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.

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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

  1. sdtaylor91 (@sdtaylor91) said on 30th January 2011, 4:48

    Schumacher just clinches it for me, very litte in this one, both deserve to be in the final

  2. SeattleChris (@seattlechris) said on 30th January 2011, 5:19

    I thought this was a lot easier than the Schumacher vs. Jim Clark choice. Jim Clark vs. Prost = Clark the Winner. I don’t know how Clark goes out before Prost. Prost is a top driver all time, but Clark, Senna and Schumacher, to me, are a 3 way tie with Fangio coming in 4th or also tying with the aforementioned greatest drivers in the history. I believe what is important to note here is the passion all of us have and these four names come up more than any others. Should Alonso and Hamilton start swapping more championships then they may also break into the top 10… Vettel is pretty young, but I don’t see the gusto required to be a part of this crew-yet anyway.
    It would be nice to have a fastest over a single lap championship as well because I have a feeling that Raikkonen went as far as he did just based on the amazing speed he showed over his career; too bad that Mclaren let him down so often! Would we put all these guys in the same order?

  3. Oh god this is difficult, the two greatest champions in my mind.

  4. SennaNmbr1 (@sennanmbr1) said on 30th January 2011, 7:47

    Prost.

  5. 0634 (@0634) said on 30th January 2011, 7:53

    The final is obiously gonna be between Senna and Schumi. As always…

    Anyway, I think Prost was the better one. Michael won more but didn’t have the competition Prost had. I think Prost did a brilliant job next to Lauda, Mansell and Senna, all at one time or another in the same car.

    Big champs have to beat big champs. Otherwise you can’t know how good someone really is. If Manchester United only has to play against Fulham, Wigan and Stoke they will definitly become champions. But than I still don’t know how good they really are.

    Alain Prost beat the greatest, so he was truly one of the alltime best.

  6. kowalsky (@kowalsky) said on 30th January 2011, 8:09

    i think schumacher was a faster driver. Faster in the wet, better qualifier, etc.
    On the other hand, when he had to fight for the title in the last race, he always made some kind of mistake.
    Prost was a master on that respect, at the level of senna. He was very good under pressure. Eventhough he wasn’t as fast as schumi.
    The competition is looking for the champion of champions, and in that respect i vote for prost.

  7. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 30th January 2011, 9:00

    I was at the Hungaroring in 2005. Schumi’s pole was amazing and I still remember the surprise and thrill from all the people watching. Not only his fans but everybody around me cheered in awe and surprise.

    To me he is the greatest and I hope der Kaiser will prove me right by winning that 8th title!

  8. Prost.

    He and Senna totally dominated F1, grinded everything else to dust, amazed, thrilled and inspired a whole generation.

    Schumacher emerged from the pack, as one of the less mediocre drivers, once all the greats had disappeared and picked up the crumbs while F1 lay in shambles.

  9. If Schumacher is better than Alonso, Clark and Prost (which he isn’t), he should also beat Senna.

  10. Eggry (@eggry) said on 30th January 2011, 9:26

    I like Prost much more but this is not fan vote. so I went to Schumi. It should be closest ever but I’m sure Schumi will win in the end.

  11. Neil Davies (@neil-davies) said on 30th January 2011, 10:21

    Close, but it’s Prost for me. Schumacher’s numbers may be slightly better but his long list of, shall we say questionable driving choices? loses it for him.

  12. dex022 (@dex022) said on 30th January 2011, 10:48

    Alain Prost is the top man here.He had better competition then M.S. including his teammates.Schumi did what he did because he had FULL team backing plus WAY superior machinery in at list 3 titles that he won.Not to mention his dirty driving through his whole carrier.

  13. BBT (@bbt) said on 30th January 2011, 10:52

    Prost for me.

  14. kkarl (@kkarl) said on 30th January 2011, 10:52

    it’s always difficult to compare people based on the talent they had to compete against. Prost had some true legends around his time in F1….was that a help or a hindrance?.
    Much is said that Schumacher benefited from a less competitive environment, but consider such multiple champions in other sports such as lance armstrong, michael jordan, tiger woods, kelly slater….all great champions because they beat who was on the start line/court/course with them….that’s what they had to beat wasn’t it?….who lined up opposite them. Does one outstanding person dimish the efforts of the others, who no doubt did want to win just as much?
    This is a tough choice as 2 distinctly different drivers who both achieved so much in their chosen sport. Prost was someone I used to cheer against when he was racing senna, but he was simply awesome at his best. Schuey changed the way drivers and teams approached F1 and will long be considered one of the greats….but the greatest…???????

  15. voaridase (@voaridase) said on 30th January 2011, 11:03

    I can’t believe it, I want Prost to win, and now he’s agains Schumacher… Great!

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