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

Which was the better world champion driver?

  • Michael Schumacher (53%)
  • Alain Prost (47%)

Total Voters: 754

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This poll remains open until February 4th.

You need an F1 Fanatic account to vote. Register an account here or read more about registering here.

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

Have you voted in the previous rounds of Champion of Champions yet? Find them all here:

Champion of Champions

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

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194 comments on Michael Schumacher vs Alain Prost

  1. taddy (@taddy) said on 29th January 2011, 23:21

    Schumacher no doubt about that. I know all haters will go against schumi and vote for prost even if they “know” schumi is better.

  2. Hare (@hare) said on 29th January 2011, 23:21

    Schumacher and Prost, won 10 out of 11 world titles, with Tabacco as the main sponsor.

    Mild Seven, and Marlboro.

    Marlboro wins 8-2 though :)

  3. Catalina (@catalina) said on 29th January 2011, 23:25

    Has to be Schumacher.

  4. Schumacher is more than a driver, he is a master in so many fields. His Ability, his fitness, his psyche, his passion, his willingness to succeed and how he with others as well built Ferrari from a midfield team back to glory.

    Senna & Prost didn’t do what Michael did, they just jumped ship if they didn’t have the best car. Michael built his success and he is the greatest for it. He could of done what they did and could be possibly a 10 time World Champion by now but a lesser Champion at that. Jumping in to the best car ever year is easy but building a family over time and making them the best is the real achievement here.

    Schumacher – Easy vote!

  5. Mouse_Nightshirt (@mouse_nightshirt) said on 29th January 2011, 23:26

    As much as I have a dislike for Schumacher, I reckon he was, by a whisker, a better champ. He’s smashed all the records, and he had Senna matched in my opinion is the very short time they raced each other in equalish machinery.

    A lack of competition is hardly Schumacher’s fault. The competition he did have, he generally smashed.

  6. GreyoTG (@greyotg) said on 29th January 2011, 23:26

    There is absolutely no-way you can choose between these drivers without picking dominante stats… the only difference’s in that case is one is French and one is German. I’ll be thinking about this all night.

  7. nillojapa (@nillojapa) said on 29th January 2011, 23:34

    Alain Prost, ’cause race in the time that had many good pilots, Schumi doesn’t have great opponents

  8. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 29th January 2011, 23:48

    This is the hardest one so far. Not only do they have impressive racing resumes, but their run in the Champion of Champions has seen them take out some pretty impressive drivers.

  9. skodarap (@skodarap) said on 29th January 2011, 23:49

    Prost for me, only due to his teammates

  10. Noelinho (@noelinho) said on 30th January 2011, 0:04

    Prost. He won four titles in nine years, coming second to Senna twice, missing a year when Mansell won, and lost two titles by a combined 2.5 points – to Lauda and Piquet. And in 1988, he scored more points over the season even though he didn’t win the title.

    Prost had extraordinary success at a time when the field around him was pretty tough, and could easily have won seven titles himself (although in fairness, in saying that, 1986 was perhaps fortunate.)

    Not knocking MS’s success, but Prost’s achievements were mega considering the opposition.

  11. gpfan (@gpfan) said on 30th January 2011, 0:09

    I’m probably a wee bit older than most here, and watched live (and live on TV) most of the pilots in The CofC. For me, these two along with Stewart and Clark are head and shoulders above the rest.

    As to the ‘Ambassador’ argument, I fail to see what an off-track demeanour has to do with racing.

    Sure, Schumi was/is a bit of a goof, but that does not affect his right foot. In his prime, MS had all the attributes of a great formula one driver.

    I just feel Prost had them to an even greater level. I voted Prost.

    (Aside: Prost-Japan-89 is nothing like any of the stunts MS pulled. AP did not aim, but merely refused to cede or be intimidated.)

  12. RoboCAT (@robocat) said on 30th January 2011, 0:32

    I’m going with Prost. I think he was a better champion then Shumacher. Yeh Shumacher has 3 more titles then him, but how many more ould he have had is hadn’t have cheated, or Prost had stayed in it for longer? I know there just ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ but Prost gets my vote.

  13. icemangrins (@icemangrins) said on 30th January 2011, 0:51

    easy choice again….. Schuey gets the vote.

  14. Ral (@ral) said on 30th January 2011, 0:56

    Oh, man. You know it’s coming and it’s still impossible to decide.

    Pro..

    No, Schu…, no. No, it has to be Pro, I mean Sch, eh, Pr.. err…

    *head explodes*

    So, I’m going to go ahead and make another choice based on things other than driving qualities. And you’ll have to excuse the rambling; as I start typing, I have not yet decided. When I stop, I may or may not have.

    As I’ve argued before, I feel Schumacher was probably the most dedicated driver ever in the sense that he committed more of his life to his driving job than anyone else ever. Including Senna. But he had his flaws on track. His competitiveness got the better of him on several, well documented occasions.

    But is that a minus point versus Prost? He may be The Professor, but he was not exactly squeaky clean either when it comes to on-track behaviour. Although perhaps the difference with Prost was that with him it seemed to be very specifically targeted at one other driver with whom it was a bit of a tit for tat kind of game. Also, it seemed to be a harsher era.

    Drivers died, quite frequently, and still others got in their cars and did their thing. Schumacher was one of the last drivers to still experience that part of the F1 life as well and perhaps it made him one of the last ones with that kind of commitment: to face death and carry on regardless. Maybe Schumacher in that respect was a casualty of taking the wrong ethic into a newly cleaned up time with no space for death-defying heroics, be that death your own or someone else’s.

    I’m.. really not sure. I want to vote Prost, because my rose-tinted glasses say he was a very sympathetic man. But then I think that neither is Schumacher as bad as he’s made out to be, nor was Prost probably as saintly as all that, as evidenced by the fact that he did win 4 championships, several at the expense of some very un-saintly characters themselves. So, I think in the end I’m back to sheer basic numbers. And no matter the number of could have beens, Schumacher wins that.

    Man, Keith. You owe me a new keyboard after all that :p

  15. Alex Bkk (@alex-bkk) said on 30th January 2011, 0:58

    I really don’t want to vote on this one… I think I”ll just toss a coin.

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