The Stig unmasked as Schumacher

The Stig unmasked as Schumacher

The Stig has at last been unmasked - as seven-times Formula One champion Michael Schumacher.

Before a packed studio audience at the start of top BBC motoring show Top Gear`s new series, the mystery test driver finally revealed himself.

It is he who pilots supercars around the show`s test track in Dunsfold Park, Surrey, and trains the celebrity guests for their Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car lap.

Some say that the Stig was not one person, and that the famous white overalls and helmet has been shared by several drivers.

In fact, presenter Jeremy Clarkson at first jokingly pretended not to recognise Schumacher, and asked him what his name was before he became famous as the Stig.

His identity has - supposedly - been a closely-guarded secret, and rumours have been exploited to add to the allure surrounding the character who never speaks.

In fact, former F1 driver Perry McCarthy was Top Gear's original Stig, who dressed all in black during the first two series and was replaced after revealing his identity.

Copyright © Press Association 2009