Bernd Schneider

Born:
20th July 1964 (Age 55)
St Ingbert, Saarland
Nationality:
German
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

There is no starker contrast between Formula 1 failure and success as a professional racing driver than Bernd Schneider. He graduated to Grand Prix racing as the reigning German Formula 3 Champion but two seasons with Zakspeed can hardly have been more disastrous. However, Schneider then enjoyed an outstanding career with Mercedes-Benz. 1997 FIA GT Champion, he is the most successful driver in
DTM history.

Early racing career

Named after Bernd Rosemeyer, he won the 1980 Junior World Karting Championship at Le Creusot. He made his car racing debut in Formula Ford 1600 in 1984 and graduated to German F3 two years later – his Kees van der Grint-run Reynard-Volkswagen winning at Zolder and third in the standings. Schneider joined Horst Schübel’s outfit for 1987 and he dominated the championship – winning seven of the nine rounds.

Formula 1 with Zakspeed and Arrows

That success suggested a new star in the making. He signed for Erich Zakowski’s small team as Piercarlo Ghinzani’s 1988 team-mate. However, the youngster struggled to qualify the turbocharged Zakspeed 881 and Schneider only started six races with 12th in Germany his only finish.

If that was bad then 1989 was even worse. With 38 cars entered from the first GP, a special one-hour pre-qualifying session was organised for the Friday morning and both Zakspeeds regularly failed to make it through. The team used Yamaha V8 engines for the first time and the package was off the pace. Schneider only started the Brazilian and Japanese GPs when he retired on both occasions. Victory in that year’s Spa 24 Hours driving a TWR Ford Sierra RS500 was scant consolation.

Sports cars and the DTM

Without a regular ride for 1990, he drove an Arrows A11-Ford in a couple of GPs that year. He finished 12th in the United States GP and was a DNQ once again in Spain. That was his final F1 opportunity but Schneider found refuge in sports car racing with a Kremer Brothers Porsche 962-CK6. He finished fourth in the World Sportscar Championship race at Montréal and won the Interserie title that year and the next having switched to Joest Racing in 1991. IMSA was the focus that year but Schneider also finished third in México City’s world championship race.

In addition to his endurance commitments, Schneider’s record-breaking success in the DTM began with a 1991 return to Zakspeed. That was the start of an association with Mercedes-Benz that lasted for the rest of his career. He was third in the championship in 1992 and 1993 after switching to the works AMG squad. His first title-winning campaign followed in 1995 when he won both the DTM and inaugural International Touring Car Championship for the marque.

He was ITCC runner-up in 1996 before the series was suspended at the end of the year. AMG Mercedes entered the FIA GT Championship instead, with Schneider winning the title in 1997 and finishing runner-up behind team-mates Klaus Ludwig and Ricardo Zonta a year later.

AMG returned to the DTM in 2000 and Schneider maintained his reputation as the fastest Mercedes driver. He won the title another four times in seven seasons and remained a race winner every year before retiring at the end of 2008.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
2014 Blancpain Endurance Series 14th 30
2013 Blancpain Endurance Series
HTP Motorsport
2 0 2 2 2nd 71
2008 Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft
AMG Mercedes
11 1 2 1
10% win rate
6th 34
2007 Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft
AMG Mercedes
10 0 2 1
10% win rate
6th 31.5
2006 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters 1st -
2006 Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft
AMG Mercedes
10 0 7 2
20% win rate
1st 71
2005 Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft
AMG Mercedes
11 1 3 1
10% win rate
4th 32
2004 Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft
AMG Mercedes
10 0 4 1
10% win rate
6th 36
2003 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters 1st -
2003 Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft
AMG Mercedes
10 4 7 2
20% win rate
1st 68
2002 Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft
HWA AMG
10 0 8 2
20% win rate
2nd 64
2001 Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft
AMG Mercedes
10 3 9 3
30% win rate
1st 161
2001 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters 1st -
2000 Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft
AMG Mercedes
16 (2) 6 12 6
38% win rate
1st 221
2000 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters 1st -
1998 FIA GT Championship
AMG Mercedes
5 3 5 5 3rd 69
1997 FIA GT Championship
AMG Mercedes
6 2 6 6 1st 72
1996 International Touring Car Series
AMG Mercedes
26 2 9 4
16% win rate
2nd 205
1995 International Touring Car Series
AMG Mercedes
10 6 8 6
60% win rate
1st 155
1995 Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft
AMG Mercedes
14 5 6 5
36% win rate
1st 138
1994 Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft
AMG Mercedes
22 6 7 2
10% win rate
10th 86
1993 Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft
AMG Mercedes
22 4 9 3
14% win rate
3rd 172
1992 Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft
AMG Mercedes
24 2 8 4
17% win rate
3rd 191
1991 Interserie 1st -
1991 Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft
Zakspeed Racing
7 0 1 0
0% win rate
15th 26
1991 World Sportscar Championship
Joest Racing
2 0 1 0 24th 12
1990 F1 World Championship
Footwork Arrows Racing
1 (1) 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1990 World Sports-Prototype Championship
Porsche Kremer Racing
8 0 0 0 25th 3.5
1990 Interserie 1st -
1989 F1 World Championship
West Zakspeed Racing
2 (14) 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1989 Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft
Eggenberger Motorsport
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
48th 1
1988 F1 World Championship
West Zakspeed Racing
6 (10) 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1988 Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft
Grab Motorsport
2 0 0 0
0% win rate
38th 9
1987 World Touring Car Championship
Eggenberger Motorsport
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
43rd 16
1987 Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft
Grab Motorsport
7 1 1 0
0% win rate
15th 56
1987 European F3 Cup
Schubel Rennsport
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1987 German F3 Championship 1st -
1986 Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft
Grab Motorsport
2 0 0 0
0% win rate
29th 13
1986 European F3 Cup
Kees van der Grint
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0