PASSAU, Germany, Dec, 12, 2007— -- And you thought cabbies drove fast.
German taxi driver Tuncer Yilmaz was left speechless when customer Michael Schumacher -- a seven-time Formula One racing champ -- asked to take the wheel because he was running late for a plane.
"He drove at full throttle around the corners and overtook in some unbelievable places, but we made it back to the airfield safe and sound," Yilmaz said. "Michael even gave me a tip which was three times the fare. I was still speechless when I waved them goodbye, he's such a nice guy and they are such a nice family."
Yilmaz became a passenger in his own cab when he picked up Schumacher, his wife and two kids at the Coburg airport in southern Germany and took them to a dog breeder in town for the family to pick up an Australian Shepherd dog. When they got there, Yilmaz was asked to wait so he could later take them back to their small rental plane.
"About an hour later they were ready to travel back with their puppy dog and that was when Schumacher asked me if I would let him drive as they were running a little late," the cabbie told ABC News.
Yilmaz had little choice in the matter.
"Schumacher asked very politely if I would mind to let him behind the wheel and even before I could say anything, I found myself a passenger and 'Schumi' was driving at top speed. It was so exciting; there are no words to explain the feeling," he said.
The cabbie didn't mind his sprint through the fast lane. "It was the best thing that ever happened," Yilmaz said, "It was better than winning the lottery."