Champion of Champions Final: Senna vs Schumacher

Champion of Champions

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After almost 20,000 votes, Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher have been drawn against each other in the Champion of Champions Grand Final.

In a way it’s quite appropriate, as it presents one of the great unanswered questions of modern Formula 1.

Namely, how the 1994 season would have played out had Senna not lost his life at Imola three races in. And how much longer these two would have gone on fighting for race victories and championship titles.

Their achievements in Formula 1 are sufficiently well known (and have been covered earlier in this series several times already) that they hardly require repeating.

It’s down to you to pick which of these drivers stands out among F1’s 32 title winners as the Champion of Champions.

Cast your vote below and explain who you voted for and why in the comments.

Ayrton Senna Michael Schumacher
Titles 1988, 1990, 1991 1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
Second in title year/s Alain Prost, Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell Damon Hill, Damon Hill, Mika Hakkinen, David Coulthard, Rubens Barrichello, Kimi Raikkonen, Rubens Barrichello
Teams Toleman, Lotus, McLaren, Williams Jordan, Benetton, Ferrari, Mercedes
Notable team mates Alain Prost, Gerhard Berger, Mika Hakkinen Nelson Piquet, Eddie Irvine, Rubens Barrichello
Starts 161 268
Wins 41 (25.47%) 91 (33.96%)
Poles 65 (40.37%) 68 (25.37%)
Modern points per start1 11.68 14.05
% car failures2 20.50 8.21
Modern points per finish3 14.70 15.30
Notes Won three titles in four years with McLaren Missed several races in 1999 after breaking his leg at Silverstone
Controversial clash with Prost sealed second title Retired in 2006 after 11 seasons with Ferrari
Killed in third race for Williams in 1994 Returned with Mercedes in 2010
Bio Ayrton Senna Michael Schumacher

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

Which was the better world champion driver?

  • Michael Schumacher (100%)
  • Ayrton Senna (131%)

Total Voters: 806

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Third place play-off

In true World Cup fashion there’s also a play-off for third place:

Which was the better world champion driver?

  • Juan Manuel Fangio (100%)
  • Alain Prost (89%)

Total Voters: 715

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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.

These polls close on February 13th.

Champion of Champions – voting so far

Champion of Champions table (click to enlarge)

Thanks to Emory McGinnis for producing the Champion of Champions table.

Champion of Champions

Browse all Champion of Champions articles

Images © Honda (Senna), Ferrari spa (Schumacher)

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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453 comments on “Champion of Champions Final: Senna vs Schumacher”

  1. SennaNmbr1 (@)
    5th February 2011, 17:50


    1. JohnGreen (@)
      5th February 2011, 18:33

      I agree Senna simply for me had it all.

      1. JohnGreen (@)
        5th February 2011, 18:35

        But in tht third place playoff it goes to Prost in my View.

        1. Third place, most definitely Juan Manuel Fangio.

      2. Extremely difficult for Michael to beat a dead man, especially one as young, dynamic and charismatic who died so dramatically, and still ahead of his game. I dont think Senna was better than Michael, anymore than I think Michael is better than Senna. Unfortunately, we will never know. I think they were both very similar racers, including the will to win – sometimes at any cost !!! Where I think Michael has the advantage is in team-building/car development.

        1. One aspect I think is overlooked in regards to “team building” is that Ferrari has never had to rely on a third party for engines. They do everything in house.
          When Senna and Prost were at McLaren, they were winning nearly every race, due largely to both being excellent at giving the team feedback, but McLaren fell flat when Honda pulled out of the sport in 1992 and they were forced to go with Ford as an engine supplier.
          There’s so much effort and investment by multiple parties that go into making a winning F1 car, it amazes me that so many people suggest Ferrari’s success is mainly due to Schumacher’s effort and ability. I would argue that Ferrari has been successful because they invested in their team (Michael included).

          1. Ferrari always had plenty to invest in everybody. If you will allow me, I will quote the words of one of the most respected voices in F1:
            Quote Schumacher’s greatest feat was not winning seven world titles, but turning Ferrari into Formula One’s best team, says Sir Jackie Stewart. “Michael brought Ferrari from 21 years of not winning a world title to being champions many times. I put that down much more to him than president Luca di Montezemolo or team boss Jean Todt. Without Michael Schumacher it would not have happened. Generally speaking, I think it’s true to say he re-shaped Ferrari and made the Ferrari the car it is today. “ unquote

    2. Shumacher is definitely the greatest of all the times.
      His diligence to details, discipline, vision, technical knowledge, relentless pursuit of perfection, ruthlessness, physical and mental preparation and speed!!! Makes him incomparable with anyone else.
      Senna: Big myth due to his death just gave him a place in history. Anyone that believes in a divine intervention in making him what he is he is other a nut case or a sure early death contender ( as it happens).
      This crowd will be with Senna for the simple reason that he won mostly with Ferrari. Oh I can hear the laments already surging, but “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free”.

      1. James Whiteley
        5th February 2011, 19:43

        “This crowd will be with Senna for the simple reason that he won mostly with Ferrari.”


        1. I meant “he” = Schumi. Sorry.

      2. Oh dear, so you’re only voting Schumacher because you don’t like McLaren?

        1. He was scelping senna before he passed away he was is and always will be the greatest of all time Michael Schumacher

      3. Well you’ve nicely set it up now so that anyone who disagrees with you is nut case. Nice tactic.

        Anyhoo, Schumacher was certainly the most successful driver, but Senna the most passionate. It’s a ridiculous argument to say that Senna was made more of a legend by his early death, simply because it’s completely unprovable. I don’t know, maybe for some people his death did make him greater somehow, but I clearly remember being in awe of the guy when he was alive and well. Mind you, I have been in awe of Schumacher as well. They were both flawed, no question. And yet, what I remember of Senna is his speed. And what I remember of Schumacher is Austria 2002, not least because afterwards he had the gall to say that once the championship was secured then he and Barrichello would have “some real racing”. Senna for me.

        1. Yeah, it’s kind of amazing, the way people were talking and writing about Senna even when he was still alive. Anyone who thinks his status as a legend exists only because of his death should read, for example, Grand Prix People by Gerald Donaldson, published in 1990. (Actually, everyone should just read that book anyway!)

        2. Senna the most passionate.

          I think Rubens would properly take that one.

          what I remember of Senna is his speed. And what I remember of Schumacher is Austria 2002

          This I have to pick on, because Schumacher wasn’t exactly slow was he?
          And Senna wasn’t exactly innocent.

          They both have pros and cons, but if you take the best of Senna and compare it to the worst of Schumacher, It is a bit inevitable who you will vote for. (And vice versa)

          1. I’d say the difference is that Senna’s great moments trump his bad moments where as Schumacher’s do not. I remember Austria 2002 before Spain 1996 for example.

            For every great moment by Schumacher there seems to be an even bigger controversy. Senna had his incidents but for each controversy there’s a better drive.

          2. macca1977 (@)
            6th February 2011, 13:49

            You remember Senna’s great moments better than their bad because he is dead. That is a simple fact of human nature.
            I’m not saying he wasn’t one of the best. But I think he is a bit overrated. I would like Schumi to win cause he deserves it on the only way it can be measured, on wins and points and WDCs.
            But unfortunately I don’t think he will win.

          3. You remember Senna’s great moments better than their bad because he is dead

            These arguments are really getting under my skin. You’re assuming things about how people think not to mention stacking the debate because then rather than discussing the drivers’ merits and flaws we end up talking about whether people who think that Senna was the better champ are just blinded. Why can’t people just say what they think without being boorish about it?

          4. I disagree with Ragerod. That’s your opinion, but for me, the likes of Spain 1994, Europe 1995, Belgium 1995, Spain 1996, Italy 1996, Monaco 1997, Hungary 1998, Japan 1998, France 2004, Japan 2004, Brazil 2006 and many more trump the negatives that always get dug up.

          5. Macca, I could just as easily argue that you are down playing Senna’s achievements because he is dead.

            Time gave Schumacher an opportunity to win more titles, but it also gave him more occasions make a fool of himself. While he committed worse sins, Monaco qualifying 2006 sticks out for me.

            On the balance, for me, both were great and dominant drivers. But I’ve always thought that Schumacher’s success was more tainted, and the decks were always more or less stacked in his favor.

            Senna for me.

          6. Davidmcgrory
            25th June 2017, 6:57

            Schumacher never crashed into someone at 160mph senna should have been banned for life for that

      4. Senna just a big myth?!? Seriously?!
        Poles 65 (40.37%)
        This makes the myth fully justified or doesn’t it?

        1. Yes he is indeed a myth. Yes Poles at 40% but he never converted it to a win!!! Look at his win percentage compare to MSC! then the truth will set you free! lol,

          1. As a Schumacher fan i am sure that you base all your arguments on stats. So before you shout out about Senna not winning all his races from pole why don’t you look at why he wasn’t able to finish all his races before making these comments. Do you deny that F1 cars were much more reliable by the time Schumacher was racing? Plus also, Schumacher competed in more reces anyway.

      5. Senna was already a myth before he died! Don’t state such a stupid thing. If you say something like that, you have not seen races or anything with Senna.

      6. you could win a marathon if you run it against yourself. a good chunk of Schumachers championship were won with him competing against his team mates. i personally think Hill was not up to the task otherwise he should have won at least 2 championship because of the Williams dominance then. also, dont forget that when Schumacher came against somewhat stiff opposition he always was making mistakes or trying to run them off the track i.e Hill and J Villeneuve. so we could assume that had there been a better line up like today, he might not have won 7 titles.

        1. you could win a marathon if you run it against yourself.

          Schumacher didn’t win anything against himself. He had ~20 other cars to race, most of them occupied with talented drivers like Hakkinen, Hill, Alonso, Raikkonen.

          also, dont forget that when Schumacher came against somewhat stiff opposition he always was making mistakes or trying to run them off the track i.e Hill and J Villeneuve.

          Schumacher actually drove a brilliant year in 1997, challenging Villeneuve despite much inferior machinery, but obviously, due to Jerez, it’s overlooked.

          so we could assume that had there been a better line up like today, he might not have won 7 titles.

          No we can’t, since the assumption that the rest of the field is better now is merely speculation. Schumacher was good enough in his prime to make good drivers look poor.

          1. Schumacher didn’t win anything against himself. He had ~20 other cars to race, most of them occupied with talented drivers like Hakkinen, Hill, Alonso, Raikkonen.

            All of them in cars 2seconds per lap slower, except the one that wasn’t allowed to beat him. “Wow” etc

          2. All of them in cars 2seconds per lap slower, except the one that wasn’t allowed to beat him. “Wow” etc

            If you look properly, the only years where he had an advantage even approaching that much were 2002 and 2004. Don’t get yourself confused.

      7. Schumacher, maybe is not as fast driver as Senna was, but he is definitely a better racer.

        1. Please stop with this “schumacher is a better racer” legend. Please define your idea of a “racer”???? A racer is someone, by definition, who competes in a race. Are you saying Schumacher competed more steadfastly in his races than senna did. What do you mean by that comment? As if senna did not try hard enough.? Of course Senna didn’t try?? Schumacher won a lot of his races in the era of refuelling. All his team had to do was fuel the car to allow him to overtake other cars in pitstops. Hardly what you call racing on the track. There were a lot of moments in Senna’s career when he completely out raced all his competitors as did all the countless F1 winners over the decades. Schumacher is not special because he has the best wins stats, or the most points. A formula 1 driver is a racer by defintion. Surely. Letś start with Monaco 1984. Senna passed many seasoned pros on his way to 2nd (which could easliy have been 1st). Then when Senna nearly didn get off the line at Suzuka in 1988 at the start. He somehow made his way back though the field from 14th to take the lead and win. Not bad for a non-racer as compared to being a great pole sitter. Also, don’t forget donnington 1993. 5 cars in one lap. I guess all the other racers let him by because they all thought he should have been on pole. How about Canada in 1993? Senna goes from 8th to 3rd in 2 laps. There are other examples of Sennaś racecraft, i’m sure. (he started in go-karts for christs sake). Of course, there were times when senna just led the field. But doesn’t that always happen when the dominant driver in that race has the best car. To suggest that Schumacher is a “better Racer” just does not make sense. All the top drivers are racers and Senna was amongst the best at overtaking for sure. Moreover, over the decades of Formula 1 reliablity and mechanical expertise has greatly improved. In my opinion, Schumacher, yes a great driver was a lucky recepient of a period when technology became more reliable.

          In anycase, by all means have your opinions on who is best but why say shcumacher is a better racer compared to Senna. Senna drove some immaculate races. Schumacher of course drove some immaculate races. But the stats should never tell the true story of formula 1 greatness.

    3. miguelF1O (@)
      5th February 2011, 22:13

      Senna is a pink tainted memory

    4. in a single lap, senna.
      to win a championship, schumacher.
      so, schumacher.

    5. This is like 2pac vs Eminem

      1. what? Do you mean Biggie vs. Tupac? Maybe an example from something which you are more familiar with! lol.

    6. Orlando (@thegroovocrats)
      8th October 2011, 21:06

      Senna 100% for me! He raced against real drivers during a time where races were won on the race track not in the pits! You surely can’t compare Prost, Piquet, Mansell, K. Roseberg, Nikki Lauda etc… with the D. Hill, J. Villeneuve and Mika…
      Senna won at Mclaren but he drove amazingly right from his Toleman days (ie: Monaco 84) and Lotus (Portugal 85)!
      Judging by his history it would be hard to believe that he would not have won 94, 95, 96 and 97 and the Schumi legend would have never existed!! But “ifs” don’t move the world and Shumi has his value but for me he is number 3, after Senna and A. Prost.

  2. i knew it would come down to these 2. so hard to decide :/

    1. stats say schumacher but we will never know what stats senna would have produced if he had survived

      1. ive gone for senna

        1. The Sri Lankan
          5th February 2011, 20:43

          me too

      2. Schumacher, just because we can’t turn back the time.
        Schumacher did all those things.
        Senna left a great question mark.

  3. It’s here! The final!
    Voted for Senna because I believe he dominated a better class of competition. It could be argued that Shumacher was more dominant over his peers, making them seem less competitive.

  4. I’m going to agree with Schumacher and vote for Senna as the best.

    1. If Senna were alive I’m sure he would have said, in retirement, that Schumacher was the best. Being fast doesn’t mean you are the best champion, it just means you are fast. Otherwise I suspect that Raikkonen would be in the top four and I love Kimi, but I wouldn’t put him as a top four champion because he’s so fast he gets bored driving an F1 car. Both of these two are fast, but the best champion has to be Michael. He’s a living legend and although everyone knew Senna was a legend while alive I agree that as he is dead his legend has grown because one can’t compete with the dead. I wanted to vote for Senna until I saw the actual numbers on the two and then I realized what Michael has actually achieved and remember that he was right there with Senna right from the start. The reality is that you are voting for Legend vs. Proof.

  5. Schumacher. Senna may have been the fastest ever and had a great attention to detail but Schumacher used every single tool around him. Senna may have been a bigger talent but Schumacher used his better.

    Schumacher also showed his technical quality and how good a racing driver was when he dragged Ferrari up from nowhere and helped to get a good team around him. As exciting as the races are they really only count a little way to the title when you consider the miles of testing and developing that goes on. Schumacher may never have had a team mate as hard as Prost like Senna had but he galavanised the team around him and maybe Rubens was actually quite good but Schumacher was so much better who knows.

    Also, when I look at Senna’s poles compared to his wins perhaps he was too reckless at times. His speed is clear and he got the maximum on a Saturday but it’s the wins that count.

    1. Agree with all this. My vote went for Schumacher.

      I may have appreciated Senna more if he’d been my era but the greatest for me is Schumacher.

      1. x3 I went for Schumacher as well, the stats speak for themselves, and as Steph points out, the way he built the team up around himself is very impressive. Dominating 5 years straight in the modern era of F1 is no small feat. I voted Fangio for 3rd, so it looks so far like I’m voting for the losers in both…

        1. Old_boy_racer (@)
          6th February 2011, 8:11

          Fangio was ahead by 8 votes when I voted: close!

      2. Senna would never, ever, go to ferrari. He wanted the best car.
        Going to Ferrari to build something shows attitude from Schumacher.
        This is to choose the greatest champion, not only the fastest. In this case, maybe it would be Clark, anyway

        1. We Want Turbos (@)
          6th February 2011, 7:59

          Senna had apparently stated numerous times he wanted to end his career at Ferrari…

          1. Yes but he also wanted the best car, in Senna’s era Ferrari didnt have close to the best car.

        2. Schumacher went to Ferrari for $50M per year if I recall….

          1. And I don’t recall any other reigning 2 time champs taking on such a challenge…

          2. He should have payed for the drive instead? Is it bad that those people felt he deserved every penny?

    2. Thank you Steph I couldn’t decide why I wanted to vote for Michael and now you gave me a reason for it.

    3. Yes, but you also have to take into account Senna’s failure rate as some of the failures would have occured when he started on pole which would account for some of the difference in pole to win rate! And 20% is quite a high failurea rate!

      1. That’s true Madman but it could beg the question of whether Senna simply pushed too hard and was a car breaker? He was very unfortunate with his failures though compared to Michael.

    4. Sorry Steph, I have to disagree. The fact that Schumacher never had a team mate who could challenge him is a huge factor in why I can never agree that he is the greatest ever. On the whole I’d have to say that Senna’s era was far more competitive with the likes of Prost, Mansell and Piquet around. MSC never had that calibe of opposition…

      1. The Sri Lankan
        5th February 2011, 20:52

        thats the reason i voted for senna. and im one of those people thats truly under the belief that had senna lived, Shumacher would have had less titles than he does now.

      2. That’s ok GeeMac I like a debate! To be honbest it’s been a sticking point with Schumi for me but then again Senna came into a team which was Prost’s while Schumacher never really had that situation. He always made the team around him and Senna’s only really team mate of note was Alain (arguably Elio too).

        Also, while Senna’s time perhaps had a greater spread of talent -then again maybe Schumacher was just showing everyone else up but that said I do genuinely believe the talent in the 80s was stronger- I always felt that the cars were closer in performance in the 90s and 00s which evens things out for me. Senna would sometimes only ever be racing Alain while Schumacher fought different teams rather than drivers and he did drag his early Ferrari’s into positions they really shouldn’t have been.

        This wasn’t an easy vote for me. Talent wise I’d have gone with Ayrton and I can’t help but admire how deeply passionate he seemed but for me, Schumacher was suprememly talented too and used every single thing at his disposal.

        1. I personally see Senna as much like a Raikkonen who won a few more championships – he was the outright fastest of his era (and has a similar fanatical fanbase too).

          Schumacher wasn’t necessarily the fastest (although he often was) but instead he was a more rounded, determined champion.

          The real reasons that people aren’t rating him as high as Senna are twofold:

          1) Senna died a hero [tough to say, but true]

          2) Schumacher won his championships dominantly. It does not matter whether he won them in a dominant car, as he did for a few of his championships, but there was always the feeling in the early 2000’s that he would simply win no matter what. That has been taken negatively by many fans as he did effectively make the sport ‘boring’. Those same fans though often don’t see that he made the sport boring simply because he was the best – by a long, long way.

          For similar reasons, I believe Jenson’s display at the beginning of last year was so great – we were watching a driver, in a great car, perform perfectly. It is boring in one sense, but poetry in motion for another.

          Both drivers were great, but Schumacher was just a step beyond anything that had been before in my opinion. In on track behaviour they were also exactly the same.

          1. SennaTheG.O.A.T
            10th February 2011, 2:43

            What the **** are you taking about.It’s ridiculous to say that “Senna as much like a Raikkonen who won a few more championships”..How old are you and say this?18?Raikkonen is nowhere near to Senna as a talent.Not even close..GTFO
            Senna is the best ever.Period.He had better opponents,he was faster and his technique was unreal.

          2. Wow, Senna fanboys can get touchy over anything…

        2. Schumacher fought different teams rather than drivers and he did drag his early Ferrari’s into positions they really shouldn’t have been.

          That’s why Schumacher challenged for the title in 1997 and 1998 whilst Irvine won no races. Schumacher really was dominant. Senna less, althought it may be because of Prost’s great ability.

      3. Schumacher did have capable team mates.

        Brundle, Patrese, Herbert, Barrichello and Irvine – 4 of those are race winners, the other is arguably the greatest driver to have not won a race (a driver, who was an equal to Senna in his early days).

        Its simply a myth to say that Schumacher didn’t have capable teammates. His performance clauses would mean nothing if he couldn’t beat them in the first place.

        The only difference between Senna and Schumacher in this respect is that Senna had Prost as a team mate. Its completely correct to say that Schumacher never had a Prost as a team mate – but then again, that will likely never happen again.

        1. Senna was even beaten by Prost, right? Both years… there is a passion around Senna, thats all.

          1. I think you’ll find it was one all. And dont give me any technical rubbish, they had one championship each.

            Did you ever witness senna driving, live? with your own eyes. The reason there is a “passion” is because the man had phenomenal car control, much greater than schumacher, or anyone else for that matter, and a fearless attitude which made him the Greatest of ALL time.

            Yes i am a “fanboy” cause he is my childhood hero, but for good reason.

            Schumacher was a blight, a wart if you like of the face of a once great sport. Since his comeback, i kinda like the guy, but the fact he was celebrating his victory at imola 94 so enthusiastically while everyone else was silent and downtrodden at the death of one of the greats, showing respect, made me question the morality of the man, which was later prooved beyond all reasonable doubt at Adelaide 94, jerez 97, qualifying at monaco 2004, and even hungary 2010.

          2. sorry typo, monaco 2006

          3. @mike-e

            Schumacher was not celebrating Imola 1994 enthusiastically – there is one edited video on youtube that makes it look like he is but its been deliberately edited to do that – just look at its’ comments. Further, as far as I know, no one knew that Senna was dead on the podium.

            For every mention of Jerez 97 or Adelaide 94, there is Suzuka 89. I don’t know Senna’s career as well as Schumacher’s as I was not old enough, but there will be other examples too. The drivers were as bad as each other, both ruthless when they needed to be.

            if you’re going to argue on the internet, get your facts rights. Your comments below of just slating Schumacher are unnecessary and don’t bolster your argument at all.

          4. I’d love an edit button on F1fanatic!

            I mean Suzuka 1990 above. ’89 is a contentious one, haven’t made up my mind who was at fault yet.


            I guess German’s hide their emotions well. That well.

        2. it happened with hamilton + alonso (although i’ll give you no one knew how good hamilton would actually be as a rookie)

        3. Old_boy_racer (@)
          6th February 2011, 8:22

          That is true what you say, Brundle was a match for Senna in junior formulae. Brundle sometimes managed to out race Schumacher when they were both at Bennetton but he could never out qualify him. Schumacher had more outright pace.

          Interestingly saw that Brundle made a comeback at the Daytona 24 hours the other week, 4th is not a bad effort having not driven for 10 years. Even the drivers whose careers were interrupted by the wars didn’t have that long between major races.

      4. While Senna’s era was definitely much more competitive, it is not Michael’s fault that his peers – Mika Hakkinen, Montoya, Raikkonnen, Alonso, Villeneuve, Hill – weren’t as talented as him.

        Schumacher compensated for this lack of competition by winning more dominantly than any driver in the history ever had. He was the sole reason the changes of the 2003 and 2005 season were introduced. I don’t think Senna has ever caused the riles to be changed.

        Regarding team-mates, you have to understand that Schumacher built the entire Ferrari team which led to world domination. The number of miles Michael has put in Fiorano and Mugello is staggering. The tifosi would have automatically made Michael their no.1 driver by looking at his hard work alone. Forget his talent.

        1. I disagree with this, hakkinen was more talented, and won 2 out of 3 championships they fought with competative cars.

          1. I can’t believe anyone could say that. How can you say Hakkinen was better in 1999, when Schumacher missed 6 races because of his accident? Hakkinen had a tough competition with Irvine until the last race and let’s not forget that Schumacher has been better than Irvine except those 6 races. The likes of you shouldn’e even have the right to vote, for God’s sake!

          2. @mike-e

            It’s such a challenge to win a championship when you’ve done 6 more races than your main rival who broke a leg.

            Well, Hill couldn’t do it with 4 more races.

        2. in fact, alonso too, even tho i dont like him beat schumacher 2 out of 3 times they had competative cars and is a more talented driver.

          1. I guess the 3 times are all in 2006, because that’s when all the events you describe happened.

          2. Cristian hit the nail on the head.

      5. Old_boy_racer (@)
        6th February 2011, 8:15

        PK was MS’s team-mate at one point.

        But the reason MS never had a better team mate than Martin Brundle or Rubens Barrichello is that nobody wanted to go up against MS in the same team and be found wanting.

        1. “Found wanting” that they hadn’t signed a contract that explained that they needed to let Schumacher pass you mean?

          1. Barrichello certainly found himself wanting before Austria, what with the 6 points he garnered, to Schumacher’s 44.

    5. well done on a post which explains why you woud vote Schumi over Senna without descending into silly comments which add nothing to the debate as so many people are doing here. Clear, concise and accurate. So many comments in this compeition I’ve rolled my eyes at (even supporting driver’s I’ve voted for), but this was actually really nice to read.

    6. Ferrari was rubbish until Todt, Brawn, Rory Byrne (chief car designer), 11 other “key” team players in Benetton and Schumi all came in to sort things out.

      Schumacher pointed out to ferrari on who they should sign up for his campaign dominance. Anyone can do that…

      The unsung hero in Ferrari, Rory Byrne was of equal to Adrian Newey in his career, and people undervalue Vettel’s WDC since Adrian Newey made the RB5-6 to what it is, Schumi had the same treatment in Benetton and Ferrari.

      The ferrari’s V12’s were also rubbish against the lighter V10-8’s of the Williams and Benettons. Ferrari only started to challenge world titles again when that lot came in and changed all that, all through most of Michaels campaign they were with him.

      Rory Byrne was the key factor in Ferrari’s dominance, not Schumacher.

      Schumi was lucky to have Rory Byrne as a car designer since every world title Schumacher has ever won, has been a design created by Rory Byrne, check if you want.

      1. Agree was the strongest team ever in F1 history with Schumacher singing a song in podium. Definitely he is not that special, by the way he put the world turning around him. So I would go for Senna.

      2. Rory Byrne was with Benetton since 1981 at Toleman and he didn’t deliver a winning car until Schumacher came to the team. Hardly a coincidence. And the first time he actually made the best car was 2002. Not THAT great as you suggest.

        1. No Christian, Rory Byrne started to win with his cars when he had the money backing him by Benetton to do so, more money = better equipment and better drivers.

          Schumi is a great driver but that 7 title record he has is thanks because of him and the other guys at Benetton.

          Only 2002? yer ok…

          All WCC, all Rory Bryne’s designs.

          Also try inlcuding multiple 3rds, 2nds..

          And also considering he was trying to design cars to beat the McLarens and Williams at their history peaks was like going through 2 Ferrari dominant era’s.

          Not that great eh?

          1. Huh? I said 2002 is the first year he actually made the best car. I never said he wasn’t one of the best designers in f1.
            Benetton was in f1 since 1985 and their money too. Byrne was with them…
            I never said Schumacher had Minardis to drive but I pointed that he was the most important part in a great assembly.

          2. Rory Byrne’s career.

            Toleman years:

            Benetton years:

            Ferrari years:

            Aldo Costa era, taking over from Rory slowly:

            Rory is now gone era:

            Anyway I prooved my point and I don’t have to go any further with this since the guy beat Adrian Newey when they both got similar budgets, equipment and drivers and people call Newey a demi god with cars.

            Newey and Vettel are doing the same thing at Red Bull… Great designer with a great driver, lethal combination should go far. Just like Rory and Schumi did.

          3. Toleman changed its name into Benetton after the buy-out. I don’t see the relevance of your last post since I just mentioned he was at Benetton since 1985. I missed a year but anyway it’s the same team, only the name changed.
            And I specified that the first time he made the BEST car is 2002. And it was a mistake, I give that to you. It was 1999.
            I admit though that my choice of words was poor as I said “winning” cars; by this I meant not race winners, but title challengers.

      3. I agree, how much input did schumacer really have in making Ferrari the great success it was? Was it down to schumacer or was he really fortunate in having the best people round him? I think if you gave senna and schumacer equal equipment senna would have come out on top.

        1. macca1977 (@)
          6th February 2011, 14:23

          Great discussion, but it getting silly with people now questioning about Schumacher’s input on the team.
          Do you really think his input wasn’t one of the key factors in Ferrari’s domination ? He drove the cars for 10 years !!!, in the late 90s fighting for championships against cars what were way better than his Ferrari, he did thousands of laps testing, always part of the setup/guidelines of the new cars (as every driver does). Obviously he didn’t do it all, but the people he brought in did it together, someone said that everybody can do that (bring the people to a team) and that is simply not true. Villeneuve tried to do it with BAR and he went nowhere, same with Irvine in Jaguar.
          It’s pretty unfair how people say Senna was a greater driver cause he struggled a lot more than Schumi to win, they forgot Schumi’s 97-99 years of building a team (together with the rest of the people from benneton).
          The facts are very clear he won 7 WDC, Senna 3 if you wanna say that Senna had more competition cause he fought a lot more against other drivers, remember the championships what Schumi didnt won and how tight they were. There were excellent drivers on Schumi’s era, but they weren;t WDC champions cause of Schumi’s dominance.

          1. No it’s getting silly people thinking Schumacher pulled up Ferrari all by himself.

            Funny how Rory announced his retirement intentions in 2004 for the 2006 season start and that his understudy Aldo costa would take over as being the chief car desinger before his retirment.

            Rory also credited the 2005 Ferrari design was Aldo’s work…

            Schumi never won a world title again.

            Funny that eh?

          2. Schumacher had an unrivaled level of dedication in testing, to ensure that Byrne’s designs would be so quick out on track.

            Indeed, other teams have had periods of dominance, but no other driver utilized his machinery as well as MS to ensure that they could win 5 titles in a row. Or finish on the podium in every single race of the season.

            Rory Byrne’s retirement didn’t stop MS from being very competitive in 2006, assisting the development for the successor to Costa’s 2005 car. And despite the tough first half of the season, the car was the fastest by season’s end.

          3. Senna was a very dedicated test driver. In fact, he probably set the precedent for others to follow. In 1985, when he joined Lotus he led more laps than any other driver but it was the car that let him down more often than not. Senna was a very good development driver but at the end of the day it is the designers inital draft that makes the difference as does the technology and reliablity.

            Schumacher was able to utilise his machinery as you say, but also the reliablity and technology. All the top drivers would have loved to have utilised that reliablity and techonolgy in their careers. But of course tragedy and age have got in the way.

            In my opinion Schumacher was the dominant driver of his period but should not be placed above other dominant drivers of their respective eras based on stats alone as he had the benefit of technology and safer circuits.

        2. @Nico Rosberg to win 2011 your comment getting unreasonable as already explained with fact by some and on your other comment how Schumacher plays a bigger role in Ferrari success. You just trying to bend the fact with nonsense argument just because you dislike Schumi. in 2005 The most-noted aspect of the season was Ferrari’s lack of pace caused mainly by a new rule prohibiting tyre changes during the course of a race. The Bridgestone tyres used by Ferrari could not find the right balance between performance and reliability, leaving the Michelin runners to battle for race victories. Further rule changes emphasised the new focus on reliability, with engines required to last two Grands Prix without being changed.

          1. Actually Dave I was a schumi fan until he retired, got the Ferrari hats to proove it.

          2. Then you should get your fact right

    7. Steph, is not easy one.

      I have voted for Senna because this man was unique in his class.

      In fact, an Italian colleague (a great Ferrari fan) gave me the best definition I heard talking about Michael and Ayrton. He just told me: “Ayrton could had been a leader in any activity he would choose. Michael just in F1”

      True must be told, he told me this in 1998 just before Michael win everything for Ferrari. But I think he was right. Ayrton had a special personality and every other driver simply admire Senna. Remember Michael crying in the conference press of Italian GP of 2000 when he equaled the number of victories Senna had.

      For me, the greatest champions are Senna and Clark. Thanks god I have not those two for voting who was the best.

    8. How do we really know that it was schumacer that brought the amazing success to Ferrari?

      1. He definitely played a part in it, having already won 2 titles with Benetton. Otherwise there would have been less or no success.

    9. I agree as well. My vote went with Schumi. I would have loved the Fangio-Schumi final though.

  6. Schumacher, this isn’t a ‘what might have been’ this is a ‘what they actually achieved’ vote for me, and everyone, even Senna, pales in comparison to this man.

    1. I agree with you because you could argue that while Senna could have won more after 1994, Schumacher could have won in 1999 and after 2006 had he stayed, so both have lost some seasons and for this the vote is regular in my opinion.

      1. Good point. And however unlikely, for all we know Schumacher can still return to his former glory and clinch an 8th title. If he can pull that off I think it will convince a few more of his place at the top of the heap.

        1. Right, Senna would have acheived more afte 1994, but then again I had the feeling Schumi was getting under his skin by that time, making him feel he was losing out (like Alonso did for Schumi in 2006).

          And I think Schumi is at least having a try at Mercedes. If he makes it worth a few wins, and a team capable of the championship, that would be 3 teams ready for top level he helpt build up, next to all those wins and statistics. Quit an acheivement.

    2. Nicely put.

      But as I expected, Senna is too widely liked for Schumacher to really have a chance in a poll such as this.

  7. Schumacher, because he got everyone and everything behind him. When he lost the whole team felt the loss. If there was argument about him being no 1 in a team, it was because he earned and not because he asked it.

    Senna has more poles percentage, but lower win percentage, that means simialr to Vettel he acted at times immaturely. Both have given us some memorable drives and moves, and its difficult to chose as it should be given that its the final, but because of the reasons stated above its Schumi for me

  8. Schumacher. I have no doubt that Senna was the more talented driver. Those 65 poles speak for themselves. But Schumacher is the driver you want over a season. We can all talk about how none of his teammates could compete with him. But none of his teammates were driving the team, be it Benetton or Ferrari, the way he did. Regardless of how boring he made the early 2000s, it was success that he fully deserved for the years spent pulling Ferrari out of the midfield.

    And if anybody wants to talk about unsporting behaviour, I only have two words for you: Suzuka 1990. That was an era when you could still die or be very grievously injured from a crash.

    1. In fact, in 1992, two japanese drivers colided in exactly tha same way at that first corner, and one of them died. I think it was F3000.

      So Senna could have killed himself or Prost.

    2. While a driver plays a significant role in developing a car I really don’t think that the success Ferrari enjoyed can be credited to Schumacher alone…which many people seem to be doing. The fact is that Ferrari in the mid 90’s decided to get the best driver and technical staff they could at the time. It’s a combination of driver, staff, and a huge increase in investment by Ferrari and it’s sponsors that gave them the advantage they enjoyed starting in 2000.

      1. Actually the fact is as i explained it before, it was Michael who brought Brawn into Ferrari. Michael was the one who stood up to support Todt when he was about to resign because he felt responsible for Ferrari failure. At that time Todt was more familiar in rally rather than F1 so it indirectly made Schumacher as the “team boss”. Michael then started to identify what did Ferrari lack of and then approached Brawn to Ferrari, together they persuaded Byrne into the team. Without Schumacher probably Todt wouldn’t stay in Ferrari and there would be no Brawn and Bryne etc and Ferrari wouldn’t have the domination years. Yes it was not Michael alone but he plays the bigger role on Ferrari success how his hardwork, determination, Great input for the engineers how he lead, motivate and bringing the team into one family that leads to years of domination.

      2. Exactly, Ferrari had the money to do it.

  9. Don’t know why I cannot vote from both my computer and my laptop.

    My vote would go for SENNA

    1. your laptop is also a computer mate *grin*

      1. Shared IP address.

        1. I use them both from home so I know that I share the same internet ip. At least from one of them I would have got access.

  10. Lewis Hamilton by a mile! Oh, wait though…

    Seriously though, wasn’t it always going to be these two in the final?

    Got to give it to the Red Baron, just for taking on a team that previously were something of a laughing stock in F1. Although I did go off Ferrari somewhat after he went there. LOL

    1. LOL, still amazing Lewis almost got past Jack Brabham isn’t it?

  11. Michael Schumacher,the greatest F1 driver of all time.

    Ayrton Senna,with absolutely my full respect,was a great driver, BUT,he would not have been able to match the great Michael Schumacher.Schumi was on a different level to all those that had been before,and all are at the present time and doubtless all will be in the future.

    It is without doubt a privilege to watch the great man in action again.Michael Schumacher is a legend in his own lifetime.

  12. This vote is pretty redudant. Everyone and their mother knows that when it comes to sympathy Senna beats Schumacher, because Senna’s, well let’s say, negative qualities tend to be ignored mostly. Ah well, nevermind. I for my part voted for Schumacher, both because their actual achievements speak for themselves and because I tend to answer the “What would have been question this way:

    Senna would’ve …
    * lost the 1994 title to Schumacher
    * gone to Ferrari for 1995
    * pulled a Prost ’91 there
    * come back five years later to run against Prost Grand Prix only with more mediocrity
    * range on the “annoyingness scale” somewhere between Helmut Marko and Luca DiMontezemolo in 2011

    1. Klon – Can’t agree with you more…. I have the same opinion.

    2. Schumacher could have won in 1999 and 2007/2008, had he remained at Ferrari, and this extends even more his supremacy. Senna could have won some more, but still less than Michael.

    3. I agree with you Klon, I just don’t understand why some people don’t vote from hard facts instead of, as you said, “What would have been”.

    4. You are spot on Klon! couldn’t have put it better myself.

      1. Also, disproportionate pole to race wins such as Senna’s tend to suggest wasted opportunities… Of course it shows someones got good pace too, and car failures do not help, but someone with that many pole positions should really have converted those into more wins. Vettel fits this mold well…

    5. Senna’s, well let’s say, negative qualities tend to be ignored mostly.

      No they don’t. They’ve never failed to come up in every stage of this feature, and the same is true for Schumacher.

      1. He means that Schumacher is vilified for making the same mistakes as Senna, but Ayrton is treated with a bit of forgiveness, perhaps because he died. I think I said it already at some other poll, perhaps the one with Jim Clark, but it’s sad that if Schumacher would have died people would have created for him a distorted and idealized image, just like in Senna’s case.
        One can only be appreciated if he dies?

        1. Good point Cristian.

        2. But that is just total speculation. Schumacher is seen as more tainted not because he’s alive but because he did more tainted things. Just count’em!

      2. I’d also say that some users tend to vote before they read comments. Those that do that are often the same ones that will ignore the negative qualities of Senna.

        Having said that, i’m sure that some do it the other way around too.

    6. Senna would’ve …
      * lost the 1994 title to Schumacher

      Schumacher won that title by a single point after taking Senna’s teammate out of the track
      I can’t see how he could had snatched it from Ayrton.

      1. Reason 1: Senna hadn’t finished the first three races (assuming his crash would’ve happened anyhow but he would have survived it) whereas Hill had at least some points, so Senna had to make more ground up.

        Reason 2: Is there any actual reason to think that Senna’s string of retirement would have stopped? All of his retirements in 1994 where collisions. The next track would have been Monaco. Speaks for itself, really.

        Reason 3: Would Schumacher have done the same, well, let’s say, mistake in the British Grand Prix of that year if Senna were his main contender?

        Reason 4: After Senna’s tragedy, Hill had to up his game to keep the team from having a moral breakdown. Would Damon Hill had the same kind of improvement if Senna had lived? And if not, could he have posed a threat to Schumacher and taken points of him as Senna would have needed to win?

        That are four reasons and I can surely think of more when given more time.

  13. Definitely Ayrton Senna Da Silva !!!

    1. You can only vote for Ayrton Senna or Michael Schumacher.

  14. Schumacher is greatly responsible for F1 as we know it, for drivers being 100% commited, fit, dedicated… The old days in where a driver would simply step on the car after eating 3 burguers and having 2 cigars are simply gone, mostly because he set the bar so high.

    In a pre-shumacher era, when did a driver went on running marathons? (Not that he has ever done that, but the fitness required is thanks to him).

    Senna was a master, but a past master, he never was as commited as MS mainly because he was blazingly fast. Schumacher was the all-around better driver.

    My vote goes for the 7 time champion.

    1. Schumacher played football at a professional level (during the off-seasons mainly) so that would equate to the marathons.

    2. Schumacher is greatly responsible for F1 as we know it,

      True in many respects, not the least of which is that not losing championship point is more important than going all out for a race win. One of the reasons Schumacher won all those championships, aside from talent and technology, is that he set out to win championships. he was an achievement junkie. He was, in many ways, perhaps the first true corporate driver. Senna set out to win every race, every lap, maybe every corner. Schumacher was dominant and calculating. Senna passionate and perhaps a little disturbed. But I’m pretty sure he didn’t eat burgers and smoke cigars before jumping into the car : P

      1. So how do you explain the skewed stats in terms of race win %???

        1. What I mean is – I don’t think Senna thought about the bigger picture as much as Schumacher. I think that he wanted to be the fastest, while Schumacher wanted to be the most successful. It’s a thin line, maybe, but I think it explains a lot about both their careers.

          1. Maciek, I think that gets the difference between these two brilliantly.

            Senna wanted to be the best at every inch of the track, Schumi set out to win all.

    3. I’ve always thought of Senna as the driver that was most commited to F1 and the driver that took his fitness and dedication to another level. Was he not one of the first drivers to hire a personal trainer?

    4. Actually Senna started that “fitness and attention to every detail” thing.

      1. Thank you for pointing that out, many don’t know it…

  15. I suggested a 3rd / 4th place vote :-)

    1. Could be the winner is 2nd place really.

    2. I love it as well. Also nice Keith put in the results of all the polls in that graph.
      Great idea for an off season past time Keith!

  16. My vote for the best ever driver : Michael Schumacher. Too bad he already won the final against Alain Prost.

    1. That was a semi-final.

      1. But,as it consisted of the two best drivers, that was the real final in my opinion.

        1. Senna beat Fangio and Prost is even with Fangio.

          So, the vote doesn’t agree with your opinion.

  17. Schumacher for me but Senna always wins these poll things. People seem to overlook Suzuka 1990 and yet constantly harp on about Jerez 1997. Also those who make that argument that his career was cut short, do you honestly think he would have won another 50 gran prixs to equal schumachers tally. To those who use the Schumacher vetoed his teammates line, Senna refused to allow Lotus hire Derek Warwick alongside him, need I go on. Sorry if this comes across as overly pretentious but Senna and Schumacher both have strengths and weaknesses. Why the constant reverence of Senna and judgemental attitude towards Sch?

    1. I agree with this largely. The drivers were as bad as each other when it comes to picking drivers and on track antics. They differ slightly in personality though, although this is perhaps more due to the more open, philosophical attitude that Senna had compared with Schumacher.

      The main difference between the two is the ‘competition’ argument where people say that Schumacher had no competition for his titles etc. I’d dispute that too – in fact, it was just that Schumacher was so good that we never saw his real competition. People forget it is still a great skill to win with a dominant car – in such a dominant way [i.e. Vettel had the dominant car this year, but made mistakes and only won in the last race].

    2. With Senna it’s Suzuka 1990.

      With Schumacher it’s: traction control 94, black flag Silverstone, Adelaide 94, Jerez 97, Austria 2002, Monaco 2006.

      Besides, it’s also tainted with the whole FIArari thing since 97 (veto + 80 million a year bonus)

      1. My thoughts exactly.

    3. Couple of points I want to add to Patrickl reply here:

      1)Some people tend to forget that before Suzuka 1990 there was Suzuka 1989, while there was no Jerez 1996, no Adelaide 1993, no Monaco 2005 etc. etc. It’s not just a simple multiplication of cases, it’s the nature of the man. Would Suzuka 1990 happen this way if Senna wasn’t robbed of his win a year before(not to mention the pole position side row)? Highly unlikely. There’s no reason to believe that about any of Schumi’s cases.

      2) A minor point, but Senna wouldn’t have had to get 91 wins to match Schumi as he would have probably got 10-15 wins less. And even if he wouldnt have catched him, on the upside Schumi would never beat Senna’s pole record had Senna lived(it took him over 240 races to amass 65 poles, Senna took 161 races to get the same amount). Wins aren’t the all n all statistic that means everything.

      One more thing, Senna clearly argumented the reason why he blocked Warwick ver openly: Lotus, in the disarray that it was in the mid-1980’s, wasn’t funded very well and couldn’t support more than one fast driver. Senna didn’t have any problem whatsoever going against Prost in the Mclaren did he? Or in the Williams in 1993, while Prost blocked the move with his contract clause. With Schumacher it was completely different to this.

      1. Wins aren’t the all n all statistic that means everything.

        But they mean more than number of poles.

        1. Agree, thats why I said it’s a minor point, none of those stats are in themselves a decisive factor.

  18. ANd Schumacher was third, almost runner-up, in his first full season in F1(1992). Senna was behind rookie Schumacher in the standings although his McLaren was much more better.

    1. And Schumacher was 3 points behind Patrese who drove for crushing Williams that year.

    2. Benetton had the works Ford engine while McLaren had the customer version. There was at least 3 tenths a lap difference between the two.

      1. You didn’t know what to say so you posted that? I thought the McLAren was exactly 0,233978 faster :))

        1. Senna 1992-3 wins. M. Schumacher 1992-1 win. Anyone who saw 1992 knows who was better. And you also kind of shot yourself in the foot with the Patrese follow-up: that only shows the final point tally isn’t always the right criteria to judge comparative performance.

          P.S. Didn’t know what else to write, so really had to write this and I apologize if it disagrees with your slightly misinformed opinion…

          1. It isn’t then spectacular that Schumacher beat in his rookie season Senna and was 3 points behind a driver in the best car( a car that won the season 5 races before the ending if I remember well)?
            Well, I guess any other rookie driver did kind of the same then if you say it isn’t a great achievement.

          2. Christian did you see any of the 1992 season live or on tape? unlikely, ’cause if you did you wouldn’t say any misinformed comments such as this. The only reason Schumi was close to Senna that year was because of Benetton much superior reliability. Senna was in front in the vast majority of the qualy/races and then the car broke down. It was a good season for Schumacher but in no way he was better, or on the same level with Senna.
            Don’t you see the problem with your Patrese comment? Mansell won 9 races with that car. How many races won Patrese?(clue:less than Senna, more than Schumi). Yes, Patrese finished the season in front of both Senna and Schumi in the points, but would anyone in his right mind ever consider Patrese performance a better on e than those two. That means comparing drivers just for their end of season tallies is a flawed method of judging performance. To judge Senna and Schumi that way is at best misinformed and then bring in Patrese , can be seen only as hypocritical IMO.

        2. The car was faster, but that was despite the engine being slower?

        3. Benetton was slower than McLaren! Even with Schummy standing ahead of Senna, McLaren was ahead of Benetton in constructor’s championship!

          The McLaren engine was a older spec F1 engine (by no means a “customer” version), which is not necessarily slower.

          You’re forgetting last year champion Red Bull had a Renault engine, and was years ahead of, say Force India with the best Mercedes engine.

          Saying Benetton was faster because of the engine is not acurate, if you actually compare lap times you’ll see McLaren was faster. And McLaren’s second driver (Berger) scored more points than Benetton’s second driver (Brundle), and even won 2 races!

          So Schumacher actually beat Senna in his almost rookie year, with a slower car. And was only three points behind Patrese, who drove a flying Williams!

          1. the reason schumacher beat senna in 92 was down to awful reliability of the mclaren

          2. I agree with damon.

            And I dont see how you can compare the RB situation with 1992 Mclaren. RB had absolutely the same engine as Renault. Mclaren had engine which was two specifications behind Benetton( in an era when engine development wasnt stopped as it is now)!

            Despite the worse engine Mclaren had better aero so was faster. But Benetton had much better reliability so it negated the speed advantage. All this means that Senna was faster, was usually in front of Schumi but with the retirements didn’t get the results he deserved.

  19. My avatar says it all…

  20. Schumacher is the greatest!!!

    know it’s not very personal, but NUMBERS DO NOT LIE!!!
    I think that they are equally fast, although Senna has more poles percentage, Schumacher proved that he has the speed in his blood not only on 4 wheels but also on 2 wheels, remember Schu testing the Ducati MotoGP bike, he scored some great laps on the time sheets and also he was pretty good in the races that he attended (remember he was 39ish).

    Honestly, you ca not compare Senna to Schu, they are so different in many ways… Schu is a complete modern driver not only from the race point of view but also from the capability of developing a winning car… Senna had that something, that instinct that made him special, but if we look back, nowdays a lot of his driving and overtaking, I’m sure he would be considered extremely reckless and nowdays would not achieve so many… Remember Schu’s move on Barichello last year, omg, the fuss behind that…

    In conclusion:

    Schumacher = GREATEST EVER !!!
    Senna = biggest natural talent in F1 racing.

  21. Everthing that involves the best of all the time end up on a Senna-Schumacher battle. And it’s to end up on it.

    Senna was from the very beginning a great driver, he was above average, fast, did unbelievable things on track.

    Schumacher is another great driver. Started in F1 with an enourmous moral, being hired by Benetton on his second race. Everyone knew he would be a winner. Now he holds all the records.

    Both of them are great, but for everything that Senna made while he was on track, he deserves to be recognized as the best. And he had great opponents, great champions. Schumacher didn’t.

    1. Perhaps Schumacher made great drivers look ordinary when compared to him!

    2. Explain how Hakkinen is not a great champion?

    3. but for everything that Senna made while he was on track, he deserves to be recognized as the best

      that’s quite subjective.

      If you look coldly at the facts, it turns up that Senna had a astonishing rate of poles but couldn’t manage to convert them into wins. This is a big minus. It’s exactly the opposite of Alain Prost, who got much more wins than poles. It proves Senna’s pace wasn’t good, and I fail to see how that support the claim that he’s the greatest ever.

      Also Senna won 3 WDC out of 4 years with the best car. And he wouldn’t even have won 88 championship with any other era’s F1 regulations. Now Schumahcer had a dominant car in only 3 years of his careers (99,02 and 04), and won 7 WDC. If i’m not mistaken, 7 is more than the double of 3.

      1. As for the argument that Schumacher didn’t had any competition. Well Senna had Prost, Piquet and Mansell, but people forget that Piquet never had a competitive car after 1987, Prost didn’t had a decent car in 91, Mansell same thing in 88-89, Piquet and Prost retired in 91, Mansel in 92.

        Remember that in 88 Prost beat Senna, not by 1, 2 or 3 points, but by 11 points!More than 30 points in modern system.

        in 89 he was beaten again by the only competition he had

        In 1990 Prost was catching up at the end of the season, when Senna conveniently took him out in the most dangerous way.

        In 1991 the McLaren was still the best car, but Williams got better by the end of the season, and Senna did manage to beat Mansell.

        In 92 he was crushed by a superior Williams, and was beaten by 22 year old Schumacher.

        Lost to Prost in 93 (ok, he had a really superior car)

        In 94 he took 2 poles in the first 2 races, as usual, but failed to score a single point.

        So, although Senna had a much tougher competition than Schummy, he only managed to beat it in ONE season! (1991). And even then he still had the best car!

  22. Without doubt Fangio. For the same reasons I voted Schumacher: Fangio got everything he could and beat Prost. And Fangio could have won more if he hadn’t retired immediately after his 5 titles, a record that was beaten by the person that in my opinion should win the Champion of Champions. Fangio immediately set the record of most titles and was beaten by Schumacher. So definetely Michael should be voted the best driver ever and Fangio chould beat Prost as Schumacher should beat Senna.

  23. Senna would risk killing a rival to win a world championship. Scumacher nearly killed either Barichello or someone exiting the out lane in a fight for 8th, I think?

    1. read my post little bit up…

      Senna drove reckless race by race, corner by corner, if you compare it to now days, and when Schu does a Senna on Barichello you all the hypocrites yell out !!!

  24. Senna. He drove with such fine detail and his wet weather driving was beyond description, and we can only speculate what could’ve happened had that fateful crash at Imola never occured. There is a chance he could’ve been champion in ’94. Assuming he would’ve stayed at Williams for at least the next 3 seasons he would definitely have won at least 1 of them, before moving to Ferrari(as he once said he wanted to drive for them before he retired), with a small chance of winning the title with them before retiring in ’99 or ’00 at the latest. This would make him at least a 5 time world champion on par with Fangio in terms of statistics, or 8 times at the very most, with Schumacher 5 or 6 times champion. Again this is only speculation.

    1. Schumacher was already 20 points ahead of Senna in the standings at the start of the race at Imola. Senna would’ve needed some more uncharacteristic consistency to win that title don’t you think?

    2. Senna would never arrived at Ferrari… because when Todt took over as team boss, they wanted the best driver, and the best for the future, someone who could build a car, and that someone WASN’T SENNA, he never had the capacity of building a winning car, he was an aging dinosaur at that time…

      1. lol…is Schumacher’s capacity of building a winning car the reason for Mercedes victorious performance ?

        1. Every result post 1996 at Ferrari is BECAUSE of Schumacher. Because of what he did there Raikkonen won his championship and Alonso has a great car today. Ferrari was rubish for 20 years before Schumacher and even Prost couldn’t change that. That is why Schumacher is the greatest ever: for his legacy at Ferrari and for the fact that it may be true that more people heard of Schumacher than of Formula 1 itself!

          1. what rubbish. Prost nearly won the championship in the Ferrari, Alboreto nearly won the championship in the Ferrari. in 1983 Ferrari were the constructors Champions. And Ferrari was on the upward curve ever since Todt’s arrival in mid-1993 already. In fact, Ferrari in 1995 had 73 points, in 1996 it had 70 points. Yes in 1996 Ferrari got 3 wins, compared to one in 1995, but that’s without counting the times Ferrari retired from the lead because of technical troubles.
            To say that all Ferrari got is because of Schumacher is complete desinformation and rewriting of history.Schumi’s a great driver, but he would do nothing without a great team Todt started to put together in 93-95 already.

          2. Again, Cristian and montreal you’re looking at things in a black and white manner.

            Was it solely Todt that put the team together? No. Was it solely Schumacher? No. It was a combination of Todt’s efforts, the Benetton staff, Schuamcher’s inspiration and on track driving.

            And perhaps Ferrari scored less in 1996 because Irvine underperformed in comparison to Alesi and Berger, with only 11 points. He at least got better by 1998.

          3. Perhaps what Cristian main point is how Michael played a bigger role in early 1996 and make it becomes a winning team for years. Also should be remembered that in 1996 Todt offered his resignation because of many media in Italy criticized him failing to raise Ferrari. It was Michael who stand up to support Todt and started to identified what did Ferrari lack of. Despite Todt lacked of experience in F1 because he was more experience in Rally at that time, His presence in Ferrari indirectly made Schumacher as unofficial boss in the team.
            Read it from F1 Racing Schumacher tribute edition.

        2. @Manu Again, nonsense comment made by you think i have to LOL again about it like we did before. Schumacher arrived at Mercedes last year with a car almost completely built and around Jenson driving style. As explained by Cristian, Schumacher raised Ferrari and made it into a winning team which not been the case since decades and it took years…

          1. I think you will find the whole Ferrari team and car in general was rubbish until Todt, Brawn, Rory Byrne (chief car designer), 11 other “key” team players in Benetton and Schumi, all came in to sort things out. And lets not forget the helping hand of FIAT’s unlimited money involved of course.

            (sarcasm) So of course schumacher can make a team a bunch of winners all by himself. How hard is it to point at members of your old team saying, “sign him up he’s great”. Even I could do that…

            The unsung hero in Ferrari, Rory Byrne was of equal to Adrian Newey in his career, yet people undervalue Vettel’s WDC since Adrian Newey made the RB5-6 to what it is, Schumi had the same treatment in Benetton and Ferrari.

            The ferrari’s V12’s were also rubbish against the lighter V10-8’s of the Williams and Benettons. Ferrari only started to challenge world titles again when that lot came in and changed all that, all through most of Michaels campaign they were with him.

            Rory Byrne was the key factor in Ferrari’s dominance, not Schumacher, FACT, so don’t go posting about thinking Senna could not of done the same.

            What’s that phrase you lot say “maybe schumi was just that much better then the rest of the field?” I think it should be “schumi was lucky to have Rory Byrne as a car designer” more like.

            Every world title Schumacher has ever won, has been a design involving Rory Byrne.

          2. Rory Byrne’s role is often undervalued, but it isn’t as black and white as saying “Schumacher was the key factor” or “Byrne was the key factor”. They were all key. And that’s why Schumacher gets his share of the credit for Ferrari’s dominance.

          3. Well said David A. Even Jackie Stewart believes the transformation of the Ferrari team was Schumacher’s greatest feat. The way he motivates and leads a team is one of Schumacher great ability perhaps Britney also can motivate a team by doing a stage performance :D

          4. and of course a regulation veto and a 80 million a year bonus helped …

          5. @ A David, sorry for the hoo haa from this post, was tired when typing it up and stressed.
            Yes I agree with you that schumi and Byrne together are not alone the key factors, that was a bit arrogant from me I’ll admit.

            @Dave I’ve read the book on Schumacher and he did motivate the team yes but only because the team motivated him as well, he had that urge in his mind to always thank every person in his crew no matter how little they done, he always felt compeled to do everyone a favour because they were helping him achieve greater things. If he felt he let the team down by a silly mistake he would repay with that by showing a better race next time. He was at home in Ferrari because he had the confidence of the people around him from his previous team.

            That Benetton team that went to Ferrari was the most solid group in f1 history and when they all started to leave schumi, they all got weaker from it.

            You can see why Schumi had no trouble being the number one in Ferrari since team ferrari didn’t have a choice or they lose the Benetton group.

          6. Well maybe it sound little bit arrogant for you but it’s fact. It was Michael who brought Ross Brawn to Ferrari and the way he supported Todt when most of them criticized him and bringing the team into one family, how he give a lot of great input to the engineers to improved the car not to mention his determination and commitment to work till late night to sort thing out and made the engineer started to respect him and listen to his input. That’s one of many thing why most people believe that Michael play the bigger role to Ferrari success which some still ignore it and finding excuses to shot down the fact. If you are interested you can read F1 racing Schumacher tribute that sum it all nicely.

          7. and of course a regulation veto and a 80 million a year bonus helped …

            A veto which they never used, a historical bonus that applies to to all teams.

        3. That can be judged only after 2011/2012. Schumacher had even less of a chance to help develop last years Mercedes as he had had with the 1996 Ferrari.

  25. senna because he gave me a lot of enjoyment watching him do those poles. On the other hand schumacher made me hate the sport for a while, because of his dominance.
    Both are great, and i think it’s a right final.
    But senna was the man.

  26. Michael!!!! )))

  27. Unfortunately, I never saw Senna racing. All I know about him came from blogs and sites like F1F, books and now the film. But from all I heard about him, my vote goes to Senna, instead of Schumacher who I saw 5 years in a row winning the championship, thinking that was true racing. After all, it was just a talented driver who won too much championships. That’s my opinion.

    1. You are joking right!?!

    2. It may have been boring to watch, but that certainly doesn’t mean he wasn’t as good.

  28. I believe surviving is a skill on its own. Senna was quick because he was reckless, which was also his downfall.

    Considering that, MSC has an overall better package as it allowed him to win more championships without falling prey to anything but age.

    My vote goes to MSC because the proof is in the pudding, and not in “what if” wonderland.

    1. I believe surviving is a skill on its own. Senna was quick because he was reckless, which was also his downfall.

      Aside from the fact that it’s just seem to become an easy fad to say that Senna was reckless – mostly I magine by people who never saw him race – Senna’s accident was caused by a broken driveshaft. So how was his ‘recklessness’ his downfall?

      1. umm – and by ‘driveshaft’, I do of course mean ‘steering column’ : P

  29. Unpredictable competitors are in the final ;)
    Seriously why didn’t we start with the final?

    1. Did you not see how close the semi-finals were? Take a look at the graphic.

      1. Great you put the whole chart in there Keith. I loved to see how close it was.

        So the best 4 drivers are Prost, Fangio, Senna and Schumacher (order to be decided by poll).
        Nice to see these are pretty much different animals altogether.
        Superfast and always wanting to be up front Senna, doing all that to win and teambuild Schumacher, clever developer and points gatherer Prost and being in the right car/team to win and do so convincingly Fangio.

        I suppose only personal prences decide on ranking this pack from 1-4.

  30. the only qualified men on this planet to rate an F1 driver are f1 drivers and engineers…ALL of them agree that Ayrton Senna was the greatest driver ever lived…

    our personal opinion is only a way to express our love to one or the other.

    Ayrton Senna da Silva was one of the greatest MEN of the last century and all of you should feel proud that he was an F1 driver.

    1. Thats a hugely sweeping statement to make, especially with no justification. Further, most of the engineers that worked with Schumacher never worked with Senna and vice versa. Pretty ridiculous to base your opinions on that.

      However, your last statement may well be true

    2. Ayrton Senna da Silva was one of the greatest MEN of the last century and all of you should feel proud that he was an F1 driver.

      We do. But this is a ‘Champion of Champions’ poll. Not a greatest personalities poll.

    3. Please explain the logic of why we should feel proud that Senna was an F1 driver?

      Look, man, he’s my favourite all-time driver, but get a bit of a grip before going with ‘greatest men of the 20th centur

  31. So far, not at all what I expected. Instead, I thought both polls would be neck-and-neck.

  32. that’s harsh.
    Senna’s always been my idol, although i’ve never seen him racing.
    Schumacher’s been the man who’s brought Ferrari back to the top after 20 years and has won more championships than anyone.
    Both have won most of their championships with the dominant car, but Senna had to fight in the same team with one of the four-five best drivers ever, while Schumacher had only sparring partners. Barrichello and Irvine were good drivers but nothing more, and at the same time the team was only on Michael’s side (i still regret of Austria 2002…).
    I think this time heart is stronger than pure maths, so i stand for Senna, his record of pole positions (Schumacher had a lot of time to beat him) and the amazing drives (Monaco 1984, Interlagos 1991 and Donington 1993 above all) can’t be compared to numbers and percentages.

    1. you all Senna fans are joking, right?

      you all accuse Michael for having inferior team mates… well guess why is that? because MICHAEL WAS SO GREAT compared to all others… also you forget that Prost did most of the testing work at Mrec at that time! hello!!! like it was already said somewhere on this blog, that a reason why he also left the team… he did the homework and Senna took the winnings!!!

      1. did Schu’s team mates build the car for him??? no, it was his achievement, his work and his merit!!! not like Senna who always moved to the best team around… for ex. from Merc to Williams

    2. his record of pole positions (Schumacher had a lot of time to beat him) can’t be compared to numbers and percentages.

      His pole position record IS a number. And not as important a number as wins, which Schumacher beat him in 2000.

  33. Senna is the greatest driver of all times, today, tomorrow and forever, this is undeniable.

    1. denied! :P

  34. Schumacher and Prost for me.

  35. Interestingly the closest fought match till now is Schumacher vs Clark in the Quarter finals. Only 4% points between them. It’s also the second-most voted on, after Hamilton vs Button.

  36. One has just to read the stats.
    For what the stats can’t account for, the early 2000s dominance he had was everything but random. He was responsible for that, he built it bit by bit. Can’t be said for any other driver, including Senna who gave up at the same task.

  37. Senna.

    The third place playoff is much much harder so I simply refuse to vote, haha.

  38. Like I said before in the Schumacher Vs Prost Semi.

    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 every year is easy but building a family over time and making them the best is the real achievement here and the best achievement.

    There’s only one Michael Schumacher

    1. totally agree… to be a F1 driver it’s more than just drive around the track!!!

  39. I tend to read A LOT into what former drivers have to say, especially highly respected ones like Sir Stirling Moss who says of Schumacher, “…if you’re talking about the best drivers of the past 30 years I don’t think he’d be in my top three, I really don’t.” Enough said…SENNA

    1. Sennaboy, it’s not about the best driver, it’s about the best champion, and there is a lot more than just driving the car that determines the champion of champions.

      1. We are comparing the “World Drivers’ Champions’ with emphasis on DRIVERS.

    2. @sennaboy3 that’s your opinion and Moss but for other including Niki Lauda and Murray Walker say MICHAEL SCHUMACHER in their top 3, even the greatest of them all.

      1. Actually, Walker just released his own top drivers recently & Schumacher did NOT make the cut (neither did Senna)…Furthermore, Murray Walker is not a former driver so he doesn’t really relate to my argument. Would like to see where Lauda puts Schumi into his top 3??

        1. if your curious, Walker’s Top 5 was: Moss, Clark, Prost, Fangio & Stewart.

        2. Then again it’s his opinion he ever said that before that for sure. As Lauda one, look at F1 Racing December 2006 Schumacher tribute issue “He’s the greatest no one will ever match him, as long as he lived” Niki Lauda. You can see the cover here:

          1. Correction….“He’s the greatest. No one will ever match him, as long as we live” Niki Lauda

          2. This quote proves nothing for me. Could mean, ‘greatest’ in terms of championships, which I concur will probably never be matched. However, for reasons gone over ad nauseam in other posts, championships tell only part of the story. I have a hard time believing Lauda thinks Schumi is the greatest of all time.

          3. And Moss opinion prove nothing for me too, like Mlracing said “i don’t think quoting mr moss is a very good choice. For the reason he is almost always negative about Schumacher.”
            Believe it or not.
            David Coulthard also hailed Schumacher as the greatest all-round racing driver in the history of Formula One if you are interested.

          4. The F1 drivers voted on this same subject at the beginning of the season and they voted (by a big margin) for Senna. Schuamcher came in second en Fangio third.

          5. I know that but i think i have to quote Mlracing again:”anyway i think Senna is perceived different because of his tragic death.”

    3. i don’t think quoting mr moss is a very good choice. For the reason he is almost always negative about schumacher.

      i think senna and schumacher belong in the top 5. But naming a top 5 all time drivers will always cause alot of discussion and disagreement.

      anyway i think senna is perceived different because of his tragic death. Not meaning he wasn’t one of the best see my top 5 statement.

  40. Schumacher takes it. For all the reasons everyone else has listed. The most complete driver ever to race in Formula One. Maybe Senna had more raw speed, but that’s about it. To counter drives like Senna at Donnington in 93, Schumacher had Spain in 96. Schumacher just takes it.

    For final validation, Schumacher has more wins than all the other current drivers FOR 2011 – COMBINED.

  41. Unfortunately the two drivers in the third-fourth place vote should have been in the first-second place vote. Fangio should have won, as I am not aware of him doing something dastardly in his racing career. Senna, Schumacher and Prost all did, especially Senna and Schumacher.

    1. Fangio demanded that other drivers get out of their car so that he could race…!

      On track, prost was the cleanest of the four I would say, although with the lack of technology available, I admit it is difficult to rate fangio

      1. Fangio did not demand anything…its the way things were done at the time, and the driver being asked to hand over his car usually had the right of refusal.

  42. Why do we have to decide between these two? It is like trying to pick between you two favorite beers. Impossible to choose because we may and do love them for different reasons. Senna, so much passion, anything to win, always on the limit. Schumacher, calculating, always able to perform at his best when he needed to do so. Both were able to do with different teams, and had to pay their dues(unlike some people today, i.e. Hamilton) in lesser teams. Senna was taken from the sport to early, and there will always be what ifs, which gives him this mystical allure. Having said that, you can always look at what Schumacher has accomplished, his records are staggering. Cheers to them both. I cannot decide. I don’t think we have to decide. Lets love them both for they are, different, and the same.

    1. As Keith said in the beginning of this series, it’s quite difficult to compare drivers of different eras. And in this case even though their careers overlapped, Schumi and Senna belong to different eras. So one can’t be completely fair in judging between the two.

      That said, it’s amusing to pick an “overall” winner during this surprisingly silly “silly season”. It also throws up facts about drivers we wouldn’t have known before.

  43. 104-105 with my vote being 105th one for Fangio! Wow :D

  44. My vote goes to Senna, but it was very close.

  45. That said, if Michael wins another championship before he retires, he is the greatest of all time.

    1. He’ll be lucky to stand on the podium one more time

      1. He did badly and got 3 4ths. Of course he’ll reach the podium.

  46. Greatest ever racing driver: Senna, by a mile

    Schumacher: greatest ever cheat who made it to the top!

    1. you’re joking?

      what? you discovered F1 yesterday, by hearing someone talking about Senna? just the talented Senna… not also the reckless one ore the cheating one… 90’s Suzuka rings any bell for instance ???

      1. Yeah, he is joking. His point is simply too funny for it to be anything otherwise.

  47. Without any hesitation whatsoever- Schumacher.

  48. A rather predictable finale 2

    but look how close it is for 3rd place!!!!!!!!!!!

  49. I’ll vote for none of them. One is a fad, the other a cad. Prost, Lauda, Clark, Stewart deserved the honour. Not these two.

  50. For all people who never watched who the best is…


    First lap, EUROPEAN GP Donington Park 1993 period!

    After that, you’re free to vote.

    1. I’ll see your Donington Park 1993 and I’ll raise you Catalunya 1996 ;)

      1. Hahaha, thats like saying I’ll raise your Big Mac combo with a Happy Meal.

        1. No, not really ;)

          1. Big Mac combo supersized with a side of nuggets?

          2. No, you’re underestimating Schumacher’s drive in Barcelona.

        2. Not quite. I bet the F310 was way worse than the FW18 than the MP4/8 was worse than the FW15C. McLaren finished 2nd to Williams in ’93, comfortably ahead of Benetton. Ferrari just scraped ahead of Benetton in ’96

      2. Or Monaco 2006

        1. Gaining 17 places on race day- not half bad, eh? ;)

    2. I’m in, 1996 Spain :S

  51. Schumacher it is. He didn’t just take the best offer from the top teams and let them build the cars. He choose Ferrari and build them up step by step. For a driver who could basically choose any seat he wanted i think that was very remarkable.
    I don’t really want to comment on who was the better driver, because they when they raced together they did so in very different stages of their careers. But what i think is the reason Senna looked like the best racing driver of all time (which he might well be) is because when you are the best in a pack of drivers who first of all started driving later then the competition did in Schumacher’s era, which i think makes it fair enough to assume that they were not as good drivers, generally of cause. Schumacher shined though in cars that were safer, easier to drive, TC and much more downforce etc., were rather special. On the time table Senna looked like he was better because he blew the others away with 1,5 seconds in qualifying at times, but when the cars are easier to drive, the gaps becomes smaller and it becomes harder to see who is the really great driver, and who is just an average driver, which might be a pretty harsh word for F1 drivers, but you know what i mean.
    So i chose Schumacher mainly because of the way he dominated F1 year after year.

  52. This was perhaps the easiest vote for me yet, and yes I watched both drivers race to the peak of their careers. I’d say they were both equally matched for on track selfishness, ruthlessness, the willingness to take risks, the determination to win and driving ability.

    So which driver did it better?

    If MSC just had say 4 WDC’s then it would have been a bit more difficult to choose. A 7 to 3 difference is a bit hard to ignore.

  53. You can’t deny that both drivers were awesome the way the put a race car around a track, both were relentless in the way they went about things to win (sometimes taking people off the track) both worked their way up from smaller teams which is always a reflection of talent. Senna-well we will never know what he was capable of in terms of championships but in terms of a human he was that and then some, but Suzuka 1990 plays in my mind and will always be remembered when he didn’t let the racing do the talking. His death just makes his story more fascinating. Schumacher- a perfectionist, fast and aggressive, intimidating, always knew who was boss. Numerous incidents, including parking his car at Monaco qualifying sticks in my mind, an opportunist? yes, no question. His first year comeback has fallen short and takes off the edge to his past numbers.

    It’s a tough call, Senna just.

  54. You all Senna blind fans, I’ll also tell you that Schu’s as equally fast as Senna at least, and he always was the fastest when it most needed to be in a race… for instance:

    1995 Europe (Benetton)
    A brilliant victory at the Nurburgring that summed up his second championship-winning year with Benetton. In another wet race, Michael came out from his final pit stop 24 seconds behind leader Jean Alesi (Ferrari) with just 16 laps to go. It would have been game over for most, but not for the German who sensationally reeled the Italian in before overtaking around the outside in to the final chicane with only a handful of laps remaining.

    1998 Hungary (Ferrari)
    The race where Ross Brawn famously told his star driver that all he had to do to win was build a 25 second lead in just 19 laps before his final pit stop. As difficult a task as you are likely to get in F1, made harder by the fact that your rivals have the fastest car! But a nifty switch of strategy and a relentless sequence of qualifying-style laps from the German were enough to take the most unlikely of victories.

    2004 France (Ferrari)
    Another Schumacher-Brawn masterpiece, this time at Magny-Cours midway through Michael?s record-breaking 2004 season.
    Ferrari decided to switch Schumacher from his originally planned three stops to an extraordinary four to try and jump the Spaniard.
    In a virtual re-run of his exploits at the Hungaroring some six years before, Schumacher?s unrivalled ability to suddenly up the pace when it matters paid dividends again as he put in a stunning sequence of fast laps in the final two stints of the race to get one over on his future rival.

    …and there are much more, the idea is that Michael could be fast, especially when it needed the most, under pressure, in the fire of a race…

    Michael is the greatest! Period.

    But on the other hand Senna was the biggest natural talent to ever JUST DRIVE a F1 car. It sounds a bit contrare, but you know what I mean. :)

    1. You do know you’re fighting a fight you cannot win yeah? Not through the basis of your argument but you’re debating with people you’ve never met, never will meet and don’t know what they look like.

      Give up mate, you’re borderline preaching. Respect peoples point of vie and move on. How many words have you typed today, and for what?

      1. He has build an argument…instead of just saying, this is the way it is!…which seems to me, is what you are doing… selfrefelction is sadly not a quallity all people posess…

        1. Neither is spelling by the looks of things.

      2. Give up mate, you’re borderline preaching.

        By pointing out three perfectly good examples of superb drives by the German?

  55. Michael Schumacher scored his very first pole position rite after Ayrton’s death.

    1. And he achieved his very first win before that. And his second, third and fourth wins.

  56. Senna & Prost.

    Namely, how the 1994 season would have played out had Senna not lost his life at Imola three races in.

    Had Senna not lost his life that day, I believe the following would have played out. Schumacher won the 1994 championship by the smallest of margins to Hill. Are we saying that Senna is the same as Hill? No, therefore Senna would have won 1994. That would have swung the momentum and confidence towards Senna & Williams, rather than Schumacher and Benetton, therefore Senna takes 1995 as well. That makes Senna 5 x WDC and Schumacher 0. Taking the performance that the Williams had during 1996 & 1997, Senna would have snatched those 2 as well. 0 championships to Schumacher and his possie means no trips to Ferrari who remain in the doldrums. Senna 7xWDC, Schumacher zero.

    Prost has one championship less than Fangio. So? Senna had one less than Prost and that didn’t stop him. No, Prost is 4 times WDC, but by all accounts was soooo close to 3 more (’83, ’84 & ’88).

    So, in my book, Senna 7xWDC & Prost 7xWDC, the greatest drivers in Formula 1 History. I’m going to give them both 1988, as Senna won it under the regulations, but Prost scored more points in total.

    ps. Schumacher zero.

    pps. I’m hoping Schumacher makes it 8 before the end of 2013.

    1. Re. 1994, you’ve quite conveniently forgotten that Schumacher effectively competed only in 12 rounds out of 16. It wasn’t as close as you make it out to be. Yes there still are questions about how legal the B194 was, but it was never proved whether the launch control was ever used.

      1. Senna or Hill, Schumi still would have been excluded from those 4 races. History has shown the lengths Schumi’s management at the time (Briatore & Simmonds) would go to, so justifiably excluded IMO.

        1. you’re also forgetting that at some point Senna would have retired.

          I don’t think Senna would have won the 1995 championship. The Benneton (can’t remember the spelling) was a better car than the Williams.

          1. Yeah, I was thinking after his 7th in ’97.

            Sure but maybe, with the momentum being in their favour and with Senna’s input, the Williams could have been a lot closer if not better than the Benetton.

    2. There is no guarantee that Senna would have won anything else though.

  57. Well its the battle of the flawed champions and the two prominant categories of F1 fans – Senna vs Schumacher.

    On a side note one thing that amazes me is they never drove for the same team and between them drove for a large number of the major teams of F1 history.

    Me, I choose Senna, I always will. Senna through his natural talent and determination. Schumacher has that also, yes, but to see it in an era where dependence on technology was not as great made the viewing more of a pleasure and this talent and determination more evident. Sennas driving ability attracted people to the sport. Schumacher being in the best car for 5 years drove people away from the sport. That said you cannot fault Schumacher for this as he was put in a situation every driver dreams of and made the most of it.

    The topic of respect and ethics has come up a lot. The way I see it, F1 drivers are the most competitive people out there – victory is priority. People will say Stirling Moss was an successful ethical driver, but I ask the question – how has he gone in the Champion of Champions?

  58. Both were dirty drivers but Senna cheated less to get his stats.

    1. that’s a little harsh, the way some talk about two legends.
      Why some fans have to put down the driver they vote against.
      Both were awesome. personally choose senna, but i can understand that some people vote for schumi.
      The decision it’s mostly personal.

      1. It’s a major differential.

        You agree it is a personal decision yet you want to ignore the most significant reason people dislike Schumacher.

        It is the reason that quite a number will not be voting Schumacher. It’s what makes him a flawed and lesser champion.

        1. Some will consider those reasons, and then have them cancelled out and far exceeded by the positive stuff.

  59. Senna was so good at building a team around him that after Prost left McLaren became shortly the second force in the championship to Williams and, after that, the performance droped even more. What did Senna do? Run to Williams as they had the best car. My guess is that the ’94 McLaren was built with some input for Senna- it was a bad car.
    I know that it was a transitional period for them but in a similar period for Ferrari Schumacher fought for the titles and the car improved all the time.

  60. You Senna lovers will always believe that he is the best even though truth be told he went to far and lost his life trying to become the myth that he was.
    It seems that the fans will forever continue the fable of his accomplishments but in the end no one will ever approach what MICHAEL SCHUMACHER has done in Formula One.

    1. That’s harsh, dude. You can’t blame the man if his steering column fails on the deadliest weekend in recent F1 history.

  61. in my opinon Senna was the better driver. He was around when competition was at its strongest with Prost, Mansell in full flow

    1. There is another example of “myths” Nigel Mansell…A good driver but never in the same league as Prost and also Nelson Piquet. He was much better than History seems to remember and my guess is because he just wouldn’t play into the hands of the media and that caused him to be labled as he has. The stuff with is son has made an even bigger reputational damage. In even cars on even days Piquet was often the better man and many of you Senna lovers have been brain tainted. So yes to Prost and quit the Mansell stuff he was just OK.

  62. Fangio over Prost, both had tough teamates throughout their careers but Fangio could never be beat unless a car failure took it from him. Let’s see anybody else get 5 WDC’s in 7 seasons and never being lower than 2nd over the season. ((The 8th season doesn’t count since he only did 3 races out of 11 grand prix’s until he retired.)) Nobody in the history of F1 can have the same amount of respect as Fangio, he was the first “Special One” on the tarmac.

    If Fangio get’s 3rd it will show his achievments are still recognised through modern day f1 even after 60 years on!
    In the next 60 years will people recognise Senna and Schumacher’s talents as much as now and still put them above the likes of Fangio, Clark, Stewart, Brabham, Lauda, Ascari etc…

    In 60 years time I don’t think Senna or Schumacher will be able to hold on to the number one or number two status since it wont just be a childhood memory, but a chapter in the history books just like Fangio.

    The voters will hand it to somebody else in the future who will be special in F1, but also has that fanbase backing him (or her) to rack up the votes.

    I don’t really care for the Senna vs Schumi poll they are all champions, I just flipped a coin instead, and it picked Senna.

    1. In 60 years time footage of Senna and Schumi’s driving will be even more easily available than it is today. So even though it won’t be a childhood memory, people can be more objective. Honestly, most of what we know about Fangio is from the record books, former drivers and historians .

  63. This is really hard. See, I probably would have put Stewart and Prost just ahead of these two. But since it’s between these two, it’s a really tough one. Senna had to fend off Mansell and Prost, Schumacher had to fend off Hakkinen at his best and Raikkonen.

    It’s difficult.

  64. Senna died in the car…that will always mean he gets a part of the emotional vote… I think Senna is in the top 3 of greatestb drivers ever , after Jim Clark in number one, and Schumacher in number 2 IMO.

    SO , I voted Schumi, even though I know he won’t win this due to emotional issues…but looking at the stats… Senna is only ahead on pole percetage, not on point per finish, points per start (even though schumi had more starts) or number of titles or wins or number of poles… so looking at the oure statistics, one would have to vote schumi, but I know loads of people who were hammering on statistics in previous rounds will vote Senna purely based on feeling… And I get that feeling, the man was phenomonal, but in my case, even feeling says Schumacher was the better WDC, he might not have been purely as quick on speed as Senna, which shows in the pole percentage, BUT he was a mch more complete racing driver….which shows in every other statistic! And yes , he had the best car for 2002 and 2004 by miles and miles, but so did Senna in 1988 and 1991…

    I still think Jim Clark would have kicked both their arsses, beceuase he had raw speed, but was also a “complete driver” but since I can’t vote for him, I’ll go for my number 2 ( no pun intended) and vote Schumi :)

    1. And on to he “losers”round, my vote went to Prost. I’ve stated in previous polls why I rate Fangio top 10 material, but not top 3 material, and I will stick to those reasons. Prost is in my list the number 4 driver of alltime, do he gets my vote….FYI, my list of greates WDC’s would be:
      1) Jim Clark
      2) MIchael Schumacher
      3) Aryton Senna
      4) Alain Prost
      5) Jackie Steward
      6) Nicky Lauda
      7) Alberto Ascari
      8) Jack Brabham
      9) Nigel Mansell
      10) Nelson Piquet

      1. sorry, forgo Fangio, haha, he should be at 8 , before brabham :S

  65. Schumacher wins this for me. Had a better season in a inferior car to Senna when they went head to head in 1992, let down by reliability in 1993 and had was beating him in 1994 before fate interveaned.

    1. Sennas reliability was awful in 92

  66. Heart says Senna, but my head says Schumacher. I went with my head on this one. I think I’d like to see Schumacher win it because I have the feeling Senna will win simply because he’s Senna. I won’t deny that the man was a legend, but Schumacher did twice as much as Senna and deserves recognition for it.

  67. For me, Clark is the greatest ever as the absolute fastest and untouchable driver of his era. Closely followed by either Juan Manuel Fangio, the maestro, and Ayrton Senna, who inspired admiration from the whole of his homeland, and who left a hole as large as Jim Clark did.

    Therefore, for me, I pick Ayrton Senna.

  68. My hands shaked when I voted on both of the poll. As every four deserve to be the best F1 Champion ever.

  69. i think senna would have lost 1994 to MSC, in all the three races he did he spun in the first one, starting from pole. in the second he collided with someone again, third he was very unfortunate to meet with a fatal accident.

    MSC on the other hand never made back to back errors in races, he raced hard but minimized errors. in my books MSC wins this one. but getting killed in a race gets Senna Sympathy that let’s one to vote on impulse, justifications are made why to vote for him even though shallow. but the real analysis w/o bias will get MSC the vote anyday.

  70. Senna. No doubt.

  71. Senna. He was fast, and who knows where he´d have gone if he had lived. His percentage of poles is staggering. He faced Prost, Mansell, Piquet and others. Schumy, although awesome still, did not have much competition in my POV. Hakkinen, sure, but Raikkonen was still young.

    Senna gets my vote, not just because he is Senna, but because I think he was the better driver. Too bad he died so young.

  72. Schumacher at his best was a perfectionist. Senna at his best would take risks that other drivers would not.

    1. I would say that driving one’s car into another and parking on a corner during a qualifying session are fairly risky maneuvers.

      1. I don’t remember Senna parking on a corner during a qualifying session …

        1. Ah, but you surely remember the perfectionist doing it…?

  73. Keith, thank you for this poll.

    My compliments to the regulars here…you are a knowledgeable and insightful group. It’s been a pleasurable learning experience reading your comments.

    Senna and Fangio get my votes.

  74. Yasser Mansour
    6th February 2011, 5:52

    First of all I’m not voting because simply I didn’t watch senna as i was a 5 year old.

    anyways I would like to raise one point about this championship, I liked the Idea but there is something that is making it or the final result of it “false” , look at the round 3 drivers .. They’re all “historic” drivers except schumacher who is still driving.

    my point is that people have very big appreciation and admire to those early drivers that they aren’t REALLY comparing them with todays drivers , many people saying driving today is much easier then the past , but isn’t this the case for all drivers now? and if someone rises amongst them ( aka vettel ) then surely he is a special driver just like the “old” ones.

    I’m just saying that current drivers are have got it just like the old ones did. I think the result esp at round 3 doesn’t simulate the truth.

    excuse my weird English , not my first language.


  75. It’s a difficult one.

    Something I want to explore is what kind of results would Senna have achieved had he not died. He was with Williams, who at the time had the best car.

    1994 – Damon Hill was able to win races against Schumacher and was even within shot of the championship. Would Senna have done better?
    1995 – Williams again had a top car capable to winning races. This season would’ve been a straight duel between Senna and Schumacher…would’ve been thrilling.
    1996 – With Schumacher in a sub-par Ferrari and Williams having the best car by far, Senna would’ve easily won it.
    1997 – Best car in the field again, probably would’ve beaten Villeneuve, although it would’ve been close, as Jacques’ form was superb at the time.
    1998 onwards – Did not have a strong car, my guess is that he might have retired at the end of the season, as he would’ve been 38 years old.

    If Senna won 94, 96 and 97, he and Schumacher would’ve been on equal WDC titles (6). The clincher would’ve been 95, which if Senna won, would’ve made the WDC tally: Senna – 7, Schumacher – 5.

    But, I guess we’ll never know.

    1. dare I say it, but who’s to say senna wasn’t intended for Ferrari instead of Schuey?! Certainly if Senna had’ve won ’94 and/or ’95 it might have changed things entirely.

      but again, as you say, we’ll never know.

      Senna and Prost got my votes… loved that era!

      1. Because Ferrari were in a bad way at that time, and he was with Williams who produced better cars at that time. I don’t know how receptive Ferrari would’ve been to Senna, especially after what happened in 1990.

        If that was the case, Senna wouldn’t have had a title winning car until 2000, by which time he would’ve been 40.

      2. Schumacher wasthe only driver willing to take on such a challenge with the belief he could help transform them into a winning team.

  76. Wahoo I just tied the results in the 3rd place play off!! In regards to Senna V Schui, if Schumacher didn’t drive so dirty last season in his return, he may have got my vote, but for that he is tainted, although the pass on Alonso at Monaco nearly makes up for it.

    1. Yeah, that was a Pass! Shame he got punished, otherwise it would’ve been one of the best passes of the year

  77. Schumacher, because he actually did everything Senna was supposed to have done. It’s not his fault he died before he could, but we know for sure that Schumacher did them. We don’t know for sure Senna would. Personally I think that’s why Schumacher gets to much hate from Senna fans in particular; he’s the only guy who challenges Senna as “greatest ever” (unfair to Prost, who is overlooked too much) who can actually be compared with him (as opposed to Fangio, Clark) and has the achievements (not stats, not the same thing) to make a better claim.

  78. Oh and can we dispense with the ‘Schumacher is tainted’ nonsense when we’re comparing him with Senna? They were both as ruthless on the track and both nice guys away from F1.

    1. Agreed, Senna’s death seems to have softened our opinion of his ruthlessness on track. Reminds me of a quote in the Batman movie – “You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”

      As for the vote, I went for Senna, but truth be told, I wanted to see Fangio and Clark in the final. And even those two great men rank behind Gilles Villeneuve on my list. And I’m surprised to see the third place playoff being so even – I thought Fangio would walk it.

    2. No. You may not like it but Schumachers cheating is a major differentiator. This is about who was the better champion and cheating taints Schumachers records.

      1. Well, then it taints Senna too.

  79. I’m sorry to say this, but Senna’s votes come form people that:
    -hate Schumacher
    -didn’t ever see Senna racing but heard he was great
    -think Schumacher’s rivals are lesser than Senna’s and so that is enough to cast a vote
    -ignore Schumacher’s skills at building a team around him, skills that Senna lacked
    -condemn Schumacher’s crashes with rivals but forget Senna did that too and in much more dangerous situations
    -ignore the statistics(except poles because they suit their vote)
    -were Senna’s fans from his days
    -melancholy :)
    -Senna’s dead and after his death this hero image was created around him; ironically, Schumacher’s disadvantage is that he’s alive
    -people that think that the greatest things happened in the past and ignore when they see them right in front of their eyes
    -some few people who actually have decent arguments that he may be the best( let’s not ignore that Senna really was one of the best ever)
    -people who watch F1 since 2001-2004 and don’t know what Schumi has done before, like beating Senna in his rookie season
    -people who don’t understand formula 1

    1. Hypocrisy comes easily to Schumacher fans.

      1. Bad memories too

      2. Define that term and find out that it does not stand. And look through the posts and you will see that it points the motives people tend to vote for Senna. The main motive is I liked him in his day/ heard he was great but I’ve never seen him driving/hate Schumacher/ ingore statistics they don’t matter,skill and talent does( as it is something that you could measure).

    2. It’s not like people are voting for a Hamilton or Raikkonen over Schumacher, Senna is widely accepted as being one of the most talented and greatest champions ever and many people, me included think he is better than Schumacher.

    3. -people that think that the greatest things happened in the past and ignore when they see them right in front of their eyes…..

      Where is he now?
      Rosberg had twice the points this season

      1. You totally missed my point.
        “-people that think that the greatest things happened in the past and ignore when they see them right in front of their eyes…..” is something that applies not only in f1. And Schumacher returnes after 3 years in an era when age is more an issue than it was at previous come-backs. You cannot judge Schumacher for this last year because he is trying to prove something different and he’s doing it because of the love for this sport, putting his reputation at stake. He should be acclaimed for his bravery, not attacked from all corners. We all know he isn’t like10 years ago, he also said it, but he still can do great things and I bet this year he will be much better.
        ANd about Rosberg – he isn’t exactly Yamamoto you know. He claimed the fastest lap in his first GP.

    4. Totally agree with Cristian

    5. In other words: “anyone who disagrees with me is wrong”.

    6. Sorry, but I voted for Senna because I DID watch him race. I saw him become champion 3 times. Not only that, but Senna also built a team around him, much like Schumacher, and much like Alonso these days. And pardon me, but many of the reasons you posted make perfect sense. Yes it´s emotional. I´m from Brasil and he IS a legend here. He helped MANY people so of course things are going to get emotional. That´s part of what makes him so dear to many, and part of why he is considered the greatest. His victories carried weight with them. I remember clearly, in 1993, his victory in Brasil. It was phenomenal to watch. So who cares if it´s emotional? who cares if we are melancholic? to those who voted for Senna because of these reasons, no one else comes close. Schumacher is good, sure, but he did not captivate people as much.

      1. Not only that, but Senna also built a team around him

        Seducing Ron Dennis and Honda doesn’t really count.

        1. And why not? He did the same thing in Lotus and then McLaren.

          1. I think Icthyes is getting at the fact that Mclaren didn’t transform under Senna in the manner Ferrari did under Schumacher.

  80. Schumacher. For his desire to win championships is and will be unequalled. And to me his flaws make it entertaining to watch and follow. Just imagine that he won everything without ramming into others, without Rascasse-gate, traction control gate, fuel fill gate… and all the other controverses… We’d only be debating his arrogance here.

    That and his seven worldtitles!

  81. I have major respect for Schumacher as I do most drivers. I prefer Senna’s driver style, admire Schumacher’s talent and achievements, but hated seeing the way he drove this year, defensive is one thing, Schumacher’s style was that of a sore loser. Not to say Aytron was any better, but if we are voting for purest driver, well we’re in the wrong comp, because those drivers were knocked out in the last round

  82. Wouldn’t have either in my top 4 so … forget it

    1. well informed decision I hope, who’s your top four?

    2. I almost agree. Both these men don’t make my top 3. My top three would be Gilles Villeneuve, Fangio and Clark.

  83. My vote has just pushed Prost ahead of Fangio, 235 to 234

  84. Senna for me

    Its a close run thing though, but what taints Schumi for me is the thought of Ferrari team mates being asked to move over while they were in the lead and the Benetton team cheat allegations of running TC in 1994 and being guilty of tampering with the refueling system to speed up pitstops.
    Schumi went to Ferrari who were rubbish at the time and turned them around?.. Thats a bit of in insult to Brawn, Byrne etc. I think they would have turned the team around without him, however Schumi was the final piece of the jigsaw, and the best driver around at the time who could of gone there.
    Would Senna have gone to Ferrari in 1996 had he lived? I doubt it… Too long into his career at that stage to start with a team who were rebuilding.
    Looking back at the stats, it does seem that Schumi spent more of his longer career in better cars. 1 year at Toleman, 3 years at Lotus (a team in decline) and the MP4/7 in 1992 meant that Senna spent half his career in substandard cars (His career didnt fully span 10 years due to Imola)
    Like a said, its close for me but those are my reasons for choosing Senna

  85. my vote is for Schumacher, i have seen in many different condition and proved,and Senna is legend but still i have rarely seen his race except some .


  87. Brilliant work Keith. That finally decides who was champion of champions!!!

    1. You got that right, “who was”, not “who is”,..MSC

      1. exactly…in our days Schumacher is the worst driver on the grid…he will not make a Q3 next season

        1. Another piece of comedy gold! Keep it up!

  88. And I would point out that Senna has also the advantage of some people that hate Schumacher. In the first round there actually were 100 votes for Farina against Schumacher. Farina was not the best in his day and 100 people voted just against Schumacher, not for Farina.

  89. Small correction Keith. Shouldn’t the poll question be “Who was the better world championship driver”, not “Which…” ?

  90. Ayrton Senna , Simplesmente o Melhor de Todos !

  91. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    6th February 2011, 12:50

    If we look at the car failures, it’s incredible to see Senna being champion 3 times. Yeah, obviously his rivals had similar % of car failure, but you have also to consider the level of these guys (Prost, Mansell vs Coulthard, Hill… out of comparison). He died and for this accident car safety was improved in all racing sports. In some way his death allowed Schum, Hakinnen and Kubica(in Canada)survive the serious crashes they had.
    Senna managed to win in tracks without all the fancy things you can see now, with MANUAL STICK (and now some people claimed the F-duct was dangerous for having one pilot’s hand busy), mastered the rain, destroyed the clocks for pole position. Schum is great, but he had no opposition for the 94 title. The master was already gone.
    As I said before, and I think this poll should be commented on TV (BBC probably?) this final result of the Champion of Champions is like the final title Senna deserved, a postume crown gave by the people who saw him racing and started a passion for F1. I was 5 years old when I started to see this, his amazing races were transmited in Peru at 6am and I didn’t mind it was Sunday and my parents wanted to sleep cause of a tiring week. I just wanted to see “magic”.

    1. Senna managed to win in tracks without all the fancy things you can see now, with MANUAL STICK (and now some people claimed the F-duct was dangerous for having one pilot’s hand busy), mastered the rain, destroyed the clocks for pole position.

      Clark didn’t have any sort of aero aids on his cars and Fangio raced on narrow crossply tyres. Yet most people reading this site think Senna and Schumi are better champions than both of them. We can only compare drivers to their contemporaries. So talking about a manual gearbox is not a valid argument.

  92. why people shoul pick Senna…..
    1- Monaco ’84
    2-Donnington 93

    there are loads of reasons but those 2 are enough to beat any1

  93. Statistically Schumacher should win this. But I am voting on speculation here.

    We were robbed of Sennas full statistics by his tragic demise in 1994. If you think about the team he was at at the time he would probably have sewn up the championship for at least the next 4 years (making him a seven time champ!) Schumacher would not have won at least his first two and Damon Hill and Jacques Villenueve won’t have won theirs.

    Who knows where he would have gone next, or if he would have retired, but a driver like that certainly wouldn’t have been without an awesome driver in an era where there were quite alot of average drivers.

    Michael Schumacher is probably the biggest beneficiary of Senna’s death. Schumacher is a great driver, but Senna was and always will be the best. R.I.P.

  94. The previous post said everything
    “Senna was and always will be the best”
    And I need see the documentary SENNA.
    Senna forever and ever

  95. I voted for Senna, because I think he was better with inferior cars/difficult conditons. Yes, Michael had incredible races like Barcelona ’94/96, but remember races like Suzuka ’03, where he only had to finish eight and just managed that?

    Also, Senna scored basically no poles for ’92 and ’93, and it still took Schumacher that long to overtake him.

    1. But what is more important? Starting first or finishing first?

      1. Driving a car that doesn’t break down 1 in every 20 races?

        1. The point is that that Schumacher did take so long to get 65 poles, but that isn’t as important as the little time it took to take more than 41 wins.

          1. Yup, let’s not forget he beat Prost’s record before the ridiculously dominant Ferraris of 2002 and 2004 were there to drive.

    2. Some stats to tell how by 2001 Schumacher was already better than both Prost and Senna.

      Table below lists how many races it took for each of the drivers to achieve the race win count milestones and the season they achieved it in.

      Senna Prost Schumacher
      ——- ——- ————
      Win # Race# Race Race #
      1 17(1985) 21(1981) 18(1992)
      10 71(1988) 60(1984) 50(1994)
      20 87(1989) 85(1985) 76(1996)
      30 120(1991) 130(1988) 110(1998)
      40 158(1993) 157(1990) 136(2000)
      50 – 195(1993) 155(2001)
      60 – – 172(2002)
      70 – – 194(2003)
      80 – – 206(2004)
      90 – – 247(2006)

      1. Schumacher was already past Senna’s and Prost’s record of wins before he got the “unbeatable” Ferrari of 2002.

  96. Ayrton is the best, for sure. For me, that is. On raw speed he was a truly great driver, only matched bij Clark. Guys liks Schumacher, Prost, Stewart of Lauda came close because they have other skills. But on raw drivers quality, Senna and Clark are the best for sure. So I’m going for Senna.

    Michael is one of the top 5 greatest for me. But a certain lack of competition wich was there in a big part of his best years, makes him hard to compare to other great drivers.

    In comparison to Fangio I voted for Prost. Fangio is great obviously. But Prost stands out for me because he was winning so much in such a competitive era.

  97. Teammate comparisons. Past teammates finishing positions also included to better reflect their capabilities.

    84: Senna 9th Johansson 17th
    85: Senna 4th de Angelis 5th Johansson 7th
    5 points between 4th and 5th.
    86: Senna 4th Dumfries 13th Johansson 5th de Angelis 24th
    87: Senna 3rd Nakajima 12th
    88: Senna 1st Prost 2nd Nakajima 16th Johansson 25th
    3 points between 1st and 2nd.
    89: Senna 2nd Prost 1st Johansson 12th Nakajima 21th
    16 points between 1st and 2nd.
    90: Senna 1st Berger 4th Prost 2nd Nakajima 15th Johansson 36th
    91: Senna 1st Berger 4th Prost 5th Nakajima 15th Johansson 36th
    Shumacher 14th Piquet 6th
    MSC did 6 races that year and teamed up with Piquet for 5 races. In those 5 races, MSC scored 4 points with 2 retirements (1 engine 1 collision) vs. Piquet’s 4.5 points with no retirement.
    92: Senna 4th Berger 5th
    1 point between 4th and 5th.
    Shumacher 3rd Brundel 6th
    93: Senna 2nd Andretti 11th Hakkinen 15th Prost 1st Berger 8th
    Andretti and Hakkinen’s points combine would rank 9th place. Out of the 3 races Hakkinen
    partnered Senna, he out-qualified Senna in the first race, but only scored 4 points (with 2
    retirements 1 spun-off 1 brakes) vs. Senna’s 20 (1 retirement engine).
    Shumacher 4th, Patrese 5th, Brundle 7th
    32 points between 4th and 5th.
    94: Shumacher 1st Verstappen 10th Brundle 7th
    On the 3 races that MSC and Senna competed together, Senna got 3 poles but retired on all 3 (spun off, collision, unknown reason) while MSC won all 3.
    95: Shumacher 1st Herbert 4th Brundel 13th Verstappen 31st
    96: Shumacher 3rd Irvine 10th Brundle 11th Herbert 14th Verstappen 16th
    97: Shumacher 2nd Irvine 7th Herbert 10th Verstappen 21st
    98: Shumacher 2nd Irvine 4th Herbert 15th Verstappen 23rd
    99: Shumacher 5th Irvine 2nd Herbert 8th
    Missed 6 races plus brake failure in British GP. On Races where he entered, scored 44 points,
    while strategically gave 4 to Irvine. Irvine scored 40 points, and Hakkinen scored 54. Irvine
    was really strong that year and we can never know whether he could have done better than
    Irvine in the races he missed, but if he managed to do as well, he would have ended up with more points than Hakkinen.
    00: Schumacher 1st Barrichello 4th Verstappen 12th Irvine 13th Herbert 17th
    01: Schumacher 1st Barrichello 3rd Irvine 12th Verstappen 18th
    67 points between 1st and 3rd.
    02: Schumacher 1st Barrichello 2nd Irvine 9th
    67 points between 1st and 2nd.
    03: Schumacher 1st Barrichello 4th Verstappen 22nd
    04: Schumacher 1st Barrichello 2nd
    34 points between 1st and 2nd.
    05: Schumacher 3rd Barrichello 8th
    06: Schumacher 2nd Massa 3rd Barrichello 7th
    41 points between 2nd and 3rd. Barrichello lost to teammate Button by 1 place and 26 points.
    10: Schumacher 10th Rosberg 7th Massa 6th Barrichello 10th
    Only scored half the points Rosberg did. Massa also lost to Alonso by huge margin while
    Barrichello beat Hulkenberg convincingly.

    When you talk about quality of competition, drivers is one important factor, but you can’t ignore the car factor, i.e. weaker driver like Hill driving a fast 94 Williams may be as strong as Prost driving a slow 91 Ferrari. Senna did face legends like Prost, Mansell, and Piquet throughout his career but not always does all 3 of them have the equipment to win championships, and when they have, Senna did not always come up on top. What I mean is during Senna’s championship years, he did beat Prost twice and Mansell once with very similar equipment, which are some of the greatest achievements in F1, but Senna did not consistently beat the other 3 with similar equipment because usually only 1 of the 3 has the car to compete on that particular year.

    Teammate comparisons are still the best way to compare drivers. Senna only lost to his teammate Prost once. MSC lost 3 times. He lost to Rosberg convincingly, but pretty much matched Piquet in his first few races. Senna partnered with Prost for 2 out of his 9 year career. Won once and lost once. Schumacher never had as strong a teammate (except the fading Piquet). Other than Prost, Senna had only Berger (you can count Hakkinen and Hill if you want, but I excluded Piquet as MSC’s notable teammate) to compete with for 3 seasons, and Senna beat Berger quite convincingly except 92. I personally rate Barrichello and Massa higher than Berger, and out of the 7 seasons MSC partnered with Barrichello/Massa, only in 04 was Barrichello able to get within 40 points of MSC. MSC’s other 2 teammates Patrese and Irvine (combined for 5 seasons) were also better than Senna’s other teammates. All I can observe is Senna was as good as Prost while MSC never had a legendary teammate. Senna’s advantage over Berger was not significantly better than MSC’s advantage over Barrichello/Massa.

    In absolute success terms, Senna finished in top 2 5 times during the 6 years which he had competitive machinery and won 3. MSC finished in top 2 10 times during the 10 years which he had competitive machinery and won 7. Take out the 2 years (02 and 04, I personally think MSC in 02 is hard to beat regardless of who his teammate was that year because he nearly doubled Barrichello’s points) when he had superior equipment and not good enough of a teammate, still won 5 out of 8 tries, and in those 8 years he faced faster cars with maybe weaker drivers (Hill, Villeneuve) or similar cars with fast drivers (Hakkinen, Raikkonen, Alonso, Montoya), which I argue, equals the challenge of a strong teammate with the same car. In addition, having a dominant car with strong teammate means your worst finishing position is probably 2nd because only 2 cars are capable of regularly winning (Senna 89). On the other hand, to achieve 2nd when there are 2 strong teams means you have to at least beat 2 drivers (your teammate and the champion’s teammate) having similar cars (06) or even superior cars (97 98).

    During 91 to 94 when Senna and MSC competed against each other, they were very closely matched, and even if Senna lived to win 94, that would make Senna a 4 times champion vs. MSC’s 6. And it would be Senna beating MSC in a superior car which should not affect the conclusion of our comparison much.

    1. Hear, hear. I’m sick of the “Senna would have won in 1994” brigade. Yes, in a car that makes the RB6 look like a Minardi.

      1. eh? Hill didn’t to to badly then did he? Not saying I’m subscribing to some serious what if-ing but if Hill could get that close maybe Senna would have gotten closer or further, eh?

        Also to take Senna’s career further, if Senna had kept on driving we don’t know how much further he would have got. We must assume he’d have challenged in 1995, if he’d stayed at Williams that long he could well have won 1996 and 1997. More convincingly than the drivers that did.

        1. Hill did seemingly good in 1994 because he got 4 of his 6 victories that year when Schumacher was banned/disqualified and another one when Schumi got stuck in 5th gear for most of the race

          1. Was that the same year that Benetton were allegedly using illegal traction control and had removed the fuel flow-control filter from their re-fuelling rigs?

            I’d like to add another “anti-schumi” point (even though I actually voted for him in the poll):

            Why was Schumacher allowed to keep his wins and poles from the ’97 season? He was DQ’d from the Championship for obvious reasons, but for some reason his points, wins and poles (I guess fastest laps too) are allowed to stand as official in his career stats. That to me seems extremely bizarre, and should probably be removed to show fairness and common sense…

          2. Yeah someone asked that in an earlier CofC instalment. As far as I’m concerned, this is about comparing their achievements as drivers and expunging Schumacher’s 1997 stats would make that more difficult and less representative.

  98. Lots of great comments for and against both drivers!

    For me, the stats balance the argument too much to ignore. It’s really a heart vs head scenario, and the heart sure is winning!

  99. Senna is probably my FAVORITE driver of all time, but I have to say that even then I think MSC was still a slightly BETTER driver. And also why do people never mention Prost in the Ayrton vs Schumi battles, Prost was just as good as Senna was!

    1. Schumi should have been a clear winner …Sympathy overrides everything else my friend

      Even if Kubica goes head on against Senna today, Kubica will beat Senna hands down.

      1. Or hand down in case…….too early?

        1. in this case*

  100. Schumacher. But while when going up against Prost, it might be close. Up against Jackie Stewart, it might be close. Against Schumacher, too many people will vote against Schumacher because of the “bad taste in the mouth”-syndrome. So I predict Senna will win.

    Not a bad winner, but the way the votes have gone, not the correct one.

    1. I agree wholeheartedly!

  101. Won’t be voting on this one as I don’t like either of them.

    Fangio is the real winner, as he survived on the edge with no safety, was a complete gentleman, changed teams a number of times and also had a prolific racing career in rallying and other catagories.

    Read “FANGIO – The life behind the legend” and you will be blown away.

  102. Senna

  103. @ Duke “BUT,he would not have been able to match the great Michael Schumacher.Schumi was on a different level to all those that had been before”

    This is your personal opinion and it only shows you are a “big fan” please bring some facts next time

    1. And it’s only opinion that Senna would have taken Schumacher’s titles. These arguments, both ways are based on speculation.

  104. Why cant we vote here in the philippines? You dont want michael to win?

    1. There are no restrictions on voting other than that you have to be logged in to vote.

  105. Autosport had a survey not long ago and they asked real F1 drivers (the refer to them as heroes) who was the best driver. I’m talking about informed opinions from people who knew what it was to be out there and face the music. Guess what driver did they say it was the best …

  106. For me it is Senna. His performance while winning the pole at Monaco speaks volumes about his greatness. Driving the same car as the great Alain Prost, he beat the latter by over a second and a half. Donington 1993, Adelaide 1993 (both in the rain) also speak eloquently about Senna. Suzuka 1990 was for Senna a way to address an injustice (changing of the position of the polesitter’s car) that he felt Jean-Marie Balestre had done him.

  107. More talented driver would be Senna, the champion of champions based on the record has to be Schumy.

    Regardless of his shenanigans, after all he learned them from Senna!

  108. Senna , they were both great,masters of driver tracks like suzuka, spa and monaco, but senna outqualified his teamate in the 1988 monaco gp
    , by more than 1.5 seconds!!, and not just any teammate PROST, when has shumacher outqualified by that margin, irvine, rubens or any other, (VETTEL OR WEBBER, alonso over massa). Dont forget monaco 84, estoril, donington

    senna proved to be a greater champion, he was ruthless but proved on ocasions to be a greater man, this was the guy who stopped on the track to help Coma , the guy who rode with mansell on the side of the car after he retired, the guy who said on the radio he missed alain prost, the guy who was riding with a austrian flag the day he died in honor of ratzemberg.

    Senna Simply the best

    1. Prost’s goal is always drive as slowly as possible to score maximum points. So in this case when Mclaren was so dominant and he knows he won’t be senna in Monaco, he would only need to beat the 3rd place guy and he can score second, so I doubt his motivation to reduce the gap from 1.5 second to 0.01 second.

  109. I can’t choose because I wasn’t watching F1 when Senna, Prost were racing… and I wasn’t even born when Fangio dominated in the 50s.

  110. Senna was the man, he is the man, and will always be the best… simply….. even Schumacher will tell you that much…

    as for third in my opinion it must be Fangio, because at the time…he just made history.

    I rode recently in a 50s era racer as a passenger, no seat-belt, cresting 140kph… it’s not for the faint hearted…so you must respect these guys

  111. Without Senna’s death it’s arguable it would be Senna 7 titles vs Schuie’s 5 (at best) as Senna would probably have won in 94-97 with the dominant Williams.

    1. Pionir, assumptions is the mother of all eff ups, sorry. Senna was losing to Schumacher 3 to 0 before he’s death remember. ….or was it 2 to 0?

    2. Without Senna’s death we would still be talking about Senna’s 3 titles to Schumacher’s 7 (at least).

      See, I can make assumptions too.

      1. Hahaha good one!

  112. Schumacher!

    People only rave about Senna because he is a dead World Champion…

    Similar to Prost and Fangio. How can Fangio win, no one in this forum saw him race, only going on about what the old timers have said, …ok and for those of us that have 50’s F1 video see him race, but then……he is a famous dead. Sorry for being “cold” to some, but it is fact. Sorry.

  113. a couple of years ago, i went through the trouble of comparing schumacher and senna’s careers, year by year, only taking into account the first 10 seasons of their career (because of senna’s premature death).
    and this is what i came up with:

    qualifying: senna was slightly stronger than schumacher, all in all, even if you take into account that schumacher had less dominant cars most of the time, compared to senna (remember, i’m looking at end of 91 to 2001 for schumacher).

    strategy: schumacher wins clearly here, for senna there was only one strategy: to win! his % of car failures can’t be only due to the car, some of it is due to mishandling the car (which i know many people put in favor of him instead of against him)

    sportsmanship: senna was slightly superior here. i always felt he was arrogant, and so do most people think of schumacher. and senna did do some sleasy things, but schumacher just did a tad more. not a huge difference here, though.

    race speed: this is where schumacher has a little bit of an advantage. he was just capable fo performing at top level for an incredible amount of laps; once again, you can see that as senna’s passion, but schumacher was near to perfect in race days. he converted 68 poles into 91 victories, whereas senna won 41 times after getting 66 poles – that’s just too much of a loss.

    physical preperation: senna was a pioneer in this field, and schumacher (a great senna-fan himself) imititated him and thus surpassed him in this field.

    one-on-one: schumacher could have been WDC in 94 even if senna had lived. everyone will admit that it’s not absurd to think that way, and that would have silenced this debate. but we’ll never know. and don’t come with the “he only beat hill by one point” thing, you all know that’s not true.

    so i would say they were pretty much tied all in all, but there is one big difference:
    schumacher was able to help his teams develop better cars and became world champion with benetton (4th best team when he joined them) and ferrari (3rd best when he joined them). when he left benetton, the car went back to being 3rd or 4th.
    senna got a seat at lotus, the 3rd best team, and scored 6 victories in 3 years there, not being able to improve the team. he had to switch to mclaren o become WDC, and when that team declined, he had to switch again to try to get more titles. this is the opposite way compared to schumacher, and is what defines the difference for me, pro-schumacher. not the 7 titles! it might sound strange, but it proves that schumacher was more of a team player, and senna more of a loner. senna needed to win and know that he had won it; schumacher knew that he relied on the team to win.
    and for me, the brazilian gp 1994 is an example of schumacher actually beating senna on his home turf. benetton DID NOT have the better car that day, and schumacher, even coming from 2nd place, completely dominated senna that afternoon. imola was looking the same way when tragedy stroke.
    so here you have it; senna will win the vote, but schumacher should win it.

    1. great post magon!

    2. and don’t come with the “he only beat hill by one point” thing, you all know that’s not true.

      Could you please explain how do we all know this is not true?!?

      1. schumacher drove the hell out of hill, only losing to him in japan. he did lose 18 points and two races (probably another 20, with Hill losing 8), so it could or should have been at least a 30 point difference.

        1. Brownsugar42 (@)
          8th February 2011, 9:09

          What about 93 and 92? Schumacher was no match for Senna then…Senna embarrassed Schumacher (and the rest of the field in Donnington 93). He had some very impressive drives in a dated McLaren. You can’t just look at the 3 races in 94 to judge the better driver. Senna and Schumacher raced two full seasons together in 92 and 93.

          Neither Senna or Schumacher had the best car…yet Senna had more wins (8 to Schumacher’s 2), poles (2 to 0), and total points (123 to 105). As well as having more mechanical failures than Schumacher (9 to 6) this includes retiring from the lead in the 92 Canadian GP.

          I still haven’t seen a better driver than Senna. Schumacher is great no doubt…but his Ferrari years were a joke, the best car on the grid (by far) 00-04, then in 05 when the car sucked…Schumacher was no where. Just like last year, the Mercedes was garbage, and Schumacher didn’t have team orders to rely on, so he got embarrassed by Rosberg, and by the rest of the field.

          Senna always showed his raw speed, and talent, regardless of the car he drove. 84 Monaco. 16 poles, and 6 wins…in a Lotus that had nothing for the Williams and McLarens of the 1985 through the 87 seasons. As well as leading the points in 87 in sub-par machinery. A true champ gets it done no matter what he drives.

          My vote goes to Senna.

          1. but his Ferrari years were a joke, the best car on the grid (by far) 00-04

            If you watched those years, you’d know that that’s only true for 2002 and 4. In 2000, the Mclaren was equal, in 2001, Mclaren and Williams were regualar challengers, and same for 2003, with Williams probably even faster.

            then in 05 when the car sucked…Schumacher was no where.

            He finished 3rd, ahead of Montoya, Fisichella and both Toyotas, who had faster cars and Michelin tyres.

            the Mercedes was garbage, and Schumacher didn’t have team orders to rely on, so he got embarrassed by Rosberg, and by the rest of the field.

            He is 41 after all, and didn’t do as badly as you think. The “rest of the field” certainly didn’t embarrass him, and although Rosberg was better, Schumacher was matching him by the end of the season.

            And Barrichello/Irvine/Massa/Brundle/Patrese definately weren’t going to beat Schumacher in the same equipment no matter what happened.

    3. Nice analysis.

    4. Very good analysis, and up to you for taking out the time to do it. As I said before, people are up on Senna just because he is dead, I’ve always said it. No doubt, he is good, but not better than Schumacher.

    5. “and don’t come with the “he only beat hill by one point” thing, you all know that’s not true.”

      Quite he didn’t beat him, he bounced him.

    6. Brazilian GP 1994:

      Benetton had 2 advantages for that race: traction control and an illegal fueling system. Senna was leading but after they both pitted, Schumacher was quicker and rejoined ahead. The Williams car at the beginning of ’94 was but no means the best car of the pack, it had passive suspension problems and aerodynamical issues that were only sorted out well into the season …

      1. Brownsugar42 (@)
        8th February 2011, 9:11

        I’m glad somebody has a memory. :)

  114. Correction on Magons’ point about Brazil 94. Schumacher DID have the better car. The Williams FW16 at the beginning of the 94 season was to quote Adrian Newey ” a Dog of a car. How he (Senna) was able to extract the kind of performance that he did was something that we thought should not have been possible)”.

    Before Senna spun out on laptop 52 (or was it 53) he was closing the gap to Schumacher.

    1. And in doing so he already lapped Hill in the same car.

    2. As magon’s mentioned, Senna wrecks cars.

    3. a 10 second gap closing it to 5 (so schumacher was controlling the race), and they called it a dog of a car compared to the dominance in 92 and 93, and probably after senna had died, in his homage and defense. compare benetton nr 2 with williams nr 2 and you’ll know which car was better.

    4. Before Senna spun out on laptop 52 (or was it 53) he was closing the gap to Schumacher.

      It was likely that Schumacher was just controlling the race at that point (like Prost would have), and really had more pace up his sleeve.

    5. dog of a car meaning difficult to drive, but it was quick. In comparison the 95 benetton was also very difficult to drive, but quick. Anyway if you give top talent a quick car they will deliver, doesnt matter if its difficult to drive.

  115. this was not my favoured final. i would have chosen clark vs. prost. i voted for senna because i think he faced sterner competition and their point per finish (the ultimate arbiter for Champion of Champions) score is very close.
    it’s almost expected that senna and schumacher make the final. today, they are the most famous drivers in the sport.

  116. For me it was a difficult choise, because I like Schumacher and Senna too….finally I chose Schumacher….

  117. For me, this poll is emotion vs reason. I’ve read all the comments (381 so far) and I would abstain. I have seen all of Schumacher races and most of Senna’s. But, I have to admit, based solely on emotion and even if I was not brazilian, i would vote on Senna. After each of MSC wins (all the technical perfection and errorless driving) I would turn off the TV and not think of it until the next race. On the other hand, each of Senna’s wins (Interlagos 93 is the best example) inspire me ’til today.

    It took me some time to write this for my english is not so good. Sorry for any mistakes…

    1. i think the emotion can be tricky. since you are brazilian, you’ll be emotional about his many great races. the gp you refer to was a home gp, so the emotion was even greater because of it.
      schumacher has had quite a few emotional races, including his 94 win over senna in brazil. spa 95, barcelona 96, a race at nurborgring, silverstone against hill, there have been quite a few epic races, but people forget them because there have been so many non epic race wins. if he had 40 wins, he might be more apprecciated.

  118. Senna is obviously better. Schumi can’t even beat Rosberg and gets sick when he’s in the simulator.

  119. A-Safieldin (@)
    7th February 2011, 21:20

    One of them bored us half to death and the other entertained us more than we thought was possible. Senna is like the Muhammad Ali of F1 he was great to watch nice personality but at the end of the day over-rated. If Schumacher was Brazilian and picked fights with people and Senna was German and won 7 WDC’s and had no history of villainous teammates this pole would be skewed towards the German- or in this case Brazilian Schumacher.

  120. MagillaGorilla
    7th February 2011, 21:52

    @ Keith Collantine

    Hey Keith How did you guys make that tournament bracket? If you can tell me or direct me in the right place that’d be great.

  121. Have all voters experienced the Senna age?
    Dead persons are always deified by the alive.
    I vote to Michael anytime not only for his great talent and skills but also for the great emotion that he convey to us.

  122. the mclaren senna drove in 92 and 93 was clearly better than the benetton schumacher drove in those same years. and still, they were almost matched in points.
    and don’t you forget that schumacher ended his rookie year in 3rd position, coming from the 4th best car in the grid 91. and senna was WDC in 91 and ended behind rookie schumacher in the standings in 92, with a better car!
    or do you really want to argue that schumi’s benetton 92 was better than senna’s mclaren in the same year???

    1. Brownsugar42 (@)
      8th February 2011, 14:53

      In 92, Senna out ran Schumacher on many different occassions, the only reason he finished with more points (only 3 btw), is because Senna had 5 mechanical failures, and another retirement in France, when Schumacher slammed into the back of him. So thats 6 races, where he was unable to score points.

      And everybody knows the 1993 McLaren was junk…the Benetton had more pace than the McLaren at a lot different venues. One example of the McLaren’s lack of speed would be the race at Silverstone that year. The Benetton was much faster. So their cars were a lot closer in performance than you think. And Senna still brought that peice of crap McLaren home 2nd in points at the end of the season…as well as having 5 wins compared to 1 for Schumacher…and he wasn’t a rookie anymore.

      1. Brownsugar42 (@)
        8th February 2011, 15:09

        So as I said before…in the two full seasons they raced against each other, Schumacher never showed me that he was a match for Senna, much less a better driver than him. Yeah he could match him for pace once in a blue moon. But during these two seasons, Senna out performed Schumacher and the rest of the grid…and showed more heart, determination, and raw talent…in an increasingly uncompetitive McLaren.

      2. The 1993 Mclaren was junk compared to Williams. But no, it was still a faster car than the Benetton in almost every race.

        They were still pretty closely matched across 1992-4, so I certainly wouldn’t say Schu challenged “once in a blue moon”.

      3. the 93 mclaren wasn’t junk. It had less power (so problem on the straights) and that was the fault of the engine aka ford. The cornering or aerodynamics were good, i think better than the benetton.

        Anyway in exception of the power i think senna really liked how that car behaved.

  123. In a recent poll by current GP drivers who they thought was the best, I’d like to leave this quote by M.Schumacher “If you ask me, Senna is No.1”.

    1. Phew what a load of nonsense
      nuvolari said it best!
      Senna will always be the fastest it is/was possible to be in a car.
      That makes him champion in my book.

    2. yeah i also think he has to say that. None of the great drivers says publicly i am the best of all drivers ever driven in f1. I think fangio said senna is the best. senna said?? clark or fangio?? i don’t know. stewart says clark etc

  124. I will not vote because i am abiased I like Schumacher en i don’t like Senna. I drove against Senna when he was young and he was a arrogant bigmouth who had it all. (this was in Carts)

    Now he could drive but he couldn’t win against me so if a f1 driver cannot win from me he shouldn’t be champion of champions.

  125. Schumacher without doubt should win this, BUT, there again,it doesn’t matter if Senna wins this — as it is the last race for him to win.So it would be a fitting tribute to Ayrton’s era.
    I am sure Mr Schumacher would graciously agree and be pleased for Senna.

  126. I love this era of information , you ca find absolutly anything on the net, just wanted to thank you for the effort of writing this!

  127. ¡Senna wins!

  128. Senna for me easily.

    Senna was the fastest ever.
    Senna wins in poles 40% rate
    Senna did’nt cheat in 1990, he got revenge on Prost for 89 and would of won in 90 anyway. Schumi hit Hill in 94 Adelaide, hit Villeneuve in 97, punted DC off in 98 at Argentina and I’m sure there is a couple more.
    Senna won titles against great opponents, Schumi did’nt.
    Senna drove flat out with skill, Schumi cheats left right and centre. 94 Benetton had traction control, removed fuel filter for quicker fuelling, and apparently 4 wheel steering, and hit Hill to top it off for his very tainted first WDC.
    Look at 93, Senna won 5 races still with ford engine, Schumi with ford aswell won 1 race and only beat Senna once fair and square at Silverstone. Then watch Donnington lol.
    Senna died trying to stay ahead of the 3 biggest cheats in F1 history being Schumi, Rory Byrnes and Flavio. The ultimate cheat team. Senna did’nt need to cheat, he punched above his weight in the Toleman, Lotus and the Ford Mclaren. Schumi drove ok in slow cars.
    Senna never did pre season testing, he did’nt need to, he was super quick in any car straight off the bat.
    Schumi spent lots of time testing to improve his car.
    If Senna did’nt die, he would of won 94, 95, 96 and 97 with Williams easily IMO.
    If you look at reliabilty, Senna had it worse, and if his cars did’nt let him down his points per start and finish would have been alot higher. His wins would be higher to (taken from Schumi) if not for his death.
    Put all this together and Senna wins easily.
    Not to mention Senna also helped alot of poor/unfortunate people in his country which shows he was way more human then people think he is.

    1. Amen. And Schumacher only was capable to get his first pole after Senna’s death.

  129. To those who say Schumacher was best in ’93, the McLaren had 40bhp less than the Bennetton, and then you can watch Donnington and see who was best in the rain!!!!
    Also, all of you are missing a very important point, not only Senna was driving against the likes of Prost, Mansell, Piquet (heck he was even racing Niki Lauda in ’84 and ’85!!), but he was also competing against FISA president Jean Marie Balestre, who was openly and shamelessly making decisions to benefit his fellow countryman Alain Prost (DQ in Suzuka ’89 for “cutting the chicane”, reverting the race official’s decision to switch pole position, just to make Senna start on the dirty side of the track in Suzuka ’90, and prompting Senna’s decision to be the 1st through the 1st corner no matter what, and not as a revenge for ’89).

    Schumacher never had to fight against the decisions of an inescrupulous FIA president, much less, he was in Ferrari, who we all know is always benefited by the FIA.

    I can’t recall who once said “If someone wants to beat Senna, he needs to find a completely different and new way of driving an F1 car, otherwise, there’s just no chance.”

    Schumacher sure didn’t. The whole fitness thing, the unmatched determination, the ruthlessness, and everything that defines Schumacher’s style, was brought to F1 by Senna. There would have never been a Schumacher as we know him, if there hadn’t been a Senna before. Schumacher got everything he is, from Senna. Which is by no means an easy task, but he’ll never be anything more than an imitation. Heck, he even try to imitate Senna’s Suzuka ’90 crash against Hill and Villeneuve!!!

    I have seen them both race, I have read enough books and seen enough movies about them both.
    Schumacher took everything that Senna was as a driver, the good and the bad, and magnified it in all directions. Senna was the Genesis of everything that Schumacher became after Senna’s death.

    I’m glad Senna won, because he is, to me, the greatest ever.

  130. Senna easily for me, as much as we look at stats and figures, Senna’s driving was always more exhilarating in a time where F1 had its finest years. Schumacher won a few titles with ease in an era with some very ordinary drivers.

  131. Sub-Zero ZA
    2nd April 2011, 22:43

    Back and Forth the arguement goes, over who is the better driver.
    Senna was a phenomenal driver, no doubt, but he was not consistent at all!
    Everyone keeps saying that he was racing against much better drivers than Schumacher was, but shows one thing: The fact that he was not good enough to win all the time.
    Prost, Mansel etc. etc. won championships during Senna’s peak, so it shows a lack of cinsistency.

    Schumacher had a five in a row winning streak against great drivers and great cars. Hakkinen was no clown in the seat.
    This debate is so over done, it should be laid to rest, along with the glory of Senna’s great driving.

    I think if we had two drivers like Schumi and Senna racing together at their prime now, it would be a very interesting scenario.

    Schumi won 33% of all of his races he has entered, vs Senna’s 25%.
    Senna has had a much better pole position percentage, but bear in mind, that back then, the qualifying cars were much more powerful than the ones they actually raced it.

    Either way, both are fantastic drivers in their own right, and should both be praised for their acheivements.

  132. Statistically – Schumacher
    Personally – Senna

    I’d say Senna, If he had survived the crash at Imola, he would become champion for few more times…


  133. This is simple…Schumacher will always be better, ’cause he did not killed himself as Senna did…if he was so good why did he crashed his car like that, i mean accidents happens…but there was a lot of pilots racing that day, none of them crashed, it was Sennas fault, an error…a fatal error. How could you be the best if you commit an error that kills you? the best wouldnt do that, thats why Schumacher is alive, retired with a lot of trophies at home and a legend behind. RIP Senna, he was good, but not as good as Schumacher.

    1. This is probably the dumbest comment in all 9 pages.
      Senna’s accident was caused by a mechanical failure. Schumacher had a mechanical failure at Silverstone and he was lucky he only broke his legs because he hit a tire barrier and BECAUSE of Senna’s accident, Michael’s car was much safer. If Schumacher’s Silverstone crash would’ve happened in ’94 against an unprotected wall he would’ve probably died too.

  134. Oh and by the way, Schumacher is not retired, he came back and is racing his 2nd season driving for Mercedes. That shows how much you follow F1

  135. Oh, and he hasn’t had a single front row start or podium finish in 30 races…

  136. Schumacher is better than Senna….sadly most of guys who voted for Senna never really watched him driving…anyway i watched them both,was Senna fan until i saw Michael…What he did with crappy ferrari from 1996,97,97 Senna would never be able to do that.

    1. most of guys who voted for Senna never really watched him driving

      How would you know that?

  137. sennna never pushed any one off the track to win he would just drive and win

  138. magic_senna
    9th May 2012, 1:12

    +pole position (65 poles out of 161 races, so over 40% and 3 poles in the 3 races he contested in in 94. the lack of (high) finishes were often to irreliable cars although maybe sometimes he did push his cars too far and braking them basically but maybe on a few occaions only)
    +wet weather (estoril 85, donington 93)
    +passing manoeuvres too many to tell
    +almost regularly brilliant and genius on more than handful occasions
    +monaco specialist (outperformed teammate prost in 1988 by 2 sec in quali, source: racing is in my blood but performed well at any circuit regardless of its characteristics. did not need experience on a track to win there right away just like lewis hamilton)
    +could and did take on any teammate inc prost (exception of warwich as team lotus’ limited resources couldn’t support to fast drivers according to senna and i agree)
    +drove and beat most of the time many great drivers incl (multiple times) champions: prost lauda piquet mansell rosberg
    +team builder (great motivator and worked super hard which was inspiring, next to his huge talent and detail freak with long sessions till late in the evening including making working plans for the team. also humorous, friendly and sincere to teammembers while making sure he got the best people to work on his car. he didnt move the key players from his old team to his new team (as opposed to schumacher’s ‘teambuilding capabilities’ bringing ross brawn and rory byrne from benetton to ferrari, though byrne shortly retired at the end of 1994 in which benetton used the banned traction control was senna’s own opinion and that of others probably)
    +ability to drive cars above their perceived potential and be fast on cold tyres from lap 1 and being fast in any car also out of F1 with basically no testing required to get up to speed
    +constantly improving himself (he found estoril 85 with turbo charged enige im pretty sure with one honest mistake during the race according to then lotus teamboss peter warr, source a star named senna, a better performance then donington 93 cuz at the latter he had traction control whereas in the former he did not, source racing is in my blood)
    +learning from mistakes (e.g. loss of concentration crashing car in barriers monaco 88, chocking in backmarker causing own retirement as well monza 88, stalled engine suzuka 1988)

    – jo ramirez (former mclaren employee and friend of senna, surprisingly said in the docu the right to win that when the car was perfect prost was invincible, very hard to beat but that getting the perfect setup for a car was rare. i think he meant when prost won usually it was with a perfect setup, senna could probably easier makeup for deficits of the car also imperfect setups. i think when both had a perfect setup senna beat prost as well because more raw speed in both quali and race but also more precisely feeling of the car especially in the wet although in the dry prost did drive more smoothly vs senna’s go carting aggresive style but he could drive smooth like that if necessary e.g. in rain)
    – prost said he didnt think senna was the best in setting up a car in the docu senna. could be biased and in favor of himself or he actually believed it. could be that prost was better in setting up the car though, i can’t tell. i know senna was into technical details a lot that he wore technicians down going through sessions till late in the evening according to ducarouge (former lotus technician) in docu a star named senna.
    – senna was sometimes too aggresive causing him points or the whole race (e.g. monza 88. he admitted this in racing is in my blood, sometimes causing crashes in the rain as well, interlagos 94 spin trying to catch schumacher who passed him in the pits with the suspected lack of filter in the tank and forbidden traction control)
    – questionnable race speed as in low number of fastest laps during race. i actually think that’s a sign he backed off a bit to look after his car, interesting this one) i think before schumacher, senna ownt the record of most laps in the lead)
    – dangerous driving sometimes out of frustration and due to the feeling of injustice (suzuka 90) but strangely although the many colissions and crashes he didnt crash hard except for, next to imola 94 obviously, a few races. his car landed up side down in mexico 91 or something on sand/gravel trap.

    + reading a race, maybe better than senna at least schumacher is more famous for it
    + driving many laps in a row during the race on the limit including just before pitting at which he was brilliant
    + wet weather though not as good as senna

    lack of high caliber opponents in his era not his to blame though
    – unwilling to fight against teammates fair and square, that is he was the absolute number one, teammates had lesser material and were not allowed to pass him or when in front they were obliged to let him pass (austria 2002, ‘rubens, let michael pass’ i think this is more cowardly then senna’s going for the best team although both tactics were effective)
    – qualifying, despite being pole record holder he got outqualified a lot by opponents and took him way more races than senna to reach 65 poles.
    – sometimes silly mistakes in the wet (brazil 2005 or 2006, monaco 96?)
    – wall of champions visiter = crashing into the wall (montreal and melbourne)
    – dirty tactics (adelaide 94, jerez 97, monaco 2005 or 2006 etc where senna was no saint either in e.g. suzuka 90 but he had his reasons and values and would not lie about those, though sometimes it took him years to fully explain his thoughts feelings and intentions and why he did what he did)

  139. There wasn’t a racer in the sport better than Schuey. He’s the greatest racer in the history of Grand Prix racing.

  140. Nobody speaks of Schu. about his last years. Howcomes he can`t bring mercedes to a higher level. Eveybody tells about he brought ferrari by “himself”to it`s high level… I think he lost ( IF HE EVER HAD IT) that particiular skill.
    For me Ayrton Senna was/still is the ultimate formula 1 driver. Soit

  141. Here is why, in my opinion, Ayrton Senna is not better than Michael Schumacher:

    Senna was on pole 65 times but only won 41 races. He was actually negative in terms of converting pole positions to wins.

    Schumacher was on pole 68 times but won 91 races, a far, far better rate of conversion.

    Blind Senna fans say that Senna’s poor conversion rate of poles to wins is because the cars were less reliable in his day, which to an extent is true. However, what these same people ignore is the fact that Prost was on pole 33 times but managed to win 51 races. You simply cannot argue with that. Prost’s ratio of poles to wins is even better than Schumacher’s.

    Prost, without any doubt whatsoever, proved that in the 80’s and early 90’s it was more than possible to have as many wins as poles (or more) but Senna simply wasn’t able to do this because of his own mistakes and not being able to replicate his qualifying pace in racing conditions.

    This leads me nicely on to point number 2, Senna only had the fastest lap of the race on 19 occasions – a terrible statistic compared to Prost with 41 and Schumacher with 77.

    In 1988, Senna won his first championship against Prost in the same team (McLaren), but only because of the ridiculous “best 11 results” rule which they finally got rid of in 1991. Had results from every race counted towards the championship (as they have since 91) then Prost would’ve been world champion by 11 points. 11 points in a time when you only get 9 for a victory is a large gap.

    People often say that all you need to watch is Donnington in 93 and that’s why Senna was the best. What they forget to mention is that the McLaren that Senna was driving that day had traction control. There was no traction control on Schumacher’s Ferrari at Spain in 96. There are several other dominant drives in the wet by Schumacher in the late 90’s when he didn’t have traction control such as Monaco 97, Spa 97 and Spa 98.

    People say that Senna had 5 wins to Schumacher’s 1 in 93 even though Schumacher had a better engine. This is true, the engine in the back of Schumacher’s Benetton was slightly more powerful in the first half of the season. However, the aerodynamic package was not on the level of the McLaren and neither were the electronics (which goes some way to explaining Donnington in 93). In 2014, Ron Dennis described the 93 McLaren as “one of the best cars we ever made”.

    Finally on 93, Schumacher retired 7 times to Senna’s 4. Schumacher was also dominating the Monaco GP before he had to retire. Schumacher was on the podium in every race he finished.

    In 94, people say that Schumacher only beat Hill by one point and that had Senna lived, he would definitely have won the championship because he was a better driver than Hill.

    What they don’t tell you is that Hill only beat Schumacher on the road twice throughout the entire 94 season and only one of those was an “earned” win. First was Spain when Schumacher was dominating the race only to be stuck in fifth gear for more than half the race, gifting victory to Hill. Second was Japan when Benetton got the strategy wrong and were caught flat footed by the stop-start race, meaning Schumacher had to pit twice compared to Hill’s one stop. Despite this, it was a good win for Hill, but it’s the one and only time he actually beat Schumacher in equal circumstances in 94.

    Schumacher was leading the British GP in 94 before the black flag debacle. He finished the race second but was later disqualified.

    Schumacher won the 94 Belgian GP only to be disqualified due to the “plank being too thin”. However, nobody seems to remember (or even knows) that the race before, the plank on the bottom of the winning car was even thinner, but nobody batted an eye lid.

    Schumacher was also disqualified from a further two races after the fallout from the British GP. In total, Schumacher only scored points in 10 races in 94. He won 8 of them and finished second in the other two.

    Had Schumacher kept his second place from the British GP, his win in Belgium, and been allowed to compete and win in Italy and Portugal (entirely possible considering how he dominated pretty much every race that year) then his total points for the 94 season would’ve been 128 compared to Hill’s 77 assuming Hill finishes second in all of these races (he did finish second in Belgium before he was gifted yet another victory).

    128 points to 77 is not close at all. Many people agree that the FIA were not happy with the way that Schumacher was running away with the championship and action needed to be taken to spicen things up. The Benetton team were following the advice of the Marshals during the black flag debacle of 94 British GP, but this gave the FIA something they could use to penalize Schumacher and they used this to their full advantage.

    Finally on 94, Schumacher’s Benetton had a V8 Ford engine compared to the Renault V10 in the back of the Williams. The power difference was far greater than the difference between the 93 McLaren and 93 Benetton. The power difference was so great that the Benetton bought the Ligier team just so they could get the Renault engine for the 95 season.

    Both Schumacher and Senna were prepared to cheat to win and neither of them is better or worse than the other in regards to cheating, so I’m not even going to talk about that.

    Senna never helped a struggling team become a winning one. He spent a few seasons at Lotus before jumping into the all-conquering McLaren for the 88 season. Nobody can hold this against him. He had his success, but as soon as things started going wrong in 92, he immediately started seeking his way out and was desperate to secure the move to Williams.

    In 93, he held Ron Dennis to ransom and only agreed to take part in the season a few hours before it began and he did this for $1 million per race. Nobody knows the exact details, but rumour has it that Senna never had a contract for the 93 season, he was just racing on a “race by race” contract for $1 million a time.

    Schumacher on the other hand had two years as world champion at Benetton in 94 and 95 and he could’ve stayed and won another world championship in 96. He also could’ve moved to Williams in 96. Instead, he had the courage to go to the struggling Ferrari team and achieve something for the future, and this exactly what happened. In my opinion, this was his greatest achievement.

    A few other interesting facts to round things off:

    Schumacher was out qualified by his team mate just 9 times between 1992 and 2001. From 2002 onwards for the rest of Schumacher’s Ferrari career, qualifying was in various idiotic platforms such as qualify with race starting fuel load, qualify in the reverse order the previous race finished in and so on. The reason for the introduction of these silly rules? To curb Schumacher’s dominance of the sport.

    Schumacher only had the best car on the grid in 2002 and 2004 when the Ferrari was truly dominant. At a push you could say that the Ferrari of 2001 was superior, but there wasn’t much in it.

    Schumacher took the title down to the wire in 97 when the Williams was the much faster car. This is magnified by the positioning of the second drivers in both teams. The second Williams driver, Frentzen, finished 3rd in the championship (2nd after Schumacher was disqualified) with 42 points, 1 win and 7 podiums.

    The second Ferrari of Irvine finished 7th in the championship (6th after Schumacher’s disqualification) with 24 points, no wins and 5 podiums.

    The same happened again in 98, the McLaren was much faster than the Ferrari, especially at the start of the year but he still took the championship down to the final race where luck was not on his side. Side note – he out qualified Irvine by 2 seconds at the 98 Japanese GP.

    In 2012, Schumacher matched Rosberg in qualifying (10-10) and actually beat him in terms of races that they both finished (7-3). This is the same Rosberg who regularly matches and beats Lewis Hamilton today. However, the Schumacher that we saw in 2012 was a 43 year old, washed up, way past his best Schumacher. He was a shadow of his former self, yet he was still matching Rosberg. Neither Rosberg nor Hamilton could hold a candle to the Schumacher of 94-2004 when he was at his best.

    The more I sit here and type, the more convinced I become that Michael Schumacher is the best overall driver that there’s ever been in Formula 1.

    1. Mathew Tolcon
      28th April 2019, 14:45

      Great article. The bottom line is that Michael Schumacher had the best attributes of Ayrton Senna and AlanProst rolled into 1 driver which makes him the ultimate formula 1 driver of my lifetime

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