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

Browse all Champion of Champions articles

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

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194 comments on Michael Schumacher vs Alain Prost

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  1. matty55 (@matty55) said on 31st January 2011, 3:22

    Mention motorsport to anyone who doesn’t follow it the one name they will know is Michael Schumacher. I think the statistics speak for themselves

  2. spankythewondermonkey (@spankythewondermonkey) said on 31st January 2011, 9:39

    prost. easily.

  3. Sasquatsch (@sasquatsch) said on 31st January 2011, 10:36

    My vote goes to Schumacher. Although I am definitely not a fan of both drivers (as a person), they deserve the respect as being up there with the best drivers in the world.

    Personally I think Schumacher is faster and more of a racer than Prost. Both are definitely very consistent, as the stats show. But personally I think Prost settled for second place too many times, while Schumacher just gave another 10% extra to come out on top.

  4. smiths85 (@smiths85) said on 31st January 2011, 10:47

    Professor Prost, i think he was a better champion

  5. israelrios (@israelrios) said on 31st January 2011, 11:17

    I signed up only to vote against Schumacher.

  6. Stefanauss (@stefanauss) said on 31st January 2011, 14:42

    Oh gosh, both legends. I’m picking Schumacher for a few factors i strongly value.
    He is a real racer in rain conditions, better than Prost was.
    He was able to compete for the championships in 1997-2000 with definitely weaker cars (although with a progressively narrower gap), and they were years (it’s the case even now) where the regulations, the excessive stress on aero and electronics and so on made close to impossible for the driver to make some sort of a difference.
    He built Ferrari back to be at the top of the game, a task which Senna gave up on for instance. I can’t see any other driver with that kind of commitment, in recent history at least.

    As a side note, i think the idea of “Best Driver Overall” make sense and has a deep value, and these two are the best ever in this category to me.

  7. jihelle (@jihelle) said on 1st February 2011, 9:03

    I am late on this one, but it’s Prost for me. Just a better driver, less mistakes and he had to deal with Senna and Piquet two great champions. Schumacher had only Hakkinen as a real opponent and.. got beaten.

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 1st February 2011, 13:28

      One might say his only opponent was Adrian Newey…

    • Burnout said on 2nd February 2011, 6:22

      Schumacher had only Hakkinen as a real opponent and.. got beaten.

      I disagree. You need to look at seasons when both of them had a shot at the championship. ’99 doesn’t count because Schumacher missed nearly one-third of the season due to his accident. Which leaves 1 championship for Schumacher (2 if you count 2001) and one for Hakkinen.

    • David A said on 2nd February 2011, 15:22

      Schumacher had only Hakkinen as a real opponent and.. got beaten.

      1. Michael Schumacher 108 points, 9 wins
      2. Mika Hakkinen 89 points, 4 wins

  8. LLOYD (@thomson) said on 21st December 2011, 21:16

    My vote goes to Professor Alain Prost -consummate driver , not a ‘bully-get-out-of-my-way’ “racer” like Schumacher and Senna. Prost out-thought and out-maneouvered his rivals . He admits that e.g.Senna was way out in front of him in qualifying ,but in most cases , he (Prost) could match or beat Senna on race day (where it counted). Even Senna acknowledged this , often (sneakily sometimes) copying Prost’s car set-up .
    Schumacher was obviously fantastic , but was ‘lucky’ to not have the quality of drivers against him that Prost had – and he had more reliable cars . I still think Prost would have won more races had he not suffered many more mechanical/technical faults than for example, Senna did (in the ‘same’ McLaren team). But he also had his share of luck as well ,one has to admit (Australia 1986).
    Many thanks. Lloyd

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