a close, Hamilton admitted he was disappointed not to have battled Schumacher.
“I never really had a chance to get near Schumacher, which was a shame because I’d have like to have beaten him around a few corners,” Hamilton said.
“I could see him in the distance in the second race, but to be fair it didn’t really make much of a difference to me.”
While the pair didn’t have too many encounters on track, Hamilton’s performances that day did catch the attention of Schumacher.
“He’s a quality driver, very strong and only 16,” Schumacher explained. “If he keeps this up I’m sure he will reach F1. It’s something special to see a kid of his age out on the circuit. He’s clearly got the right racing mentality.”