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. That and his teamate letting him win a race ha ha ha

  2. There is no denying it – 7 world championships is an amazing achievement!!!! One that very possibly will never be beaten. Surely you can’t win so many titles without being the best? One or two maybe …. but seven? !!!
    Yes Schumi wasn’t always the greatest sport but that is part of the competitive nature that makes up a great driver. Senna had the same nature and was just as dirty. Time to stop making a villain out of Schumi.
    As for multiple world champion of absolutely nothing, Sterling Moss’s comments on Michael not having decent competition, lets not forget he raced against the likes of Senna, whom along with Schumi I rate as being the greatest the sport has ever seen. Stew in your bitter jealousy Sterling Moss, Sir of the Second place!

  3. Schumacher will go through easily just on the weight of his stats, but there’s an argument that Alonso clearly had the better of him when the chips were down and things were as equal as they can ever be.

    2006 was the microcosm showdown between those two, before Schumacher stalwarts could point to the effects of his layoff period, or mitigating problems with his Mercedes, and when he still had the Ferrari dream team.

    The FIA intervened as best it could to help the red assault, first by declaring that an inboard, passive damper which never sees airflow and had been ruled legal for a long period, was all-of-a-sudden a “moveable aerodynamic device”, requiring a hurried Renault redesign. This at a critical point in the WDC chase (a la the earlier outlawing of Michelin tyres, the outlawing of Beryllium alloys, the outlawing of brake-steer etc. etc.), and it led to a corresponding slump in form for Renault. Then, by sticking Alonso with a shocking penalty for “blocking”, as he drove his own fastest lap of the weekend in qualifying in Monza, and when no other car got within 100m of his (have there been any other such penalties since? and have cars been closer than 100m to each other in qualifying hot laps since then? they most certainly have!!!). And Alonso still took the WDC, almost solely because Schumacher made 4 serious errors during the year and Alonso made none of any note.

    Final tally:

    Races where points were thrown away through driver error:
    Alonso – 0
    Schumacher 4 (Melbourne, Monaco, Turkey, Hungary)

    Melbourne was an unforced MS DNF, crashing and destroying his car (he blamed the road). Monaco we all know, he should have finished 1st or 2nd and did one of the stupidest things in living memory. Turkey is a race where Alonso was flawless and Schumacher went off at turn 8, costing himself enough time to remove the chance of a Massa-sacrifice win. And in Hungary he collided with Heidfeld after cutting the chicane several times while trying to fend off De La Rosa.

    Mechanical DNFs:
    Alonso – 2 (Engine blow-up in Monza, Wheel in Hungary)
    Schumacher – 1 (Engine in Japan)

    Car problems in qualifying:
    Alonso – 1 (Puncture in Monza)
    Schumacher – 1 (Water pump in Brazil)

    FIA interventions:
    Alonso – 2 (Mass damper rule change mid-season, Monza ‘blocking’ penalty)
    Schumacher – 0
    (Both received penalties in practice in Hungary, which were probably fair enough in both cases and somewhat cancelled each other out)

    I don’t think Alonso has performed as flawlessly since, and his 2010 season was something of a litany of errors (Melbourne turn 1, China jump start, Monaco crash, Silverstone penalty, Turkey mistake in quali, Spa crash), but this was a season when serial risk-taking was a must if you weren’t sitting in a Red Bull, they were just miles quicker. Also, the depth of competition was just higher than any year for a long time and all the WDC eligible drivers made errors.

    As for “Senna was just as dirty”, it’s a meme that will live forever (partly because we keep saying it again and again on message boards, even those among us who weren’t watching at the time) but I for one don’t buy it at all and I never will. All roads lead to Suzuka 1990 on this and I have always said that Suzuka 1990 was a mistake from Senna because (a) 2 wrongs don’t make a right, so the facts that he was reacting to Balestre having effectively stolen his pole position by intervening and putting him on the dirty line, with Prost having fouled him the prior year, are technically immaterial, and (b) the risk was that he would always be remembered by some for that move alone. But to claim that Senna’s act of revenge in Japan is somehow comparable with Schumacher’s taking out Hill after he had already hit the wall and crippled his own car, or his tragic attempt to foul Villeneuve to a DNF in Jerez, or his blocking the track in Monaco, is a joke. Senna never did anything that cynical or dastardly or cheap. You can (and I do) argue that Senna went too far, when he was embroiled in a bitter personal vendetta with two Frenchmen, one of whom could be devious and underhand and the other of whom was a vindictive autocrat, and believed (rightly or wrongly) that he was therefore acting purely in self defense. He should have let Prost go, regardless. But Schumacher’s unprovoked attacks on Hill, JV and the already faster Alonso at Monaco, were attacks on drivers who had done nothing to him other than drive too quickly, and Schumacher enjoyed the assistance of the governing body for years while Senna found its President trying to run him out of the sport forever. There was nothing “comparably dirty” about it.

    1. Senna also drove dangerously in Estoril, 1988. Like Schumacher he was a ruthless racer, who occasionally reverted to underhand tactics on-track to win. If Schumacher is labelled as dirty, Senna has to be too.

      For me, it’s all unimportant and over-emphasised by “fans” who dislike talented drivers. They are legends, and i’ll take them over so-called “gentlemen” like D. Hill or D. Coulthard any day.

      1. Yes, and go to Youtube and re-watch the Estoril 88 and Hungary 2010 blocks, and then tell me that the former doesn’t look unbelievably mild by comparison. Sometimes it’s a question of degrees as well as a question of motives.

        1. In both cases they simply wanted to hold onto their position, by moving across the race track once. And in both cases, they happened to go close to the pitwall with their adversary in doing so.

          Neither was particularly mild.

    2. This little rabbit is good, While this other surprisingly similar rabbit is VERY VERY BAD!

      Sorry dude, That’s all I’m getting.

  4. Ouch, unlucky draw! :P

    Though if it was Lewis instead of Alonso, everyone would be voting for lewis, using the excuse “he is young and has time to beat micheal” XD

  5. This one is fairly straight forward for me.

    No doubt Alonso is massively talented, thats plainly obvious, but it’s very hard to argue against 7 world titles and the umpteen other records Schumacher holds.

    So it’s Schumacher for me.

    Also Keith, I was just wondering how these rounds are being picked, are they drawn at random or how do you do it??

    1. Also Keith, I was just wondering how these rounds are being picked, are they drawn at random or how do you do it?

      Well Spud I don’t think he’s doing it to cheese anyone off… if he wanted to to that he’s have paired Hamilton and Mansell and we haven’t seen Mika yet… so I think It’s going to get even more painful for me…

  6. I dont’t understand the voting. I see 2 reasons:

    1. the CO.UK extension

    2. people think car performance is more important than the drivers’

    1. 1. Keith’s said it before and I’ll say it again, most visitors to this site are from outside the UK.

      2. Schumacher had an overwhelmingly superior car only between 2001 and 2004. How do you account for three other titles and three runner-up finishes? And if you’re talking cars, the 2007 McLaren was better than the 2007 Ferrari.

      1. And even in 2003, he didn;t have much of a car advantage. In 2001, he had an advantage, but not enough that Mclaren and Williams weren’t able to challenge him for individual race wins (their drivers lacked the consistency to put up a proper title challenge).

      2. Noone can deny that car performance counts more than 80 % if one wants to win a race/championship yet some drivers can make a difference in some races due to their sheer brilliance. The recent Singapore Gp is such example where Aslonso was flawless but if someone wants to win a championshiup, fastest car is a must. If not the fastest, it should be fast and reliable.

  7. Looking at the notable team mates it seems Martin Brundle’s reputation has collapsed inside a week! He was a notable team mate of MS in round 1 but not now?

  8. The only drivers that stand a chance of beating Schuey in this wee competition are Senna, Prost, Fangio, Clark & Stewart me thinks…

  9. I hate it when people say “the stats speak for themselves”. If so, this would’t be a competition. Also you would be comparing the cars too.

    I think this is about the best driver but only those who ever became world champion.

    1. I hate it when people say “the stats speak for themselves”. If so, this would’t be a competition.

      But in some of the pair-ups, the stats lean ridiculously heavily in one driver’s favour, that such a comment is worth using.

      And it still would be a competiton- since different drivers will be ahead in different staistics. Fangio and Clark have pretty much the best win and pole ratio of anyone, despite not having anywhere near the most wins or poles overall. Senna has a better pole ratio than Schumacher, but Schumacher has a better win ratio. Someone else might have the most point per finish or available finish but be behind in other areas.

  10. what do stats have to do in a 1 vs 1 comarison ?

    this is Alonso vs Schumacher

    Alonso vs Schumacher is 2-0

    Alonso is much faster anyway…

    a very good reference is Felipe Massa…
    we know that Massa is anytime abywhere 0.3 slower than Alonso

    Schumacher was even slower than Massa in most cases in 2006

    …facts not stats.

    1. Schumacher was even slower than Massa in most cases in 2006

      …facts not stats.

      That is a joke, surely? And yet you accuse others of “living a myth”?

  11. Schumacher – 514, Alonso – 144

    Maybe Alonso really should be worried about Schumacher this year …

  12. Michael Schumacher hands down. Alonso is by far not a contender for the greatest driver but Schumi definitely is.

  13. Jeffrey Powell
    18th January 2011, 19:12

    I find it difficult to be so premature, is the vote not for who ‘WAS’the best?. I am not a great Alonso fan but I think this is a bit unfair , Schumacher should get 100% if the vote is for has….s.

  14. My two most unpopular drivers. Wow, what a choice. :D

  15. I think both drivers deserve to be called champions and it is difficult to say which of them was better.

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