Champion of Champions: Michael Schumacher vs Fernando Alonso

Michael Schumacher vs Fernando Alonso

Champion of ChampionsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Champion of Champions: Michael Schumacher vs Fernando Alonso

“The most dangerous champion for me is always Michael”, said Fernando Alonso last week.

But does Alonso have the measure of the man he beat to the 2006 world championship?

Alonso has acted as Schumacher’s successor more than once in his career. He took the Renault team (previously Benetton) back to championship glory ten years after Schumacher won his last title for them.

Today he is in a similar role at Ferrari, picking up where Kimi R??ikk??nen left off as Schumacher’s successor.

The statistics make it clear how much work Alonso has to do to emulate Schumacher’s success at Ferrari. He doesn’t have the ‘dream team’ of Jean Todt, Ross Brawn and Paolo Martinelli behind him – but time is on his side.

Schumacher, meanwhile, had a troubled comeback season with Mercedes after three years out of the cockpit.

Both these drivers are still racing and adding to their records. But which should go through to the next round of the Champion of Champions?

Vote for which you think was best below and explain who you voted for and why in the comments.

Michael Schumacher Fernando Alonso
Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Istanbul, 2010 Fernando Alonso, Interlagos, Renault, 2004
Titles 1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 2005, 2006
Second in title year/s Damon Hill, Damon Hill, Mika Hakkinen, David Coulthard, Rubens Barrichello, Kimi R??ikk??nen, Rubens Barrichello Kimi R??ikk??nen, Michael Schumacher
Teams Jordan, Benetton, Ferrari, Mercedes Minardi, Renault, McLaren, Ferrari
Notable team mates Nelson Piquet, Eddie Irvine, Rubens Barrichello Giancarlo Fisichella, Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa
Starts 268 158
Wins 91 (33.96%) 26 (16.46%)
Poles 68 (25.37%) 20 (12.66%)
Modern points per start1 14.05 10.58
% car failures2 8.21 10.76
Modern points per finish3 15.30 11.86
Notes Missed several races in 1999 after breaking his leg at Silverstone Debuted for Minardi in 2001 then spent a year testing for Renault before making race return
Retired in 2006 after 11 seasons with Ferrari Back-to-back titles for Renault in 2005 and 2006
Returned with Mercedes in 2010 Formerly the youngest ever world champion
Bio Michael Schumacher Fernando Alonso

1 How many points they scored in their career, adjusted to the 2010 points system, divided by the number of races they started
2 The percentage of races in which they were not classified due to a mechanical failure
3 How many points they scored in their career, adjusted to the 2010 points system, divided by the number of starts in which they did not suffer a race-ending mechanical failure

Round one

Which was the better world champion driver?

  • Michael Schumacher (77%)
  • Fernando Alonso (23%)

Total Voters: 777

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Images ?? Renault/LAT (thumbnail, Alonso), Mercedes (Schumacher)

199 comments on “Michael Schumacher vs Fernando Alonso”

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  1. It’s got to be schumacer, he was no1 for a good decade. You can’t argue with stats. Rosberg did beat him but the layoff most surely was a factor in this. If rosberg bests him this year than I might start to wonder, but like schumi said, he’s not going to be as good as when he was in his 20s

    1. Sorry, mate, but you’ll have to find a new username for yourself.
      I’ve been using ‘Damon’ on this site since Jan2008.

      1. Get yourself a gravatar set up and then we’ll know who is who as it’s linked to the email address.

  2. It is amazing to think that Schumacher was teammates with Nelson Piquet, and Alonso drove with his son.

    Somehow that had never clicked for me before.

    Anyway, my vote goes to Schumacher. He was able to perform at an extremely high level over a very long time period, with limited errors. Maybe Alonso can get closer in the future, but as it is now, Schumacher is streets ahead.

  3. This one is hard to call. Undoubtedly, Schumacher is exceptionally talented and driven,and the same can be said for Alonso. Where things begin to get complicated is when you measure the opposition both were against when they were winning their championships.

    In Schumacher’s case, his wins for Benneton were unbelievably overwhelming, but at the same time shrouded in controversy as there were claims, later verified, that they ran illegal traction control software. The sudden death of Ayrton Senna suddenly thrusted Damon Hill into the championship chase while he was psychologically unprepared for such a role.
    Tne Wiiliams was the only worthy challenger for the title and essentially only one Hill the logical protagonist as there was no stable second driver.
    The other teams, notably Mclaren were fielding new drivers and also were saddled with uncompetitive engines, while Ferrari were still in their limbo years.

    The FIA did try to engineer a title contest, which eventually ended in the walls of the Adelaide Circuit in Schumachers favour.
    Shumachers championship of 95 was more dominant before he left for Ferrari, where he spent the next 3years as Ferrari slowly built up the potential of the car.

    The 98/99 season, saw the Mclaren-Mercedes-Mika, combination, fully developed in potential and confidence and they were the true worthy opposition to Shumacher and Ferrari. By this time the Ferrari were very competitive, Mika won the championship of 98, and a broken leg stopped Schumacher mid season hence he lost the championship.

    By 2000, Mclaren was already somewhat on the decline, but still generally a credible front running team, Williams was also slowing ascending back to their pre 97 capabilities. But in all Ferrari was already enjoying a dominating lead in terms of car performance and all out support for a single driver championship push.

    Mika, haven become disillusioned with F1 at this time was preparing to make his exit, and Mclaren needing an all out racing driver that could take the car beyond the limits of the steady Coulthard, signed on Kimi, who proved to be an early opposition to Schumacher, when the car was reliable, alongside Montoya at Williams, who didn’t hesitate to rub wheels with Schumacher. Despite this, Ferrari still had a leg up on Williams and Mclaren hence their Dominance.
    Alonso’s entry into Renault, suddenly catapulted that team into the league of Williams and Mclaren, although Williams by this time was dropping its anchor. These 3 team opposition to Ferrari, were constantly heaving at the cracks of the Ferrari armour and occasionally stealing wins and positions.

    The equipment superiority Ferrari had enjoyed was no longer the case like wise, the driving talent, was on par or close with Shumacher.

    A few regulations changes did cloud the competitiveness of some teams, but that cannot detract from the fact that Ferrari and Schumacher, suddenly faced a tenacious adversary in a Renault, in the name of Alonso. Though his car lacked the outright speed of the Mclaren, at least in the hands of Kimi, it more that made up for it in the area of reliability. Ferrari were also scoring an own goal with a bewildering car design, combined with tyres of an unknown quantity -Michelin was enjoying a sudden performance upsurge – Alonso thus won his first championship, while reliability essentially robbed Kimi.

    Suddenly Ferrari were exposed and beatable. The quality of the drivers was also increasing.
    Which brings one back to Alonso. While his talent is unquestionable, and he did enjoy a certain level of preference in his Renault stint, he has found himself in a situation were, he has at any given time, more than 5 drivers capable of operating at his level and also with quality machinery.
    As a matter of fact, the quality of drivers is to high that it is sometimes hard to establish when the machinery is deficient. It is this very reason, that has prevented Alonso from enjoying any form of dominance in F1. It is also this same reason that has prevented Shumacher decimating the field as he once used to do.

    Baring any deficient car design by the front running teams, it is unlikely we will see the same level of dominance by a single driver like Schumacher had in his early years. It is possible to have multiple world championships consecutively, but the title fight will always be a close contest.

  4. Have added a summary of how the two drivers did in round one to the text.

  5. Michael Griffin
    17th January 2011, 11:25

    Voted for Schumacher. Alonso is great, but Schumacher is even better.

  6. Keith, you forgot to note that Schumacher’s 1997 points were erased.
    They’re not included in his totals, right?

    1. I’ve re-calculated all the points based on the current point system for the purposes of comparing how the drivers performed. With that in mind, I’ve not taken Schumacher’s 1997 ‘championship disqualification’ into account because it’s not relevant for that purpose. And it’s not as if anyone’s forgotten all about what he did in Jerez, is it?

  7. Gwad this is getting brutal! I can see this coming down to a Fanzio, MSC, Clark, Senna, Prost and Stewart shoot out.

    Dammit man I love Alonso, but…

    1. Hey, does anyone else have a final six? I’d love to see what you think.

      1. I’ve got a final 8, but beyond that it gets too close to call.

      2. My final 8 is the six drivers you’ve picked, plus Lauda and Brabham

        1. 32-16-8-4-2-1

  8. Has to be Schumacher. It is barely a debate. Also Alonso will never match Schumi’s achievements as Schumacher, Brawn and Todt are a dream team which can only be matched if Brawn and Newey decide to join Fernando at Ferrari. Even then it will be a tall order.

  9. It’s Schumacher for me. To rule over F1 (whether on the track or the media) for almost 20 years, 7 championships, 91 wins. Even Alonso said a couple of days ago that Michael is the one he fears the most. It speaks for itself.

  10. Sorry Fernando, ever since Schumacher moved to Benetton in ’92 I supported. You saw the talent from the moment he stepped into an F1 car, and to keep the success going for over a decade is remarkable.

    Greatest driver that has ever lived period.

  11. Schumacher. No one in the modern era even comes close.

  12. Alonso’s not gonna make it to the next round? Oh my…

    1. Yo’re not likely to get through to the next round if you’re pitched against the ‘Champion of Champions’. LOL

      The only way to stop what should be a foregone conclusion, is to pitch Hamilton against Schumacher.

      1. lol, agreed. Poor Shumi wouldn’t stand a chance against these guys & PM.

  13. without looking at the stats, schumacher is better in qualy, better in the wet, and a match for alonso in the dry. They are both very good in race managment, and both won in diferent teams.
    Without a doubt two great drivers, but the kaiser is a top five, while alonso isn’t.

  14. Alonso is the only driver to have beaten Schumacher, over the course of a season, while driving an inferior car. That’s why he gets my vote.

    1. That’s not true. The R26 was better than the F248 at least in the first half of the 2006 season. Just look at Fisichella & Massa’s performances in the first 9 races.

      Fisichella: 1 win, 1x 3rd, 37 points
      Massa: 0 wins, 1x 3rd, 28 points.

      In my book, Massa is the better driver of the two.

      1. Massa fell to pieces in Bahrain although the Ferrari’s had qualifying trouble in Malaysia so couldn’t stop Renault, Schumacher and Massa both messed up at Australia and Felipe was over ten seconds down on Fisi at Silverstone. I’d agree that Massa is/was better than Fisi but given car failures, Massa’s and Fisi’s inconsistencies it’s a bit harder to judge the speed of the car when looking at those two especially as it was Felipe’s first season in a top car.

  15. definitely Schumi, the king !!

  16. hmmm… A massive cheat vs a massive whinger…

    Think I will pass on this one!

  17. Schumacher, by some margin at this point in time. His drives throughout the 90’s were incredible, with some truly legendary races (Spa 1995, Spain 1996, Hungary 1998 etc.) To be able to beat Ayrton Senna in his first full season of Formula One and consistently challenge in second or third best equipment showed his quality.

    Although what he did a Ferrari later (2000-2004) was less popular, it showed he knew how to win outside the 90 minutes a weekend of the race itself, in building a strong team around him and dominating the sport for 5 years.

    The only real marks against him are the lack of quality opposition (No other world champions after Race 3 in 1994) and his weak comeback, but I think that his drives in the face of adversity and his ability to always be challenging at the sharp end and be 100% committed leave him unsurpassed as a true great.

  18. Oh Keith, why do you do this to us…

  19. A big match up between multiple world champions already, I wasn’t expecting something like this until the next round..

    For me Alonso is probably the best all round driver on the grid at the moment, but evaluating both careers on the whole I have to go for Schumacher.

  20. this is easy … its got to be schumi !

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