Fernando Alonso is clearly the driver most likely to threaten Michael Schumacher’s domination of the Formula One record books over the coming years. Alonso already has a clean sweep of the ‘youngest-ever’ accolades – youngest polesitter, race winner and champion.
But the Spaniard has his work cut out if he is to make inroads into Schumacher’s massive – and still growing – tallies of wins, poles and championships: currently standing at 86, 66 and seven respectively.
What makes it even harder is that Alonso has spent (and will continue to spend) much of the early part of his career up against a multiple champion. Schumacher, most unusually in Formula One history, had no comparable rival from the death of Ayrton Senna (1994) to the rise of Mika Hakkinen (1998).
Schumacher scored his first win at his 18th start (pictured), Alonso at his 30th. 77 races into his career Alonso has 12 wins, 12 poles and one World Championship. At the same point in Schumacher’s career (following the 1996 Canadian Grand Prix – 10 years ago almost to the day) he had two titles, 20 wins and the same number of pole positions as Alonso.