Champion of Champions: Michael Schumacher vs Jim Clark

Jim Clark vs Michael Schumacher

Champion of ChampionsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Champion of Champions: Michael Schumacher vs Jim Clark

As we head into the first quarter-final match-up the remaining drivers belong to that select few who were widely acknowledged as the best of their day. That is certainly true of Michael Schumacher and Jim Clark.

They spent much of their careers with the same team: Clark never drove for anyone other than Lotus.

Schumacher set a record by starting 180 races for Ferrari, having already won the championship twice with Benetton

In this time both drivers often had the best equipment available to them and little effective opposition from their team mates.

That changed for Clark in 1967 when he was joined by Graham Hill. Clark tended to have the upper hand but their cars were plagued by unreliability that year, and Clark was killed the following season.

Schumacher was beaten by a team mate for the first time in his career last year. Nico Rosberg held sway as Schumacher returned from a three-year break to drive for Mercedes.

By the end of this season Schumacher will have started exactly four times as many races as Clark did. But which of the drivers was the greater world champion?

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

Michael Schumacher Jim Clark
Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Istanbul, 2010 Jim Clark, Indianapolis, 1967
Titles 1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 1963, 1965
Second in title year/s Damon Hill, Damon Hill, Mika Hakkinen, David Coulthard, Rubens Barrichello, Kimi R?â?ńikk?â?Ânen, Rubens Barrichello Graham Hill, Graham Hill
Teams Jordan, Benetton, Ferrari, Mercedes Lotus
Notable team mates Nelson Piquet, Eddie Irvine, Rubens Barrichello Trevor Taylor, Mike Spence, Graham Hill
Starts 268 72
Wins 91 (33.96%) 25 (34.72%)
Poles 68 (25.37%) 33 (45.83%)
Modern points per start1 14.05 11.65
% car failures2 8.21 29.17
Modern points per finish3 15.30 16.45
Notes Missed several races in 1999 after breaking his leg at Silverstone An oil leak in the final race of 1962 cost him his first title
Retired in 2006 after 11 seasons with Ferrari Finished on the podium in every race where his car didn’t break down over the next three seasons
Returned with Mercedes in 2010 Killed in a Formula Two race during the 1968 season having won the first race of the year
Bio Michael Schumacher Jim Clark

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 two

Round one

Which was the better world champion driver?

  • Michael Schumacher (51%)
  • Jim Clark (47%)

Total Voters: 817

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317 comments on “Jim Clark vs Michael Schumacher”

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  1. Schumy – just

    1. I haven’t had the pleasure of watching Clark, but I know he was very good, as demonstrated by his percentage of wins and poles. But for what I know Schumacher is just unbeatable.

      1. I think there is some serious un-justice if Schumacher doesn’t win this. I get the feeling there will lots of impulse voting just togo against Schumi.

        Oh well I voted for the greatest driver ever, period.

        1. Completely agree that it would be UNJUST to vote against MSC… What is not mentioned in this article is that Schumi should have 8 titles and that he narrowly lost out on a few. The modern era driver had to be more than fast, he had to be invaluable to the engineers; Michael was the best ever because he came to Ferrari, who were crappy at the time, and helped develop the car/program into a winner in just a short stint. This man is the definition of competitiveness and has helped F1 become a global power more than any other driver and to slight him because you don’t like him personally or Ferrari for that matter is just sad and pathetic for you. Perhaps one day there will be another Skywalker, but for now it is clearly MSC that is the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of all time).
          p.s. Woulda, coulda shoulda doesn’t count in the real world; this is all speculative thinking and deters the jury from focusing on what actually occurred.

          1. Should have had 8??
            Well he shouldn’t have had teh one where he rammed Hill off the track – so that would be 6.
            And he shouldn’t have had the one where Benneton were cheating in their pitstops and setting drivers on fire… so that’d be 5…
            etc. etc.

          2. daffid – I may be pro barri and con schumi type guy admittadly. Still, if he had gone against Senna.. well I think you know. He’d have 5 at the most.

          3. There are but ifs but and maybe to argue that MSC could have had less than 7, as you say, but similar excuses could be used to say that he deserved more than 7. They’re all useless in the end. Seven is the only number that matters.

          4. @ Daffid – Both incidents you mentioned are related to the same year- hence you are incorrect.

          5. @David A – Absolutely correct, both 1994,which is why I shouldn’t post at 3.31am! :)
            What I was thinking of was that in 1995 Benetton were probably running illegal traction control.

            Anyway I’m not saying the figure 7 doesn’t count, just that it’s silly to say he should have 8.

            And that Schumi can only dream of people as good a driver as Clark, he’s not even ballpark ;p

          6. Actually traction control was 94 as well wasn’t it? Ah forget it, Schumi got 7, that’s what the books say and I still voted for Clark :)

        2. Unjust to vote for Clark? Hardly.

          1. Daffid, he didn’t ram Hill off, he was in from of Hill. If you watch it again, Hill actually hit the middle to back of his car from clearly going across the corner. Youtube it, hopefully it is there.

            his_majesty, don’t you remember he actually went up against Senna and was leading 4 races to his favour and 0 races to Senna’s before the accident.

            However, not unjust to vote for Clark, but really who was the better? Hate or mere dislike aside, who is the better?

          2. nosa schumacher hit the wall, then went fully left with his bent rear wheel, saw damon in the mirror and then went fully right again…..

            damon saw an open door and went for it. he had not seen michael hit the wall. otherwise he would of held back…but the corner was clearly damons.

          3. How was it Damon’s corner when he wasn’t even alongside?

          4. brendan, how do you go round a corner? Not by going straight, surely.


        3. Yeah agreed! Bet there’s plenty voting against Schumacher cause they are haters. When I voted now it was about dead even between the two.
          7 world championships people, c’mon…

          1. Nope, have to disagree there. Clark died while in his prime, and was reckonised by his peers as the greatest driver of a golden era of F1. If your just going on the stats (WDC in your case), yes MSC would take it, but bear in mind that Clark’s win percentage and pole position percentages are higher than MSC despite having a far worse reliability record.

            This is CofC, not “who’s won the most WDC’s”, so my vote went to Clark, and many will agree I think. He was a model world champion, the greatest of a great era, a race winner across multiple disciplines, and a true gent. If anyone embodys what it is to be a World Champion, its Clark.

          2. No, you are voting for Clark because he’s British and that is the only reason its close. Senna is the pound for pound greatest driver, but numbers DO mean something and in this case the heavyweight in this fight is MSC. The real job here is deciding if pound for pound vs. heavyweight champ can compete… my thinking is that while Senna may have been fast, MSC didn’t drive so hard he killed himself and is therefore the superior driver. When someone says, “leave it all on the line” they mean leave the line there as a reference point. Note: Although I do admire MSC I would still vote for Senna just because of his stats/start. The hatred is unbelievable on here towards that guy; I know he’s German, but its been over 70 years get over it.

          3. @SeattleChris. Senna didn’t kill himself. He had a car failure, which pitched his car off the road at a high speed corner (the Tamburello). I wouldn’t use his fatal crash to claim he is inferior.

          4. After re-reading the language of my post it does imply that he is directly better, but I believe the intent I had was that both were pushing the limits and the boundaries are part of knowing the limit. I do not mean to misuse Senna in a mean-spirited manner. Of all the people on the planet I think MSC had the most respect for Senna; that Senna died so early in Michael’s career, to me, means that we never saw the best of Schumacher. MSC had to race Senna’s ghost and not the man himself which is the largest loss the F1 community ever suffered.

      2. For those that haven’t had the pleasure of watching Clark and would like to know more about him – see this documentary called ‘The Quiet Champion’

        As for my vote, I haven’t decided yet. This is a very hard one. Gut feeling is Schumacher personally, but i’m going to read some of the comments and make a decision later.

        1. Schumacher. Seven titles. Easy.

          1. A lot of people think that Clark, had he not been killed, would have won even more than 7 titles

          2. Not sure its quite as easy as that. Certainly though, Schumacher got the chance to prove that he was capable of 7 titles, which clark won’t be able to show.

          3. Clark died prematurely, just look at his statistics on wins and poles and modern points per finish all ahead of Schu.

            This also at a time when drivers was drivers, no thousands of miles of tire development and testing or drivers aids of any sort besides maybe a rev counter. Further a time when drivers drove in many other race categories and there Clark was as skilled and dominant as he was in Formula 1.

            I have to go with Clark. Clark was purely a master behind the wheel.

          4. A lot of people think that Clark, had he not been killed, would have won even more than 7 titles

            But we’ll never know. We can only vote with the facts.

          5. And the facts are that Clark performed better in the races that he drove?

        2. I’ll second that…anyone here who doesn’t know too much about Clark, please watch this film before you vote.

          1. I’ll second that…anyone here who doesn’t know too much about Clark, please watch this film before you vote.

            I clicked the link and thought “there’s no way I am going to sit and watch it for 1 hour”, but it had me hooked. What a guy. My grandfather said he was one of the nicest men he’d ever met.

          2. The BBC films about Hill and Stewart are also very good.

        3. @sw6569

          Thanks for posting this link to the documentary on Jim Clark. After viewing it I feel like I knew the guy and that makes my comments seem foolish. The man was more than just a fast driver, he was a good person with a heart that society usually misses. He was the kind of guy I wish I was and that we all were. Once again, thank you for the link.

      3. Except that once he lost the Ferrari 2s per lap advantage, Alonso beat him.

        Now he’s lost his teammate golden contract, Rosberg is beating him.

        Clark raced against and dominated the best of his era. Had he not been killed at the peak of his career, he would surely have won several more titles. As Stewert often says, Jimmy was way better than everyone.

        Then there’s Schuie’s 7 titles… Had Senna not died, there’s little doubt he would have won the title in the Williams in 94, 95, 96 and 97 making him a 7 time champion and Schuie at best only 5 (although whether Ferrari would have taken him in ’96 is debatable).

        Lots of what ifs, but the fact is that Jim Clark pretty much either won or broke down, and also won in other disciplines such as Indy says it all for me.

        1. this argument about who deserves which titles is interesting.

          Clark lost in 1962 and 1964 due to unreliability. In ’66 and ’67, lotus were still getting their act together (the brabhams were fully sorted from the word go when the engine regs changed). In ’68 it seems likely that he would have dominated. However, this is where it gets tricky. People will say that if Clark had lived then he would have won more titles. But think of it the other way around – if Moss hadn’t retired, then maybe Clark wouldn’t have won his titles in ’63 or ’65.

          Schumacher’s career is far easier to analyse (he maybe could have won the ’99 title with ease).

          I’m surprised Clark isn’t winning this. He’s widely acknowledged by his peers as being a cut above. Schumacher never had a great teammate and resorted to dirty driving on more than one occasion. I would have had clark in my top 2 (with fangio).

          1. Moss wasn’t driving for teams capable of winning the championship, even with him driving their cars. It was his choice- he probably could have driven for any team he liked.

        2. Had Senna not died, there’s little doubt he would have won the title in the Williams in 94, 95, 96 and 97 making him a 7 time champion and Schuie at best only 5 (although whether Ferrari would have taken him in ’96 is debatable).

          There’s no evidence at all that he would have maintained his speed until then, or even defeat Schumacher in the first place.

          1. There’s little evidence the ’94 or ’95 Williams cars were even capable of delivering titles. The title was only so close in ’94 because Schumacher was disqualified once and banned for two races.

      4. Jeffrey Powell
        29th January 2011, 10:56

        In jimmy’s day we only got a chance to see our hero’s racing in the U.K. or the country of our origin except for a tiny minority of the very well off. There was virtually no television coverage, it was even very difficult to get a radio report of a few seconds. I had to wait to buy the Telegraph or Times the next day to find out what was going on. And then wait for thursday to buy the Motoring news for a comprehesive two page report. But I did see Jimmy race in F1,F2 Lotus Cortina’s and Sports Cars on many occasions. This was allways going to be difficult against Schumacher because we’ve all seen him in action but my opinion is that if you put them in the same car (not computer game)it would be only Senna that would have a chance against Clark

    2. Nope.. Jim Clark has better per race stats.

  2. Clark, no problem. Schumacher was incredible, no doubt, but Clark is still, IMO, the greatest driver that ever lived. I just wish he could’ve lived a bit longer.

    1. this could be the final!
      Fangio, Clark, Schumacher. The 3 have dominated the sport as nobody else did. They are like Pele, Jordan, Woods, Ronaldo, Bolt.
      Senna, Prost and Lauda come behind, close. :)

      1. I know, it’s hardly fair putting these two up against each other at this stage, but of Schumacher, Clark, Fangio, Senna, and Prost, one of them is not going to make the semi finals… I voted Schumacher, and apparently broke the tie by doing so as it’s now 105 Schumacher, 104 Clarke. It’ll be interesting to see which of them ekes out the win.

      2. What you say is hardly fair towards Senna and Prost. Because anyone with a brain knows that if they weren’t racing at the same time with one another they would be just as dominant over everyone else as the other three. Senna’s and Prost’s era may be called “double domination”

        1. @ montreal95
          You bring up an excellent point.

          1. And let’s not forget, Prost and Senna had Mansell to deal with too, and he was pretty unlucky, and could easily have won four titles himself. The margin between winning the title has rarely been so fine as it was in the late 80s.

  3. Haven’t voted yet….but really curious how this will turn out, but think I’ll go for Clark

    1. yes, voted clarck…simply seems the better driver to me, just by looking at the points per finish, even with all those amazing years Schumi had with ferrari, Clark is still on top…

      1. 2010 hurt Schumacher’s statistics quite a bit.

        1. Actually I based my vote entirely on Schumacher’s winter 2010-11 performance. Getting sick in a simulator just isn’t the stuff of a champion of champions.

          1. You had me rolling on the floor with that 1. Comment of the year in my books.

  4. I voted for Clark. Don’t know much about him to be honest, but just looking at “Second in title year” sums it up – Schumacher, as great as he is, almost never competed against anyone regarded as one of the best ever drivers.

    1. Schumacher, as great as he is, almost never competed against anyone regarded as one of the best ever drivers.

      How do you rate Mika Hakkinen and Kimi?

      1. I actually rate both of them very highly – but they’re not considered to be in the top 10 all time best drivers, or something like that. On that list you’ll get people like Fangio, Ascari, Brabham, Clark, Stewart, Lauda, Prost, Senna, Schumacher and some more…and it seems like there Schumacher might be the only one on the list that never competed against someone else on the list (apart from his first seasons).

      2. So what I’m saying is that whereas Schumacher drove against some good drivers, like Hakkinen, Raikkonen, Alonso, Villeneuve, Hill, are they really as good as Hill, Brabham, Surtees and others that Clark competed against? And other champions?

        Schumacher is extremely good a driver, but he dominated in the era with little opponents, dominating car and a teammate that wasn’t allowed to beat him.

        1. to be fair to the german, his teammates couldn’t beat him, that’s the truth.
          i mean, schumacher was sometimes a full second faster than some of his team mates, that is unimaginable today.
          and who is to say that hamilton, vettel, alonso & co are really worse than mansell, piquet and prost – not as winners, but as drivers?

          1. you’re bang on there magon4. People seem to look back with rose tinted spectacles. Hamilton, Alonso and co are the very best of the current generation just as senna, prost and mansell were the best the 80/90s generation, and hill, brabham, stewart and clark were the best of another. F1 is different now, Hamilton and Alonso cant travel side by side for 4 corners and swap positions 3 or 4 times in the space of 7 laps- the cars and circuits just dont allow for it. Just because the cars are easier to drive now doesnt mean the drivers must be less capable, they can only deal with what they’re given. I think some people seem to assume that if senna and clark were in f1 today they would be 4 wheel drifting through copse, or spinning out only to return and win the race by 30 seconds. Im not taking anything away from the old greats (stewart’s nurburgring win in the wet is stuff of folklore), nor am i suggesting that Hamilton is better than Senna or Alonso is better than Clark. What im saying is you cannot definitively say they aren’t. All we can judge them on is their performance relative to others racing in the similar eras. F1 is such a different sport now that today is almost incomparable with the 1950s, 60s and 70s. The qualities a driver needed were different. Modern drivers don’t necessarily need courage and bravery, at least not to the same extent as those back then did. But how can we know for sure that the men who dominated back then were actually the most capable at driving. It may have been that they were infinitely braver than everyone else and were willing to push their cars further and faster. Just a thought, im not saying its true- just a stream of consciousness. I await the rose-tinted spectacled…

          2. @magon4…. yes, but schumacher hasn’t won a world championship against Hamilton, vettel, or even alonso in a competitive car. So what is the point of all this? ^^^^^

          3. The point is that he’s beaten plenty of excellent drivers to become the most successful of all time.

        2. Agree with Enigma. There weren’t a lot of incredible drivers between the 94-2005 era, or even a team as strong as Ferrari. Additionally, Clark didn’t have the privilege of a car and tyres being designed around his specific needs, and a number 2 driver who would bend over backwards for him.

          As much as I dislike Schumacher, I cannot deny that he is an incredible competitor. But looking at the stats, Clark does look more impressive in a less reliable car.

          Schumi might have 7 titles.. but Clark gets my vote.. hands down.

        3. If there were drivers at his level, then he would not be who he is… Come on guys, this is the same for all other sports.
          I am not saying he is the best ever, but I just dont get it the argument that he did not have competition.

        4. And look at Clark’s team mates. Trevor Taylor, Mike Spence. Who?

          1. You’re getting rather heated in your arguments, I don’t think its quite as simple as stating Schumacher won 7 titles, or that either driver had better or worse teammates.

            What both drivers did was win – a lot. Clarks record is astounding, and actually better than Schumacher’s as when he finished he almost always won. Very rarely had an off day. Having said that, Schumacher was brilliant, particularly in 2004 as despite having a superior car, he used it to perfection which is a trait that is massively under respected as it makes F1 ‘boring’ (which is incidentally why I think Button’s championship win is so underrated, but thats another point).

            I took a long think about this before voting, but I decided that on stats alone, you cannot vote either way. The documentary I posted earlier may have gone some way to my voting choice, but i’d advise you to watch it too to see why people thought Clark was so great. For me, it came down to sportsmanship and personality. And, Clark won.

          2. Peter Arundell, Mike Spence, and of course Graham Hill were all very good drivers.

          3. And look at Senna’s team mates – Johnny Cecotto and Johnny Dumfries. He was obviously rubbish too.

        5. Schumacher only had a completely dominant car in 2002 and 2004 and won seven tiles. That’s right SEVEN.

          1. Also he built Ferrari up from a midfield team and won as many titles as Clark did in a Benetton against the faster Williams.

          2. Schumacher has won the most titles, we all know that. If the only criteria for comparing drivers is the amount of titles then what is the point of this competition? The whole point is to look beyond the crude statistics and look at the racing talent. In my opinion, Clark had that in adundance (moreso than Schumacher) and it was a tragedy that his career was cut short.

            Also, don’t forget that Clark would have won the 1964 championship as well but for an engine failure on the last lap of the last race.

      3. @ Enigma

        1994, First 2 races Schumacher 2 Senna 0 and then the obvious tragic death at Imola.
        Schmacher raced the best in his early years and won several races. He’s raced Senna, Prost, Mansell, Alonso, Hakkinen, Raikkonen and a few more world champions. How hasn’t he proven himself, The records prove everything!

        1. Senna grabbed pole in both those races and was taken out on the first lap of the second race.

          1. senna lost fair and square to schumacher in interlagos (his home race) with a superior car (you can’t convince me otherwise).
            and i know this is delicate to say but schumacher was racing senna when he died, which means that he was faster then, too.

          2. No it doesn’t necessarily. If Hill could come with one point of Schumacher that year then I have no doubt that Senna would have been capable of clawing back any deficit.

          3. @magon4

            Not trying to say one way or the other, just saying that he was competitive in both. Obviously Senna and Schumacher were very closely matched at that point, with Senna staying right up on him in those races, including at Interlagos where he was gaining after losing first position. In my opinion Senna and Schumacher are among the best of the best and choosing between one of them is very tough. I also voted Schumacher just now.

    2. Or maybe they were, but the fact that they were up against Schumacher just made them appear poorer drivers than they where….

      The idea that there was no ‘real’ competition for nearly a decade just leaves me baffled… the idea that all the top teams only hired mediocre drivers is just daft….

      Anyway I am off to think about this one, because everything I have heard about Clark and the documentaries and bits of race footage I have seen suggest that he is certainly a contender for the greatest driver of all time, 3 seasons of finishing on the podium every time his car didn’t break down is just astounding.

      1. Or maybe they were, but the fact that they were up against Schumacher just made them appear poorer drivers than they where….

        Exactly. The Football League Championship/League 1/League 2 is usually percieved to be closer, and more “competitive” than the Premiership, but does that mean they are better than top and midfield Premiership teams?

        1. Great point. The fact that people say Schumacher had no competitors is laughable. He was just miles better.

      check that video out to learn a lot about him and check out Wikipedia on him. A fantastic guy. Won in almost anything he started or finished on podium (unless there was a car failure or rare crash)

    4. Exactly. My vote is for Clark too, purely because Schumacher didn’t have the same class of opponent and certainly no competition from team mates which devalues his amazing statistics.

      As an aside, if there are 2 words I can’t stand it’s “fanboys” and “haters”, which both seem to litter any Schumacher or Hamilton comments section.

      1. Very well put oweng although the order seems out as hamilton = fanboys & schuf = haters

        1 Fangio 2 Jimmy 3 the rest

    5. Enigma, Schumi raced against Senna,so now Senna was no good in your opinion?

      You talk rubbish.

      Schumi will always be the best unless something supremely special will happen,and that looks unlikely in the short term at least.

  5. “Schumacher was beaten by a team mate for the first time in his career last year.”

    Second, if we count 1999 although we all agree that missing six races made it impossible to surpass Irvine in WDC.

    1. Oh and as the vote goes: Clark. Faced better teammates than Schu in much less reliable and relatively slower car.

      1. Trevor Taylor and Mike Spence. Legends… Never heard of them.

        1. How about Graham Hill? ever heard of him?

        2. Never heard of them? And you call yourself an F1 fan? How disrespectful.

          1. As disrespectful as those who claim Schumacher had no competition.

        3. Graham Hill’s not to be sniffed at. How many of Schumacher’s team-mates have been world champions, let along double world champions?

          Who’s the best team-mate Schumacher’s ever had?

        4. And I know Piquet was a team-mate, but it was right at the start of his career.

          1. At the start of his career,just like Vettel was last year,so now you can right Vettel off also as he is at the start of his career.

            One minute you are saying Schumi was too young then in the next breath you are saying he is too old.

      2. Cyclops_PL says:January 24, 2011 at 12:52pm
        If Hamilton wins it, that would be the ultimate proof of F1 Fanatic’s viewers bias towards that driver.

        3 titles vs 1

        So shouldnt you be voting Schumacher?

        7 titles v 2

  6. I feel schumachers brilliance was excentuated by a very dominant team and weak teammates.


    1. How have his teamates been weak? One of them was a 3x world champion and another is still in the sport after nearly 20 years. :)

      1. Well that three time world champion had…


  7. In the end I voted for Clark.
    Even though Schumi has more WDCs to his name.
    Their win rates and points per finish are almost the same, Clark had the disadvantage of having his car break down a lot more.
    Schumacher is very special, I loved seeing him in his earlier years with Bennetton and dragging that lump of a Ferrari to unlikely victories.
    Then again, Clark won over the only guy who took the triple crown. Stewart still says he was the best and fastest driver he knows, so he was just as special a driver, I gather.

    At this level Schumi’s cheating aura of running into Hill and JV, parking it in Rascasse and almost driving off Barrichello as well as having several questionable FIA desicions helping him/his team getting away with cheating makes me choose Clark over Schumi.

    1. I agree. In terms of driving stature, both are legends and have few people to compare to them. Both deserve to be considered the best of the best.

      But in terms of who was a better champion there’s only one choice.

  8. true, the tire wars robbed us of a straight battle between schumacher and alonso, and senna was arguably already past his best in 93.

    1. 2006 seemed to be quite a straight battle to me. In fact, with a little assistance from the FIA, it actually looked like Schumacher had the upper hand.

      Senna wasn’t really past his best in 94 and 94. If Senna had completed the 94 season, he would have beaten Schumi pretty easily.

      1. *93 and 94

      2. disagree! and actually stats back it up.
        schumacher and senna had similar results in 92 and 93, schumacher even beat senna in points in his first full season, in a lesser car. come on people!

        1. Senna was plagued by failures in the 92 season. I do believe senna would have won the 94 season if he’d have lived

        2. Not really. Senna was the only guy to take the fight to the superior Williams to some extent with his 3 wins. No one else not driving for Williams won more than once. Could’ve been more wins too if not for many failures. Schumacher’s Spa win was a complete fluke, he wasn’t even close to Senna that season. In 1993 Senna took 5 wins in that weak-engined Mclaren, only 2 less than Prost in his superior Williams and 2 more than Hill in the same Williams.Senna was even leading the championship at some point which everyone said was a real stroke of genius against such opposition. Schumacher? One win in Portugal gifted to him by Prost(great race by Schumi though). So, in 1993 they weren’t even on the same planet.
          in the beginning of 1994, Senna’s Williams was faster in qualy but the Benetton was more stable and hence faster in race trim. Nevertheless still Senna was leading all three races, and would’ve walked that championship once Williams sorted their problems. Even Hill almost won that year, but for Schumacher’s cheating.
          That’s by the way one of the reasons it’s Clark hands down for me in this one: All the drivers of the 60’s had utmost respect for Clark. All bar none considered him the best driver, not one had a bad word to say about him. Clark was a great champion and a great gentleman and ambassador of the sport. Whereas Schumacher, well…

          1. Schumacher’s Spa win was a complete fluke, he wasn’t even close to Senna that season.

            How was it a fluke? He beat the superior Williams on that day fair and square. Just face it, Schumacher was 3rd in 1992, Senna 4th.

          2. fact is that the senna x schumacher battle in 94 had the potential to be the most exciting ever. to say schumacher beat hill by one point is to show ignorance of the sport. fia was totally trying to make the 94 season interesting and took way 36 points from schumacher, basically.

          3. to David A: The Spa win would have never happened unless Schumi was stuck behind team-mate Brundle, got on the grass, decided to take a risky strategy that otherwise he would not have adopted. Beat the superior Williams fair and square? give me a break. Schumacher was only 3 in WDC ’cause of Mclaren’s awful reliability. If we go race by race the 1992 season and analyse it you’ll see that what you’ve said is ignorant.

            to magon4: to state only the fact that the FIA took 36 points off Schumacher without mentioning all the other things that happened is either ignorance or deceit.
            Here’a some points to consider:Firstly, you seem to think that Schumacher got all of those 36 points nicked unjustly, but some of those punishments were clear breach of the rules,and that’s even without the accusations of alleged use of TC by Benetton. Secondly, you seem to forget how big is the difference in speed between Senna and Hill, in the first three races of 1994 Hill managed only 4th. 3rd, 3rd in qualy with average gap to Senna of almost 1sec,all this on tracks with small laptimes! Thirdly you can safely assume that Williams’ rate of development would have been considerably greater with Senna, than with Hill, only 2 years in formula 1 at the time. So Todfod’s opinion that Senna would’ve walked it in 1994 has much merit. Unfortunately we would never know.

          4. The problem is, that the defences I see here in favour of Schumacher are based on fact. Things we actually saw. In the 1992 Belgian Grand Prix, Schumacher clearly did beat everyone fair and square. Who cares if he adopted a different strategy? He took that risk and earned the reward.

            The defences here for Senna are based on what could have or should have happened. Wishful thinking, but certainly not fact. He had what was a faster car than the Benetton, that just happened to be a bit more fragile. But he happened to finish 4th, only one point ahead of his teammate.

          5. David A if your idea of beating everyone is to be stuck behind your team-mate(the not so great Brundle),running off the track, having no-choise but to go on the risky strategy , having the weather gods rule in your favour, and then having the superior Williams’ who wouldve catched him easily having technical problems, then I’ve got nothing more to say except read this article and learn:

            Looking at the end of season stats table only was always the wrong method of judging performance. Anyone who saw the season knows the real score.

          6. It’s still unfair to write off his win a fluke. Schumacher had to put in a damn good drive to be able to win. The Williams drivers did not respond quickly to the conditions, and the main reason for them catching Schumacher before technical issues was the superior machinery they had in the first place.

            Ahh, well, at least Schumacher beat his opposition 90 other times, i’d like to see you call them flukes.

          7. The drive was good but it would have got him 3rd place at best. The fact that he won is the very definition of a fluke. And what his other 90 wins have to do with anything? This discussion is about the misleading rubbish magon4 was talking above in his post which I maintain is complete nonsense, and anyone who saw the 1992-93 seasons will agree. But hey. like driver like fanboy, all means accepted to win, even though it’s just a poll that doesn’t really mean anything, right magon4? Schumi would be proud

          8. We’ll have to agree to disagree on it being a fluke. Magon’s statement of “ignorance of the sport” is incorrect IMO, but Hill wasn’t robbed of anything, as so many people suggest. 1994 was to be a fight between Schumacher and Senna. Senna may have ended up on top that year, but it is stretching reality to suggest that he would have won four championships in a row against Michael (as it was suggested).

      3. If Senna had completed the 94 season, he would have beaten Schumi pretty easily.

        Indeed, since Schumacher could only score in 12 races.

        1. And Schumacher would have won another title in 1999 easily if he hadn’t broken his leg.

          1. His drive in Malaysia ’99 was proof of that… he just played with everyone!

    2. I totally agree with you. About the tires and Senna. The same to Prost in 93.
      More, I think Schumacher best years were from 96 to 2003. After that he was not at the top of his game. In 2004 he just had a super car.

      1. Yes but the fact that BAR finished second in the championship tells us that the tires made all the difference in that season

  9. this is not nice.
    jim clark is fantastic and he’ll get tons of votes ALSO because brits don’t really like schumacher.
    but schumacher is pretty unique and probably also a tad better than clark, so come one people, don’t throw schumi out now, that would really discredit this competition!

    1. Well, I’m not British but I still go for Clark. And I’d have to say, don’t throw Jim out, because that would really discredit this competition!

    2. I’m German and I voted for Clark. And this whole “they’re only voting for driver XYZ because he’s British” argument is really starting to get old. There are always going to be people out there who favor a driver because of his nationality, but that doesn’t mean the majority of fans do so.

      1. agreed marucat,
        but i’m afraid that part of this might be decided by who you like better, since the level is so similar.
        and schumacher will definetly lose any popularity contest…

      2. Well said Marucat.

    3. Discredit this competition? A bit like Schumacher discredited F1 with some of his actions? Clark never did anything like this, moreover he wasn’t even a hair’s breadth less good than Schumacher. No British favouritism there(I’m not British btw) just (poetic) justice if Schumi gets kicked out.

    4. You mean like Piquet vs Mansell? :P

  10. Clark was, without doubt, brilliant. And this is not meant to reflect badly on him His driving was immense and he may have won many more WDC’s, but unfortunately, as we know, he was taken before his time.

    However, 7 world championships just cannot be ignored (no matter how dominant or bullet-proof his cars may have been) And I don’t think I’ve ever seen another driver put in so many hot laps when he absolutely had to.

    We knew we’d have tough decisions during the latter stages of this tournament; this is only the first of many!

    My vote goes to Schumacher (just)


  11. I would have to go for Clark, The biggest racing talent that even lived, for me. Maybe only matched by Senna. Schumacher is obviously one of the 4,5 best ever, but Clark and Senna are my personal top 2.

    So Jim Clark it is.

  12. SennaNmbr1 (@)
    25th January 2011, 18:46

    No contest. Clark.

  13. just a clarifier:
    schumacher won his first title with a car as good as the williams, maybe even a tad worse (look at the 2nd driver’s results).
    he helped build ferrari to a competitive team, already in his first and second seasons, and the championships that followed are a consequence of his hard work.
    the title in 2000 was incredible, with him winning the last races to take the title from hakkinen.
    don’t say he had it easy, he worked for every bit of it.
    and senna was fast in qualifying, schumacher drove qualifying laps in races!

  14. I don’t like schumacher, but he is the best ever. So I voted for him.

    1. i feel similarly. i guess i like him a little more than you do. but i would vote schumacher over senna, and i’m brazilian.

  15. My first vote for Mr Schumi from Canada !!

  16. but i do agree that jim clark is a legend and should get to be in the semis… clark, schumi, senna and fangio…

  17. Jim Clark is in my opinion the greatest driver of all time. It’s unfortunate for Schumacher because apart from Clark I only rate Prost and Senna higher than him. Unfortunately with the draw one of them has to go out.

    Clark was an absolute one off, if his car didn’t let him down he nearly always finished on the podium and 25 wins from 70 odd starts is pretty unbelievable. He could drive anything and make it go fast. Having seen footage and documentaries, added to the fact that Stewart and Graham Hill both rated him as the best of that time (and they are both greats too) I feel he is a greater champion than Schumacher.

    To magon 4 and any others, this vote will become very boring very quickly if people who vote for Clark are accused of doing so because he is British and Schumacher is German. If this was done purely by stats then yes Schumacher would win but they do not tell the full story.

    Schumacher was by far the best of his era, but his competition was limited after Senna died and he arrived too late to compete against Prost, Mansell, Piquet etc. Then there is his incredibly questionable racing ethics and morals, which sure I’m most people will agree were simply not on. Three massive incidents in his career, and then Barrichello this season. Therefore I vote Clark.

    1. i agree with you, actually.
      but i do think that schumacher does not get the credit he deserves.
      if you look at schumachers and senna’s careers, you will see that the german is actually the greater driver because he achieved more with less.
      senna had 3 years of lotus, the number 3 car on the grid, but had to move to mclaren to become champion. schumacher started at benetton with the number 4 car and helped make it number 1 by 1995.
      when senna couldn’t win championships for mclaren anymore, he moved to williams.
      schumacher did the opposite and went to a struggling ferrari.
      i know this is not a senna x schumacher contest, i’m just using the example to show that the german has merits beyond driving – career choices and hard work with the team. it might sound strange, but the german is more a team worker than the brazilian.
      clark is fantastic, but the comparisons are strange, generally.

      1. It’s an interesting point you raise. In my opinion Schumacher’s best years were in the period you mentioned, winning his titles with Benetton and then slowly turning Ferrari into a contender again. That ’96 Ferrari was an absolute dog, I remember Irvine barely finishing a race and yet Schumacher won three times in it! In a sense those 5 straight titles were his reward for taking a massive chance and moving to Ferrari. You are probably correct that everyone got so bored of Schumacher winning everything in sight that they forget the massive risk and hard work he had to put in to get to that point.

        I think that Senna was in a sense very fortunate to have other fantastic drivers to compete against in his time, this only adds to his legacy that he went to Mclaren and beat the top man in Alain Prost. They brought out the best in each other.

        Schumacher never had an equal like that, like Clark didn’t and I’m not sure whether in the case of Schumacher if it is because because he was so much better than everyone else or that the competition was not as strong. Stewart, Hill and Brabham were all multiple champions and around in the time of Clark, and yet none of them could touch him when his car didn’t break. Therefore although I agree with what you are saying to some extent I still think Clark is slightly better.

  18. schumacher for me, thou clark is one of the greatest

  19. Both Legends of the Sport, Clark is up there for sure but I voted for Schumacher. Just looking at all the record in Formula 1 Schumacher holds about 70% of them.

    Murray Walker the voice of Formula 1.

  20. Champion of Champions…….hmmmm… to be Schumacher. If I were choosing the best ‘driver’, then it probably wouldn’t be either of them.

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