Ralf Schumacher wanted to invest £700,000 into sex shops but had to stop plans

The wacky world of Formula One often throws up plenty of stories and one of the weirdest involved Ralf Schumacher, the brother of seven-time champion Michael Schumacher and a successful racer in his own right.

Back in 2005, having just joined Toyota, Schumacher had plans for his life off the grid with a significant investment into a new business venture – which isn't anything new for F1 drivers, who often have things on the side.

Lewis Hamilton, for example, has his fashion and music, while Lando Norris has an eSports team – but neither quite compares to what Schumacher wanted to do with his hard-earned cash.

He planned to invest £700,000 to set up eight sex shops in Slovenia, of all places, with Beate Uhse the benefactors – a company which sold more than 10,000 products ranging from sex toys to lingerie and erotic movies.

"For me, it's just like any other investment. I've entered as a silent partner," he said to German newspaper Bild about his plans. However, they proved to be short-lived as the German racer immediately found himself as the brunt of the jokes.

Rude jokes on German TV damaged his reputation, with a comedian distributing t-shirts poking fun at Schumacher and his wife, Cora, with tops that read 'Hard Cora' and 'Porn Rally'.

"The whole thing has unfortunately been turned into a campaign and being a role model is more important to me than any investment," Schumacher said after his plans fell to the wayside.

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Fortunately, Schumacher would find better fortune on the track the following season, his first with Toyota, as he came in sixth in the Driver's Championship – with Fernando Alonso and Renault triumphant, ending the dominance of Ralf's brother Michael.

It was the beginning of the end though, as internal pressure in the subsequent seasons in 2006 and 2007 resulted in Schumacher leaving Formula One – with his racing career continuing in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters from 2008 before he retired altogether in 2012.

Nowadays, Schumacher is a Formula One commentator for Sky in Germany but hasn't reignited his passion for sex toys since, as far as everyone is aware.

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