Michael Schumacher vs Alain Prost

Champion of Champions

Champion of Champions: Michael Schumacher vs Alain Prost

Michael Schumacher and Alain Prost won more races than anyone else. That’s 142 Grand Prix victories between the two of them.

Of the 839 races that have counted towards the world championship since 1950, one in six were won by one of these two drivers.

While even Prost falls well short of Schumacher’s record total wins, it will be remembered that he drove alongside world championship-winning team mates in five season. Schumacher did so in just five races.

Similarly Schumacher’s tally of titles seven out-strips Alain Prost’s four, but it bears remembering how close Prost came to three more: two points away in 1983, half a point in 1984, and in 1988 he amassed more points than champion Ayrton Senna, but had to discard more under the ‘best 11 results count’ rule.

But it would be wrong to overlook that Schumacher was championship runner-up in 1998 and 2006 (and in 1997, prior to his disqualification).

The pair are almost unequalled in having spent over a decade at the sharp end of Formula 1, challenging for wins and championships.

But that success was sometimes accompanied by controversy: Prost’s collision with Senna in 1989 which sealed his third championship had much in common with Schumacher’s notorious collision with Damon Hill just five years later (and with Jacques Villeneuve three years after that).

Their careers overlapped for little more than a season. Their most interesting encounter came in the 1993 Portuguese Grand Prix, where Schumacher’s tenacity on old tyres allowed him to snatch his second F1 victory. Prost settled for second place behind the Benetton, enough to secure his fourth and final world championship.

It’s down to you to pick which of these drivers belongs in the Champion of Champions final.

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

Michael Schumacher Alain Prost
Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, Bahrain, 2006 Alain Prost, Williams, 1993
Titles 1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 1985, 1986, 1989, 1993
Second in title year/s Damon Hill, Damon Hill, Mika Hakkinen, David Coulthard, Rubens Barrichello, Kimi R??ikk??nen, Rubens Barrichello Michele Alboreto, Nigel Mansell, Ayrton Senna, Ayrton Senna
Teams Jordan, Benetton, Ferrari, Mercedes McLaren, Renault, Ferrari, Williams
Notable team mates Nelson Piquet, Eddie Irvine, Rubens Barrichello Niki Lauda, Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell
Starts 268 199
Wins 91 (33.96%) 51 (25.63%)
Poles 68 (25.37%) 33 (16.58%)
Modern points per start1 14.05 12.48
% car failures2 8.21 16.58
Modern points per finish3 15.30 14.96
Notes Missed several races in 1999 after breaking his leg at Silverstone Lost ’83 title by two points and ’84 title by half a point
Retired in 2006 after 11 seasons with Ferrari Controversial clash with Senna sealed third title
Returned with Mercedes in 2010 Returned from sabbatical to clinch fourth title with Williams
Bio Michael Schumacher Alain Prost

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 three

Round two

Round one

[poll id="231"]

This poll remains open until February 4th.

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Read the F1 Fanatic Champion of Champions introduction for more information and remember to check back tomorrow for the next round.

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Images ?? Ferrari spa (Schumacher), Williams/Sutton (Prost)

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194 comments on Michael Schumacher vs Alain Prost

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  1. Dan Newton said on 29th January 2011, 22:40

    Looks like I (might just) have first post. And I have no idea who to choose. Ok I know, I’m sacked!

  2. mename2332 (@mename2332) said on 29th January 2011, 22:51

    the professor – the name says it all

    • Agree.

      Prost has more than double the number of car failuers. He nearly has more WDC’s than Schumacher (lost by half a point, lost by 2 points just rediculos stuff given how much the cars broke down and thathe managed 4 titles.

      ALso, Schumacher won lamost all of his titles with no competition. in 94 his car wasn’t exactly legal. At Ferrari he had the best of everything including tyres made for him and a team that would happily destroy a teammates confidence to guarentee him another WDC.

      Prost’s closest competition was usually from Senna. Ayrton Senna, the man, the legend. Infact out of the time they were together as teammates it was Senna 1, Prost 1, and Prost with more points by Senna due to the 11 races rule 1. Very even yet if it was Senna vs SChumacher I doubt there would be much contest.

      Prost easily.

      • stylin said on 29th March 2011, 20:05

        Yes if it was Senna vs Schumacher we all know that Schumacher would crush him… hmm poor choice of words… we all know that Schumacher would bury.. hmm… we all know that Schumacher would pawn Senna

        Schumacher wasn’t half as a dangerous driver than Senna yet Schumacher gets all the flack for his “iffy” encounters and Senna gets praised for it.

        Let’s be honest if Senna hadn’t passed away on the track the love for him wouldn’t be so imposing

    • I go for Schumacher. He made a Ferrari real top team and he got balls like Senna.

      Prost was like modern type of racers. I just want to remind you Australian GP in 1989. Prost was one of those who did not want to race, Senna stayed in the car.

      It’ was pretty much similar situation like 2010 GP Korea, when Hamilton really grows into my eyes.

      • he had no need to race in australia, if senna had broke his leg then who would of looked stupid, and thats what prost was all about only going as far as u need.

        nothing like korea when u had people fighting for the title. i massively respected lewis for korea but if he was leading title by 20points his attitude with understandably be different.

        ferrari were already a top team, as great as schu was at pushing them in the right direction. Prost nearly won the title with them in his first season! and fernando has done exactly the same thing.

        i cant pick a winner here. both amazing. id probably edge for prost but only just

        • I don’t want to think “what if”. One thing we both know for sure…

          “if it´s dry, wet, or snow on the track, someone will be faster and someone slowler, but is the same track for all, let´s race”
          Gilles Villeneuve.

          For me this type of thinking is substantial.

        • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 30th January 2011, 18:20

          I have to take issue with that. Ferrari were virtual nobodies by 1995. Alonso has Schumacher to thank more than any other individual person for being able to jump into a competitive Ferrari.

      • Roberto said on 30th January 2011, 13:47

        In Australia 89, Prost considered too dangerous to drive under those conditions, and the drivers came to an agreement of going into the pits after the first lap. (Similar to Lauda in Japan 76). Prost was the only one who had the courage to do that, even though he was leading the championship. Senna,s “bravery” of racing resulted in his crashing into Brundle’s rear, which could have ended badly.

        I vote for Prost, for many reasons including beating 5 world champions as teammates, taking the title in a very inferior car (1986), for his smoothness and consistency.

        But i’d just like to say it’s ridiculous when people say that Schumacher only won because he had the best car, or no competitions.

        Schumacher only had a dominant car in 2 years of his career (2002 and 2004). Or else why did Barrichelo failed to finish 2nd in any year other than 2002 and 2004???

        As for competition, we only say it was weak because they failed to beat Schumacher!! I mean, Hill could’ve won 2 WDC, Hakkinen 4, Raikkonen 2…and then we would rate them much higher. The problem with them was not lack of talent it was Schummy!

        It’s also worth remembering that Senna said he found very difficult to beat Schumacher in 1991!! And then Schumacher beat Senna in his first full season, 1992.

        As for team orders, well just remember Berger in Suzuka 91, being forced to let Senna through, and then when the title was secure after Mansell spun off, Senna gave back the lead to Berger.

        Which reminds me that Prost was never the first driver in any season, except perhaps 1993.

  3. SovietWookie (@sovietwookie) said on 29th January 2011, 22:51

    oh god, this is so difficult.

    to me, the best champion has to be a great ambassador for the sport, which means being a good guy off the track as well as on track.

    On track, Schumacher does, hands down (statistically) beat Prost, but i think that prost had a lot tougher competition: Senna, Mansell, Piquet and Lauda. Schumacher had tough competition, but none the quality of Senna or the others, therefore I think that on track Prost is more deserving.

    Off track, from what I have seen Alain Prost was a great guy – warm, welcoming and friendly. Schumacher, less so.

    So for me, although they are both brilliant champions, Prost gets the edge on Schumacher.

    • RIISE (@riise) said on 29th January 2011, 23:12

      A lot tougher competition?

      Hakkinen, Alonso, Raikkonen, Coulthard, Montoya, Hill, Berger…it goes on.

      Schumacher beat all on-comers, including Senna (As an inexperienced F1 driver) so I wouldn’t say “A lot” tougher competition.

      • SovietWookie (@sovietwookie) said on 29th January 2011, 23:17

        true, i get your point, but you know fully what i meant :P

        • TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 30th January 2011, 0:13

          Schumacher’s competition seemed useless because he was so good. Didn’t Prost get beaten by Hill a few times in 1993 anyway.

          • Michael said on 30th January 2011, 0:18

            Didn’t Schumacher get beaten a few times by Massa in 06? And he got mullered by Rosberg in 2010.

            Prost was the only driver truly capable of humiliating Ayrton Senna. That gets him my vote any day.

          • Brownsugar42 (@brownsugar42) said on 30th January 2011, 2:19

            Schumachers competition seemed useless, because the Ferrari cars were so dominant, and he never had to race his teammates. McLaren and Williams, sucked…speed/reliability, during the time of Michael’s dominance. And he definitely didn’t drive against the best either. Most of the champs in Schumachers era, were out in the first round. Villeneuve, Hill…only Hakkinnen can be considered a true championship rival for Michael, and other than the 98/99 season, he rarely had a competitive car.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 30th January 2011, 2:58

            Mclaren and Williams didn’t “suck”, especially in 2003 when the Williams was considered the best overall package. In 2001 both teams had cars capable of challenging Schumacher on a regular basis, but Schumacher was too fast and consistent, making it look easy.

            All any competitor can do is beat what is put in front of them, and as a result I agree mostly with TommyB on this one- Schumacher was good enough to make his opposition in those years look poor.

      • SeattleChris (@seattlechris) said on 30th January 2011, 2:42

        The UK tabloid called The Times states the top 20 drivers of all-time (in their opinion) and for the most part the list is pretty good… It always gets tough when we debate BEST driver ever when many are from different decades and technology changed so much. What I want to bring up is one of the more common disses on MSC; that he never had the competition that some of these other guys had -REALLY? I mean REALLY? He raced and beat 25% of the Top 20 of ALL-TIME. PERIOD. 1/4 of the greatest ever. The cars may be a big part of it, but they also failed less in his day than in previous days and were likely closer in relative performance as well. Re-watch races where this guy had to put in the best laps before pit-ins, “hey Michael, we need 4 perfect laps so you can pit out ahead of (insert top level driver).” Michael, “Okay, Its what I do.”

        • paulguitar (@paulguitar) said on 30th January 2011, 10:47

          I think the Times might be a little unhappy to be called a ‘tabloid’

          • SeattleChris (@seattlechris) said on 31st January 2011, 1:21

            I’m not knocking The Times as a paper specifically, but, with few exceptions, most papers these days are just tabloids; in fairness they have to be to compete with the sh!7e on the tele! Don’t be so edgy mate!

  4. Dan Newton said on 29th January 2011, 22:53

    A German and a Frenchman. What bias can an Englishman be accused to be applying I wonder. Depends what century you’re from I guess…lol

  5. Juan Pablo Heidfeld (@juan-pablo-heidfeld-1) said on 29th January 2011, 22:56

    Went for Prost

  6. HSVLVR (@hsvlvr) said on 29th January 2011, 22:56

    Wow 12 votes a piece… :O

  7. Pedal to the Vettel (@pedal-to-the-vettel) said on 29th January 2011, 23:00

    Alain Prost for me, by “a nose”, just look at the drivers he had to go up against in his day compared to Schumi. To get 4 WDC and 4x 2nd’s out of that era is impressive none the less. And when your going up against the likes of multiple world champion winners like Lauda, Piquet and Senna, surely makes him stand out more then Schumi.

    If you swapped their careers, both would of accomplished the same I reckon.

    • Pedal to the Vettel (@pedal-to-the-vettel) said on 30th January 2011, 0:11

      Looks like this poll will be closer than Schumacher vs Clark, right down to the wire.

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 30th January 2011, 2:25

      And when your going up against the likes of multiple world champion winners like Lauda, Piquet and Senna, surely makes him stand out more then Schumi.

      If Schumacher hadn’t been as dominant as he was, a few of his rival one-time champions would likely have been multiple champions as well and probably would’ve been rated higher. To my mind your argument just highlights Schumacher’s dominance in his prime.

    • SeattleChris (@seattlechris) said on 30th January 2011, 2:48

      Top 25% all defeated by MSC, but yeah, you’re right- he had no competition!
      BTW, although Nico was a really nice guy when I met him and I hope he does win a championship, I gotta think that your name alone tells me you’re a dreamer. Senna was the better of Prose and MSC doesn’t take 2nd fiddle to someone other decades 2nd fiddle. Much love to all these guys however fierce the debate goes

      • Pedal to the Vettel (@pedal-to-the-vettel) said on 30th January 2011, 14:01

        Hay… if Nico gets a title contending car for the first time he will be up there with the other big boys, you can quote me on that if you like lol.

        Your name alone tells me your from…Chicago? Am I right?

        • Roberto said on 30th January 2011, 15:43

          Nico is nice, i also hope he’s gonna win some races, but he’s clearley no champion. If you stop and think, all of the great champions impressed a lot as rookies, got victories by their 2 season in average or bad cars… None of that aplies to Nico.

          Well, he might be a champion like his father, who had never won a race before, in a year where 5 drivers took more wins than he did, and 5 other took the same number as he (1)

          • Pedal to the Vettel (@pedal-to-the-vettel) said on 30th January 2011, 17:48

            Tell that to Mika Hakkinen, took him 7 years to get his first win in F1 and he went off to win 2 world titles when he finally got the title contendeing car.

            Jaques Villeneuve had the same start to his career like Lewis Hamilton getting 2nd in his rookie season then winning the world title next year, yet he never won again. So i don’t think previous results are 100% bonafide accurate to the future ahead. Drivers do get better over the years and are allowed to surpase a better driver if they put the effort in.

            Yer maybe nothing is special about Nico since he drove for a team which was a shell of it’s former self, unable to break into the top 4 in constructors and having to beg for money to keep the team running.

            I believe we have yet to see Nico’s ability since he hasn’t even had the chance to show it yet and 2011 will make or brake his future “if” Mercedes create a great car for him.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 30th January 2011, 18:36

            If you stop and think, all of the great champions impressed a lot as rookies

            Rosberg got fastest lap in his very first race and qualified third in his second race.

          • Roberto said on 30th January 2011, 23:14

            Well, Barrichello got a pole in his rookie season, and he’s not one of the greats. That’s the kind of results some good drivers get, but the really great ones always show who they are at the beginning.

            I’m talking about really impressing results, like Senna in Monaco 84 or Schumacher beating Senna in his first full season.

            Hakkinen is a great driver, but one of the all time greats

        • SeattleChris (@seattlechris) said on 31st January 2011, 1:23

          @Nico to win,
          Actually I just moved to Portland, OR so I’m not a Seattleite anymore… now, Ich bin ein Portlander LOL

          • Pedal to the Vettel (@pedal-to-the-vettel) said on 31st January 2011, 21:34

            Well I didn’t do history about JFK so I gather what I read on the great wise net that’s a twist from his speech about the Berlin wall. I would take my hat off to you if I had one but it’s not that cold in good old England at the moment etc, so I hope you understand the situation.

  8. RIISE (@riise) said on 29th January 2011, 23:04

    Schumacher, this in my eyes should be the final. I’m bored of explaining why Schumacher and Prost are the best drivers ever so i’ll give it a miss.

    • mfDB (@mfdb) said on 30th January 2011, 3:51

      yea, i agree. this is merely my (our) opinion, but to me these are the two best hands down and i can’t decide which one…the both changed the way I look at F1 (as Senna did as well)…

      hhhmmmm, I have to go with the Professor because I think he had more of a challenge than Mike. Mike was brilliant and so dominant, but I don’t think he fought quite as hard as Prost for his titles….at least the last 5 of them

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 30th January 2011, 10:42

      I went for Michael. He has records practically in every field, and this is eloquent.

  9. TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 29th January 2011, 23:07

    Schumacher. No question about it for me.

  10. Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 29th January 2011, 23:08

    Nico has a good point, had their times in the sport been swapped I agree that they would have been about the same. This makes it really hard to judge. Yes Prost had tougher competition, but I feel Schumacher’s competition gets underrated in this respect. Yes Prost had Senna-41 wins, Mansell-31 wins, Piquet-20 something, but Schumacher had hill- 20, Hakkinen-20, Raikkonen and Alonso who each had nearly 20 during his first tenure in, and now he has the likes of Hamilton and Vettel to deal with.

  11. We Want Turbos (@we-want-turbos) said on 29th January 2011, 23:09

    Prost but only on the basis that he had to beat some amazing drivers to win titles. Whereas I feel Schmacher wasn’t pushed the same(for as long)

  12. Hare (@hare) said on 29th January 2011, 23:10

    This is probably the fairest comparison I’ve seen on CofC, they’re alike in their technical minds, and shrewd driving nous.

    The task is to win championships, and Schumacher did that. He ticked the boxes, and succeeded in ways no other driver has ever done. He pushed his team along side Brawn as a company, focused, making any and all sacrifices to serve the necessary aim.

    But, for myself, I grew tired of watching one team, throw endless amounts of money, and have a ‘spare’ driver handing points over, or taking them off the other teams whichever was called for at the time. I felt cheated of seeing raw talent on the track.

    The cars were phenomenal year after year, and Schumacher was tuned in to his car more and more. Pulling out performances, that as a non-Ferrari fan, made me sick to watch. He was, and arguably still is, a special driver.

    Both Prost and Schumacher tested their cars endlessly, pushing themselves fine tuning the setup, the feedback, increasing their own fitness, obsessing over detail.

    Prost however, didn’t shirk facing tough team mates, probably because no team at the time was willing to risk all for one driver. If he had the opportunity Schumacher had, I’m sure he would have taken it. It would have appealed to his ‘professor’ nature.

    But the question is, which is the better driver. Because Prost didn’t have his career so manicured. But my opinion swings based on the context of the thought at the time.

    How do you measure a great driver? It’s a great question..

    • Hedge (@hedge) said on 30th January 2011, 7:45

      “Prost however, didn’t shirk facing tough team mates”? Except that he allegedly had a clause in his Williams contract that prevented Senna joining them whilst he was there. He also left McLaren pretty soon after Senna joined.

      Lots of comment saying that Schumacher had weak team mates on here, but in 94 and 95 he was so far ahead of his team mates it was ridiculous (JJ Lehto and Jos Verstappen weren’t that slow and Johnny Herbert was no slouch either). In 96 Schumi could at times compete with the Williams of Hill and Villenueve while Irvine would be languishing down around 10th (which is where that ferrari should have been in normal driver’s hands).

      The stat for me that sets Schumacher apart is his podiums per start though and he did this in cars that were’nt always the best, when he had the best machinery he made it count.

      • debaser91 said on 30th January 2011, 11:35

        Prost faced Lauda, Senna and Mansell in the same car, three drivers superior to any Schumacher faced across the bulk of his career.

        I don’t blame Prost for vetoing Senna for Williams, it was going to be his final season and he didn’t want the same hassle he had at Mclaren. The reason he left Mclaren is because it was untenable for him to remain, his and Senna’s working relationship was so hostile and Ron Dennis had made it clear that Senna was the future of the team.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 31st January 2011, 15:55

          I agree with you on Prost not wanting to have Senna join the team. That is not about fearing a tough team mate, it was personal.

  13. Klon (@klon) said on 29th January 2011, 23:13

    To quote a certain video that was posted somewhere else on this site:

    “Oh man, oh god, oh man, oh god, oh man, oh god, oh man!”

    I really don’t know which one of the two is really the best. This should have been the final. I think I will refrain from voting now and look how this developes. But whoever wins this is my champion of champions and no, Senna is not better than either one of these two drivers.

  14. judo chop said on 29th January 2011, 23:14

    I think you should have mentioned that Prost was robbed of a title in 1990.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 30th January 2011, 9:03

      But then he was handed one in 1989 as well. Schumacher was pretty much handed 2 titles as well in 2002 and 2004 .. when his only competitor (Rubens), was not allowed to challenge him.

      • macca1977 (@) said on 30th January 2011, 13:00

        Handed ? You must be joking. Last time I checked you needed to win races to get the WDC, the problem MSC has is that he made his competitors look so bad, everybody think they weren’t as good as the drivers of the 90′s/80′s. There are some real good drivers in the first half to the 00′s like Montoya, Raikkonen, Hakkinen, but the only one we consider worthy of MSC was Mika cause he had won championships before. If the other would have won something by that time where they were fighting MSC, the no competition card wouldn’t be in every anti-MSC post. The reason they didn’t win anything was because of MSC. Who helped develop a car to the point of perfection like no other driver before him. He tested more than any other driver on the field and made Ferrari a winner team again, and built the team around him from the dog it was in 1996, to the invincible team of the 00s. That’s the other card: the no.1 status, if you have a driver with that level of commitment and skill in a short time he will be the center of the team, when this new Mercedes car suits better MSC than Nico, everybody would say that is MSC taking over again, and they will be right, but he is taking over because of talent, knowledge and commitment.

        This poll is the hardest, harder than against Senna, but in both polls my vote goes for MSC.

    • ROBBED? He was the one that tried to steal one in collution with Balastre. Luckily, Senna would have none of it.

      I really can’t vote for either Prost or Schumacher. They are both some of the sport’s greatest drivers, but also both villains.

      • judo chop said on 30th January 2011, 11:14

        Yes. Winning a championship by blantantly and deliberately crashing into a rival is robbery when you take off your rose-coloured spectacles.

        • why dont you just do the math?give Prost a first place in suzuka 1990 and Senna the last one…who would be champion?

          i wait for an answer

        • LosD (@losd) said on 30th January 2011, 16:33

          No, it is setting things straight, when you take off yours. Balastre made sure that Prost got the clean side of the starting grid, by swapping the grid sides overnight after qualification.

          Prost has absolutely no intention of honouring that Senna had done the better qualification, and tried to use this to his advantage. Senna did as he had proclaimed he would, and rightfully got the championship by taking the cheating scumbag off.

          • judo chop said on 30th January 2011, 18:50

            Wrong. Balestre never changed grid positions. Pole was on the dirty side, Senna asked for it to be changed, stewards agreed but Balestre refused. Not Prost’s fault nor even Balestre’s since he wasn’t responsible for putting P1 in the wrong place. Either way nothing justifies ramming anyone off the track. Schumacher got a championship DQ for trying to take out Hill, Senna deserved at least the same punishment for doing worse. The 1990 Suzuka GP is a stain on F1 history.

          • Wrong. Senna asked if P1 was going to be on the dirty side or the clean side. He was told it was going to be the clean side, and then after he took P1, Balastre reversed the decision.

            And of course things like this justifies ramming the cheater. This could have been a stain on F1 history, but Senna set it straight.

          • Sasquatsch (@sasquatsch) said on 31st January 2011, 10:20

            @judo chop:
            I think you mean Villeneuve in stead of Hill, because Schumacher never got punished for crashing into Hill, just as Prost never got punished for crashing into Senna in Suzuka 1989 (and got robbed of 1st place by the stewards afterwards). Schumacher probably wouldn’t have been punished if his crash with Hill didn’t happen (or if he became World Champion). And besides, his punishment was symbolic. A ban for a couple of races would have been more appropriate.

            Sennas action was a retaliation for 1989 and Balestres action.
            In 1990 he warned Prost that he wouldn’t back down if Prost fought him for 1st place in the first corner, which was what happened. Deliberately? Yes, but I have seen other drivers (deliberately or not) going wide in the first corner taking out opponents as well.

  15. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 29th January 2011, 23:17

    There will never be another match-up more difficult for me than this one. I have no idea how to vote.

    Prost was the supreme F1 driver, of all time in my opinion. So clinical, precise, an expert in developing the car. But Schumacher was far more of a racer than he.

    Prost certainly had much tougher competition: Lauda, Senna, Mansell and Piquet. Schumacher had Hill, Villeneuve, Hakkinen, Raikkonen and Alonso, no slouches but no legends (apart from Fernando, we’ll see how he fits in in a few years’ time).

    Both enjoyed some ridiculously dominant machinery in their time, but only Prost had to share his with another great.

    But Schumacher re-invented what it meant to be a F1 driver with his level of commitment and fitness. Unfortunately he also had a ruthless streak which only Senna can beat. Perhaps because of his most ruthless moments we tend to forget a lot of the things he did were simply harsh but fair, but that doesn’t erase his big mistakes.

    As champions, you would have to say Prost was the better ambassador. But was that more because of Schumacher’s character or simply because he was disliked?

    In the end though, I can’t lie to myself and act dispassionately. Prost did many great things but the little I’ve actually seen rather than read will never excite me as much as the thrill of watching Schumacher win the 1998 Hungarian Grand Prix, his first lap the of the 1998 Japanese Grand Prix, many many other things besides also but above all, that felling of disappointment when he won his fifth title in 2002, that I had come to expect so much from this man that the manner in which he won it was so anti-climactic.

    I respect people who saw Senna race live and put him above all others in their estimation. But this is the guy I watched live, who brightened up the Sunday afternoons of my childhood. I don’t care what bad things he’s occasionally done, because I don’t excuse them. I focus on all the other things he did and will forever be proud to call myself a Schumacher fan.

    • Hare (@hare) said on 29th January 2011, 23:25

      Fair point well made.

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 30th January 2011, 2:34

      I agree. I think you said it all right here…

      Prost was the supreme F1 driver, of all time in my opinion. So clinical, precise, an expert in developing the car. But Schumacher was far more of a racer than he.

      … and personally I’ll always pick the “racers” like Senna, Schumacher, Hamilton, etc. over the “drivers” like Prost and Button.

      As champions, you would have to say Prost was the better ambassador. But was that more because of Schumacher’s character or simply because he was disliked?

      There’s certainly enough dislike of Schumacher out there to affect his reception among fans. As a person off the track he’s always seemed like a pretty decent guy to me, in spite of some of his more questionable moves on track.

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