Alonso ‘more complete’ than Schumacher, says Massa

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2013In the round-up: Felipe Massa compares his Ferrari team mates past and present.

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‘Alonso the most complete’ (Sky)

“Schumacher was very, very good. He was amazing and a very complete driver as well. But I think maybe Alonso is even more perfect.”

Lotus signs Ferrari aero chief (Autosport)

“Lotus has moved to boost its technical department in the wake of recent departures by signing Ferrari’s chief aerodynamicist Nicolas Hennel.”

Webber no longer has to deal with weighty issue of height (The Canberra Times)

“A comfortable weight for someone of his frame would actually be 82kg. Back when he was a talented teenager with the dreams of making it to the top in motor sport in Europe, I asked him his height. His response: ‘I’m not telling you because I don’t want it to be an issue when I get to F1.'”

Q&A with James Calado (Force India via YouTube)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7SNpVJg2xw

Times have changed since the era of James Hunt’s seventies romp (The Guardian)

“As Rush unfolds, a nostalgia-fest that becomes a morality play, it becomes increasingly hard to imagine how our “celebrity culture”, policed by red tops and the bloggers, would have coped when faced with a libertine sportsman of Hunt’s stamina. You suspect ?ǣ as with Tiger Woods and his grim catalogue of infidelities ?ǣ he would have been destroyed on front page and back before he had even got to the starting grid.”

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Comment of the day

Craig Scarborough of ScarbsF1.com dropped in to explain a question which arose from the team radio transcript.

The front wing rotary is simply a way for the driver to communicate how much of a front wing adjustment he?d like at the next pit stop. The position the driver sets the dial to is picked up by the engineers via telemetry. This keeps the info secret, unlike radio broadcast of the setting.

Red Bull a similar dial to describe the tyre condition to the pits.
Scarbs

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On this day in F1

Two years ago today Sergio Perez tested a Ferrari F60 along with Jules Bianchi. Although the latter remains Ferrari-backed, Perez’s ties to the team were severed when he joined McLaren:

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231 comments on Alonso ‘more complete’ than Schumacher, says Massa

  1. Well, the truth hurts and the comments confirm that.

  2. our nige (@our-nige) said on 15th September 2013, 10:51

    Its interesting to see the Renault championship winning cars Alonso has! He was given them by Renault as a gift for winning the championship but he then moved off to Mclaren and Flav was none too happy and delayed giving him them. I worked for a Renault garage at the time and had booked the F1 show car for a motorsport evening, basically a shell with no engine etc but OK for an untrained eye but it had been double booked and we ended up getting the current Alonso winning car, complete with engine and added security! We were not allowed to get near it, touch it or breathe on it! That is, until they both went off for tea for 5 mins before the event – cue the smaller staff members jumping in and getting pictures of themselves in the cockpit! The steering wheel was taken off and we could not believe how light it was – its about the weight of a pencil! Must try and find those pictures!

  3. ….and Vettel more complete than Alonso.

  4. pantherjag (@pantherjag) said on 15th September 2013, 11:10

    Driver comparisions are difficult at the best of time but in this instance their is so many variables that it holds no weight at all.

    Differences in age, motivation, driver relationship, length of time faced, freshness in mind and of course was the felipe Massa that faced Schumacher/Raikkonen the same man that faced Alonso means we’re comparing apples with banana’s

    To be clear im not attacking massa here, he clearly answered a question/made comment without considering the context and perhaps he’s even correct with his opinion but the basis on which he has come to that opinion is flawed.

  5. karter22 (@karter22) said on 15th September 2013, 11:43

    “haters gonna hate!”

    I find it quite amusing that some think that we see ALO as a demigod. Far from it. I personally think he is the best living driver on the Grid. If he would have been allowed to win and have drivers move out of the way as some have in previous races to other WDC, he would be a 5 time WDC! Just being 2 time sub wdc in bad cars is a testament to his greatness! Ok, the F10 wan´t all that bad, and is probably the only good Ferrari he has driven but still it is something that all should take into considration. It speaks volumes about his consistency. Sure, he is not the greatest in one lap, but who cares? I don´t measure greatness on Saturdays when points arren´t given out… I measure it on sundays when it means the world to the drivers!
    Being good in a bad car is difficult… being great in an awesome car is easy.
    I was a SCHUMI fan for a long time but, now, I understand the difference in having a great car undrneath you. Nobody else has had a car winning a minute ahead of the rest. Schumi´s domination came to and end after heavy changes in the regs… lets hope this happens aswell in 2014. Anybody see any similarities between both german drivers? and who knocked off the “best” from his pedestal? I can just hope that history reapets itself one more time!

    • I feel I have to remind you guys that Senna, Schumacher and Hakkinen sometimes were close to lapping their own team-mates. From time to time they actually did.
      There are still personell in the McLaren-organisation that are comvinced Mika Hakkinen is the fastest driver McLaren has ever had.
      Just to remind you guys how great those guys were compared to the rest of the field.

    • Nobody else has had a car winning a minute ahead of the rest.

      Plenty of drivers have had that. Genuinely dominant cars (not faux “dominant” cars like the recent RB’s) used to be common in F1. Detroit, 1988 – Senna and Prost lap the entire field.

    • @karter22

      If he would have been allowed to win and have drivers move out of the way as some have in previous races to other WDC

      I cannot agree with you here. Alonso has had easily the least resistant teammates of any of the other WDC and a team more than happy to depose of them for his benefit (crashgate and Massa’s gearbox ring a bell?).

      He clearly can’t be that great either if he needs his teammates to move out of the way to win titles. That’s a luxury Vettel has rarely been afforded, yet he’s won three (on his way to a fourth).

      • karter22 (@karter22) said on 18th September 2013, 3:21

        @vettel1
        Oh Max, I wasn´t reffering to his team mates getting out of his way. I was reffering to instances sort of like what we have seen in Brazil 2012 (Schumi letting SV by) or the abu dahbi when a certain STR went off track to ensure safe passage to a certain someone. Or if we go back some more…. (I know I´ll get burnt for this but so be it) A certain toyota staying out on slicks and inevitably, pulling over and letting some guys past…
        I know Alonso has had help within his team, I do not dispute that, after all, he had the clearest shot at the WDC between both of the team drivers in 2010 and 2012. And before you bring up Hockenheim 2010, what good would one race have been for Massa, assuming he would have won Hockenheim? He still had a poor season after that! My comment was solely aimed at help from other drivers! Not within the team! It seems other WDC have had “indirect” help from others! And to be honest, and I think I said this in its moment, I totally lost all respect for Schumacher when he let SV past in Brazil, there was no need for that.
        What I meant basically is for example…. what if Petrov in his day would have just moved over in 2010? Stuff like that is what I meant.

        Oh and the gearbox issue was a totally tactical move! Any team would have done the same thing if they would have been fighting for the WDC. I hope I cleared up what I meant to say Max.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 18th September 2013, 7:10

          (I know I´ll get burnt for this

          – yes, and rightfully so @karter22.

          A discussion is based on people using facts, or at least well informed opinions. Not nonsense.

          Sure, Schumi made it a tad easier for Vettel by going out of the way. On the other hand, he made sure not to lose much time himself by not having to defend, and there was nothing to win (he was never going to be able to keep Vettel behind, car wise. And DRS wise). As for the toyota – just no.

          Shall we compare that to Ferrari ordering a Sauber to let Schumi by but impede his rival. Or a team boss asking his 2nd driver to crash? I don’t think so.

          Massa and his season after Hockenheim 2010 – the argument presented is exactly that. Up to that race Massa had been pretty close to Alonso, and maybe if he had not had to give up that one, he would not have dwindled like he did.

          • karter22 (@karter22) said on 18th September 2013, 11:16

            @bascb

            A discussion is based on people using facts, or at least well informed opinions.

            Well, that´s the things about opinions, what you might think is nonsense, some actually believe it with a passion. Personally, I really believe Glock stayed out on Slicks for a reason, but that is just my opinion. Schumi in Brazil, sure he might not have had anything to gain but I mean, you are a professional racing driver, show some back bone for crying out loud!! Don´t just bend over for the kid!
            About Crashgate, well, I cannot say anything about it… Briatore was and always will be a shady character.
            Oh and the other case could you please refresh my memory, what year was that ?? I don´t recall that Sauber episode. But then again, what are we critizicing here? Teams or help from other teams to other WDC? I don´t remember that sauber episode but if that was the case, I find it despicable… I consider team orders to be ok but, intra-team orders, I detest!
            That is my whole arguement! It is ok to have help from your team mate when your team orders it but it enrages me when other teams help a certain team to get a certain outcome! That really ticks me off and is basically all I´m saying.

          • THat is why i mentioned well informed opinions @karter22.

            I too am convinced Glock stayed out on slicks for a reason: because he/his team thought it worth the gamble on the rain not worsening to get a few points more.

            The problem with trying to hang on to nonsense as your opionion is, when you start mentioning those things as if there is any truth in it. Because I see no way that you could even argue a good case for Glock (or big spending Toyota) to want to do anything like helping Hamilton win that championship.

            The Sauber thing was despicable (there were rumours at the time, the driver later confirmed it and off course running both a Ferrari engine and having a Chassis based on the Ferrari gave the motive). The same for Singapore 2008.
            Now I can imagine both STR drivers being less than tough when being passed by a RBR car (just look how good ALG faired when he held up Vettel in a training session), and Schumacher not wanting to fight a position he is going to lose anyway when he is in his last ever F1 race and its his “pupil” doing to overtaking, but really Glock?

            That has been nicely shown to be nonsense so many times its not “having an opinion” but just ignoring reality when you believe that one.

          • @karter22
            “I really believe Glock stayed out on Slicks for a reason”. It was to try to gain some positions, and after gaining a position by passing Kovalainen, it actually paid off. Here are the lap times from the last lap: Glock – 1.44.731, Trulli – 1.44.800, so why continue with the conspiracy theory? Glock was behind Hamilton when he pitted, so it would’ve worked out for Hamilton either way. Do you really believe Toyota would’ve helped Hamilton out? You must be seriously deluded to think anything like that.

  6. Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 15th September 2013, 11:47

    “Do I think Alonso is a more complete driver than Schumacher? That’s laughable. Sure, I’ve been badly beaten by Alonso every year we’ve been team mates, but let’s be honest – after losing my confidence in 2010 your granny has probably driven better than me. Oh, that reminds me – Ferrari just kicked me out of the team, so I’m looking for an available seat in Formula 1! Team owners, contact me if you have one!”

    I mean, is someone actually expecting Massa to give this kind of an interview? His statement here means nothing in my opinion.

  7. First of all, ALO actually did at very young age beat SCH to the title not once but twice, and he did so in a non-dominant package. I think the statements of MAS should be put in that contest. It is not like comparing ALO to someone from a different era, that he has not actually raced with.

    Reading some of the posts below, it is amusing how some people will go to great lengths in order to continue believe what they like to believe, even when most evidence both events and statements points in the opposite direction. Even when the one and only person, that has the first hand information about the subject, tells very frankly his conclusion having first hand tried both sides, they will try to “explain it”, contest it, tell everyone how it still is consistent with their perception (that he is wrong) and does not change the reality (i e how they choose to see/believe things).

    Obviously, to me what MAS is saying today is no news really. I cannot compare to drivers pre 1994 as that is when I started watching F1, but ALO is the best that I have seen racing. It can be verified from the actual racing action from the last ten or so years IMO. ALOs current race engineer who also was the race engineer for SCH has also made statements pointing in the same direction. The fact that MAS, without any kind of outside pressure as he is free of contract now, gives the same picture, says all that needs to be said.

    Last but not least, ALO never tried to win a championship by driving his nearest rival into the wall (Hill) or try crashing into him to take him out (Villeneuve). Neither did he park his car in a corner at Monaco during qualy claiming he had a failure, in order to stop others from beating him to pole (ALO). Those aspects, in my view, are also part of being “more complete”.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 15th September 2013, 20:47

      Alonso never tried to win a championship by driving his nearest rival into the wall (Hill) or try crashing into him to take him out (Villeneuve)

      By which I assume you mean Schumacher tried to win championships by causing collisions with those drivers?

      • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 15th September 2013, 20:57

        Schumacher didn’t try to drive Hill into a wall, but he did try to take Villeneuve out.

      • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 15th September 2013, 21:21

        Do you think otherwise ? Because I understand from your comment @keithcollantine that you don’t believe that Shumacher crashed into Hill & Villeneuve on purpose ??? At least with Villeneuve he was found guilty and was disqualified from WDC, correct me please if i missed something

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 15th September 2013, 21:44

        I think my attempt to clear up any confusion has had the opposite effect.

      • Maybe I expressed myself clumsily (english not my strongest language), but yes – IMO history shows that SCH would not hesitate a second driving into a rivals car, deliberately, if taking that rival out would grant him the title.

    • Albert said on 16th September 2013, 3:35

      “Last but not least, ALO never tried to win a championship by driving his nearest rival into the wall (Hill) or try crashing into him to take him out (Villeneuve). Neither did he park his car in a corner at Monaco during qualy claiming he had a failure, in order to stop others from beating him to pole (ALO). ”

      Nah, he just let his teammate crash on a wall so he could win.

    • First of all, ALO actually did at very young age beat SCH to the title not once but twice, and he did so in a non-dominant package.

      What is the definition of a “non-dominant package”? The 2006 Renault won 8 of 18 races (44%) and collected 63.6% of all possible points. The 2012 Red Bull won 7 of 20 races (35%) and collected just 53.5% of all possible points. Yet I’m frequently told that the former was a “non-dominant car” and the latter was a “dominant car”.

      Call me a cynic, but I’m starting to suspect that a “non-dominant car” means “A car in which a driver I like wins the WDC” and a “dominant car” means “A car in which a driver I don’t like wins the WDC”.

      • @jonsan: +1, very well put.

      • Did not see this replay until today, hence the late response.

        “What is the definition of a “non-dominant package”?”
        I will tell you what I consider to be a dominant package in this context. Reverse that for (the trivial) answer to your question.
        A package that does consistently give its driver a significant advantage over the closest competitor/runner up in the championship. E g ability to consistently starting from grid position well ahead of main competitor, and/or consistently having better race pace and/or for majority of the time having a car faster and easier to handle than main competitor.

        If you now continue your statistical exercise and compare RELEVANT indicators for performance of the Redbull CAR vs that of the Ferrari of 2012, I think you will find it (if you like) trivial to prove package-domination. Number of wins/scored points is not as good, as those indicators factor in “driver consistency” – a top notch and consistent driver may overachieve with a bad car (gaining more wins/points than possible given car performance) while a “medium notch”/inconsisten driver may underachieve in a very good car (gaining less wins/points than possible given car performance).

        I invested 2 minutes to get one piece of such info – regarding starting position:
        VET started on row 1 in 13 out of 20 races (sorry did not care calculate percentages). Row 2 in additional 3 out of 20. So in 16 out of 20 races he started from one of the first 2 rows – and WELL AHEAD of the closest Ferrari. Race pace – A redbull set the fastest lap in 10/20 races. Ferrari 0/20…cheers

  8. Steph (@stephanief1990) said on 15th September 2013, 14:17

    I don’t think the comparison between Woods and Hunt is really any good or an indicator that times have changed. Times have changed in the respect that business and sport are more PR driven these days but both situations were different for numerous reasons, not just the period in which they happened. Woods was from the sport of golf – it’s portrayed as a gentleman’s game (literally as some women can’t get near the clubs) so a guy getting caught cheating and speculation that he was a sex addict went completely against the idea of the golfing world. He got caught out of step with his sport. There’s also been speculation among those who take an interest in racial issues in society whether he got more stick as a black man due to the historic, racist myth that black men are uncontrollable when it comes to sex.

    In other sports though, where *action* is the focus or danger then there seems to be a different idea of what makes a “real man”. It’s been pretty common for racing drivers and footballers to be linked with plenty of women while in relationships but that’s just seen as normal and something to be cheered at. The only recent examples I can think of footballers getting any grief were Terry, but that may be because he broke “the guy code” for having sex with his mate’s wife and Rooney – but the jokes and criticism he got were primarily for sleeping with a grandmother/someone rather more older than him. Ironically then, even though he was getting grief the condemnation ended up being almost entirely sexist.

    Hunt did race decades ago but I suspect even today there’s still a good chance he’d be the guy that fans would want to have a pint with. F1’s a rather different world to golfing after all. Personally though, I don’t particularly care about their sex lives which is probably why I’m not fussed about Hunt as he got more attention for what he did after the races than during. That said, I really can’t wait to see Rush…

    Not surprised at what Massa’s said about Schumi. He’s worked with both so he knows more than me. I like Alonso better than Schumi anyway.

  9. I don’t agree with you Felipe – of course you know both drivers better than I do, but perhaps you overestimate yourself. You beat Schumacher a few times in 2006, and now that is rare with Alonso, but you are not the same anymore.
    And you shouldn’t be making a compliment at the expense of someone who you owe a lot to, and in favour of someone you rivalled with even before becoming team mates, and who has never supported you if not for his own benefit.

  10. When Massa entered F1 in 2002, I was sceptical of him, he was touted as a future Ferrari driver from the outset, but he did not seem to have the ability to be a top driver, he seemed too inconsistent. My mind was changed when he started doing so well against Shumacher and even started winning. He was consistently growing as a better driver. Teamed versus Raikonnen, at first he was a match for him, he was in the title race up to nearly the end, and then gave Raikonnen the position in the last race of 2007 to help his team, in 2008 he dominated Raikonnen and was a worthy champion (more worthy then raikonnen the year before), ableit for 15 seconds. I take Massa’s oppinion of Alonso as entirely genuine. Sure, massa had serious injury, as is not the same driver anymore, but Alonso of all his teammates has outpaced him far more often then raikonnen or Schumacher – that is fact, not PR.

  11. Re: COTD. Williams also (and I suspect many others) use a “tyre condition dial”on the steering wheel; when Valtteri Bottas talked about his steering wheel it had three or four settings, the first one being “everything’s still grippy” and the last one “pitting in a lap or two”. This is definitely an easier way to communicate about tyre issues rather than asking on each lap.

  12. Ben (@scuderia29) said on 15th September 2013, 21:06

    reading the comments its almost like everyone wants massa to change his own opinion lol. Massa knows better than anyone on here, and thats what he believes

    • @scuderia29 he knows best about his own situation, absolutely. But that can majorly skew your judgement. It’s no secret that he’s been a shadow of his former self since 2009. It’s not secret that Schuamcher wasn’t at his best in 2006. So then, why ought we trust one man’s opinion over countless statistics? Everything says Schumacher was a better driver than Alonso in his heyday, and I doubt this is a case of statistics not accurately portraying the story somehow.

      Races like Barcelona 1996 were simply astonishing.

      • Brian (@bforth) said on 16th September 2013, 4:10

        @vettel1 I agree with you that Schumacher is a better driver all around, but calling on stats isn’t really the best way to stage your argument. If stats matter, than Fangio and Jim Clark – the two driver’s with the highest win ratios – are the best by a massive margin. They also boast the highest percentage of front-row starts, with only Ayrton Senna being in the same league. According to statistics Niki Lauda, James Hunt and Mario Andretti are amongst the “worst” of the champions.
        That said, I will argue Schumacher was an absolutely brilliant driver (easily top 5 of all time), and in terms of raw speed, he was better than Alonso. His early career indicated that, as does the fact that in qualifying, Lewis Hamilton took three fold the poles that Alonso did in 2007. But when it comes to race pace and the ability to overdrive the car lap after lap, I’d side with Alonso being a little bit better. Schumacher often buckled and made mistakes under pressure and his overtaking skills weren’t the best (I can link you to some old bootleg F1 races on youtube if you want proof). Schumi established the legacy he did because he had an extremely long career, most of which was spent in one of the fastest cars on the grid–even in the fastest car on the grid, i.e. his cake walk championships in 2002 and 2004. He never was in a Minardi, Toleman or some utter pig of a car. Lackluster perhaps but never hopeless.
        Numbers are fickle and misleading, my friend. You’ve got a fine blob of grey matter and fat in your skull (your brain). Use it.

        • let’s put into context:
          1. massa has been on the floor since the accident in hungary (or since ’10 in germany) yet alonso -on the level of pr and words- considers him worthy for a ferrari seat, massa is greatful for that
          2. you can’t compare the two mindsets of a ‘championship prospect and heir apparent’ and a burn out driver; everything looks taller from a lower POV
          3. i know the analogy has big flaws and it’s a bit forced but schu considered häkkinen his all-time greatest rival, not senna (i know, i know, biggest rival != better drive)

        • @bforth I readily acknowledge the limitations of statistics – hence why despite all the evidence I still hold Senna as the greatest driver ever – but in this case, they simply cannot be ignored. Schumacher’s pole to win rate for example, even if we ignore the stupid qualifying permutations. The way in which he more easily had a handle on teammates.

          Statistics aren’t even necessary to the argument though. You only need to look to the best driver polls – consistently, Michael Schumacher ranks above Fernando Alonso. Almost without fail. And often these are collated by people whom have been key figures in sporting journalism for years and years. So one man’s opinion cannot be trusted above a wealth of evidence to the contrary according to my blob of grey matter.

          • Brian (@bforth) said on 17th September 2013, 0:02

            @vettel1 Spot on! I wasn’t trying to stir up an argument, so I hope that didn’t seem condescending. I’ve seen some of your posts and you’ve truly got a fine blob. Actually, I was suggesting what you said; Schumi’s qualities should be considered more than just the stats. Of course, the stats were obviously a result of those talents, and the driver/journalist polls certainly outweigh Massa’s opinion as well. So, yeah, I’d have to be thick to agree with Massa – even though Alonso has some outstanding qualities.

  13. No confest said on 16th September 2013, 7:46

    I love it how we’re always talking about who’s the most ‘complete’ driver. What does it even mean? If compared to Schumi, Alonso is definitely not as complete, as he lacks quite a few WDCs in comparison, which I imagine would be one aspect of being a great driver.

  14. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 16th September 2013, 13:56

    It’s pretty wonderful that we have a site so full of people with so much expertise in the world of F1 that they know better than a person who has direct, first hand experience of going up against both drivers in equal machinery.

    I jest. It’s nonsense. I mean, we can all try and infer things from what he’s saying, but without some concrete evidence to back it up, I think we have to take what he’s saying at face value. And why not? His experience was Schumacher towards the end of his career at Ferrari, when things had started to turn a bit sour for him, whereas his experience of Alonso has been at the absolute height of his abilities. Alonso’s 2012 season was memserising, faultless.

    It seems pretty clear to me, and has done ever since Massa returned after his injury, that the biggest contributing factor to Massa’s decline is how comprehensively he’s been edged out by Alonso. Not just on the track, but off of it as well, within the team.

    • Albert said on 17th September 2013, 0:26

      ” I think we have to take what he’s saying at face value. ”

      Nonsense. As a general rule, one must never take things other people say at face value, regardless of qualifications. One must ALWAYS take the possible circumstances, reasons, motivations, biases, etc. into account. Many, MANY scams, manipulations, lies, PR stunts, and honest mistakes have been done by people of extraordinary credentials. So you core argument (“he knows better so we should believe him”) is a bunch of a nonsense.

      That’s without taking into account the huge SUBJECTIVE factor it involves making such a call. That’s why we’ve seen tens of F1 experts calling Schumacher better than Alonso, and Senna better than Schumacher, and Alonso better than Hamilton, etc etc. It doesn’t mean anyone has to start taking such claims at face value either.

      Thinking by ourselves is a beautiful thing.

  15. Who`s the most complete? That`s a difficult question to answer and in my view the answer lies in the statistics. There are just too many variables to factor in when a person weighs in on the subject, as a consequence the answer given by individuals will be flawed.

    I see a lot of people talking about qualifying-pace, ability to push in race trim and so on. Of course comparisons can be made on these subjects. I for one happen to think that Schumacher has the measure of Alonso in both departments over their career up till this point, something shown clearly by the statistics too. But I will be the first to recognize that Schumacher had lost his edge in 2006, as a matter in fact I think Schumacher lost a bit of his performance i 1999 at Silverstone but was still the major force in F1 through 2003. In 2004 Schumacher had lost his edge in my view (he was approaching 35), but he was still great and had a great car. Will the same apply to Alonso? He should still be in his prisme, but a in 2-3 years he will be at the same age as Schumacher was when he started to show signs of being over his peak. I think Alonso will experience the same as Schumacher did a couple of years from now. Even great drivers get old, it`s part of life.

    But I think it`s too simple to compare these factors without considering the rest. It has often been said some drivers can only win in good cars whereas others are good at handling bad cars. I think the comparison should start right here. Maybe some drivers focus more on and are better at making a car perfect and thus win a lot of because of this. If that is the case this definitely is a part of “being complete”, and a part many seem to ignore. Another factor that should be considered is the will and ability to “go for broke”. That`s an ability that can be both a positive and a negative when you talk about being complete. Alonso is complete in his way and secures points whenever he can by minimizing risk, but he has lost some championships because he`s been too cautious from time to time (2010?, 2012?). Schumacher on the other hand was an out and out racer and took a chance every time he had the opportunity. That lost him some championships, most noteworthy 2006. But on the balance Alonso has perhaps lost as many Championships as he`s won due to caution whereas Schumacher won a lot more Championships than he lost by going for it.

    The final factor that must be considered is the will to win. Some drivers have it in spades and can`t even imagine loosing. In my view Schumachers will to win was stronger than any other driver I`ve seen since Senna and in “modern times” perhaps Vettel. This is what defines the “winning machines” in F1 more than any other factor in my view.

  16. Schumacher 1996, driving a dog of a car, three impressive wins, including the farcical Monza race. The three on the podium that day were all outstanding, Hakkinen for his persistence, Alesi if only for his magnificent start and Schumacher for his brilliant driving – hit the tyres too, but managed to regain control. Ah me, Alonso is good, but there are others out there capable of brilliance

  17. I have been watching F1 since probably 1988/89 (6 or 7 years old) and I firmly believe Schumacher is THE best EVER.

    Norbert Haug was quoted some years ago saying “Let me tell you something about Michael Schumacher. He is a man who spends every waking hour looking for ways to crush his opponents into the ground.”

    He was a fantastic qualifier, an incredible metronomic racer, and had huge foresight into making sure he was fitter, cleverer, sharper and always ahead of the opposition.

    Just a few on his best races that spring to mind are : Barcelona 94, Monaco 95, Barcelona 96, Spa 98, Hungary 98, Monaco 99, Malaysia 99, Suzuka 00, Imola 03, Indy 2005, China 06, Brazil 06.

    I have no doubt that the Alonso of 32yrs old would have been totally destroyed by a 32 yr old Schumacher.

    The reason Massa is putting Alonso ahead of Schumacher, is because he is really suffering in form these days, and that is magnifying the true disparity between their respective talents whilst at their best.

    Massa was getting beaten by Schumacher in quali on average by around 0.5 seconds, and this was at a time when Schumacher was past his prime (racing drivers peak on average @ 32 yrs old).

    I think the driver in the current field with biggest *potential* is actually Jenson Button…if he hooks up his talent to a car the suits his perfectly – everyone else will get left behind.

    As it stands currently, I’d say Vettel is the most complete driver in F1, with Alonso a close second.

  18. i am always a fan of ferrari’s #1 driver hence, an equal admirer of schumi and alonso (throw in kimi and massa if you will). Been following f1 since late 99.

    It is difficult to compare an apple with an orange when it comes to drivers from two different eras..schumi was more dominant in the refuelling era, alonso arguably in the tyre wars (B vs M) and ban on refuelling / DRS era. The ban on refuelling / DRS era / schumi’s 2nd comeback should not be used for comparison because imho schumi never took to the new regs (except for canada’11 heh) and should have never made a comeback. So i believe both are equally complete comparing their time in the refuelling and tyre wars era, which if you narrow it fairly, is the 03-06 period.

    If you want to insist on throwing in the ban on refuelling / DRS era, then yes i’d have to agree that alonso is more complete because he has been able to adjust through the different eras and won or came close to winning (07,10 and 12) with what would have been 3 different constructors while schumi didn’t quite master the tyre wars (and not to mention DRS) era…. having said that, if schumi had also raced through 07 to 09 going into the ban on refuelling / DRS era, i don’t know if my answer would be different.

    Btw i’ll only start thinking of mr index finger babyface as on the road to being “complete” if he moves to another team without mr newey and wins a WDC (or comes frustratingly close like nando) there.

    • Albert said on 17th September 2013, 8:51

      “Btw i’ll only start thinking of mr index finger babyface as on the road to being “complete” if he moves to another team without mr newey and wins a WDC (or comes frustratingly close like nando) there.”

      I don’t get this. Why should he get out of the best team, putting himself intentionally in inferior circumstances? Just so he can prove something to people who doesn’t like him anyway? Makes no sense at all.

      I think it’s about time we get over the fact that he is winning with the (at the time) best team. The same thing did Schumacher, Alonso and Hamilton. Welcome to F1.

      • The same thing did Schumacher, Alonso and Hamilton. Welcome to F1

        schumi moved from benetton to ferrari to enable them to win their first WDC in 21 years

        alonso moved from renault to mclaren and almost won it for them in 07 and please fill in the blanks too for 10 and 12

        hamilton is mathematically still in the WDC for 2013 after moving from mclaren.

        they all moved from the best team and have won / come close to winning / are attempting to make the best of their current car to win another WDC. nothing wrong to desire that mr index finger does that too to prove his worth. otherwise the true 3 (coming 4) time WDC is really, mr newey.

        you are probably one who enjoys seasons like the 2011 one and the current season. if you must know, I did not enjoy the dominant seasons of 02 and 04.

        • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 17th September 2013, 11:47

          And you’re conveniently fogetting the quality of the cars involved. Remember, it took Schumacher 5 years at Ferrari to win a WDC, and the ’07 McLaren was a front-runner all season.
          The fact is that the driver must help develop the car. That is exactly what Vettel is doing at Red Bull.

        • Alonso moved because he saw little future in Renault (besides the fact McLaren has much bigger flair in F1 than Renault), and he was proven right. The McLaren of 2007 was arguably the best car on the grid. It wasn’t a move to worse circumstances. Neither was the move from Renault to Ferrari, since the 2008 and 2009 Renaults were inferior to the Ferrtari. It was a move to BETTER circumstances, not worse.

          McLaren wasn’t the best team in 2012, either (that was the Red Bull). In fact, Hamilton moved because he was so unhappy by the constant reliability issues of the McLaren and plenty of other conflict. And the Mercedes 2013 is an extremely competitive car. Once more, he didn’t move “from the best team” nor to worse circumstances.

          Hell, even when Schumacher moved to Ferrari he took a lot of the technical talent with him. Pilots seek the best circumstances at any given time, why would Vettel do the contrary? Why would anybody do the contrary? You haven’t answered that.

        • @benj-yam Vettel’s said it himself: the reason he competes in F1 is to keep the WDC Trophy in his cabinet. So he’ll remain in the seat in whine he thinks he’s most likely to win – obviously he feels that’s the Red Bull (and who would be one to criticise him for feeling that way).

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 17th September 2013, 20:48

          @benj-yam

          Btw i’ll only start thinking of mr index finger babyface as on the road to being “complete” if he moves to another team without mr newey and wins a WDC (or comes frustratingly close like nando) there.

          That argument just falls apart upon analysis.

          For a start, no current driver, including Alonso and Hamilton have won a championship for another team. Hamilton hasn’t even completed one season outside Mclaren. Yet why would anyone ignore him for 6 seasons, then suddenly use 12 races to call him great?

          So the minimum of what you’re asking is that Vettel wins races for another team, or fight for a championship with another team. To do either of these, any driver (including Schumacher, Alonso and Hamilton), need a frontrunning car. Therefore, for Vettel to “prove” himself to you, he just needs to search for another top team. And that’s where your comment unravels- it’s just nonsense to suggest that Vettel would go from quadruple champion, to suddenly unable to win races in another frontrunning car.

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