Alonso stronger than Schumacher was – Massa

2013 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Fernando Alonso is an even stronger team mate than Michael Schumacher was, according to Felipe Massa.

Massa, who has two races left with Ferrari before leaving the team, is the only driver to have partnered both seven-times champion Schumacher and twice-champion Alonso in F1.

“Schumacher was as quick, but in terms of intelligence, Alonso is better because he manages to put everything together perfectly,” said Massa, who was Schumacher’s team mate in 2006 and has partnered Alonso since 2010.

Massa also paid tribute to Sebastian Vettel following the Red Bull driver’s fourth world championship victory last month.

“It is one hundred percent down to him and his car,” said Massa.

“Because it’s true he drives the quickest and most consistent car. But then it’s he who manages to extract its potential, who takes pole, who puts six tenths over on everyone, including his team-mate. He’s a fantastic driver.”

Asked about his own world championship near-miss in 2008, when he lost to Lewis Hamilton by a single point, Massa said he agreed with team principal Stefano Domenicali’s view that he deserved the title:

“One hundred percent yes. I deserved the title, taking into account the season and everything that happened…”

2013 F1 season

Browse all 2013 F1 season articles

Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

134 comments on “Alonso stronger than Schumacher was – Massa”

  1. Sorry Felipe, but when it comes to 2008, you were a worthy contender, but you did not deserve the title ‘one-hundred percent’.

    Sure, you lost some points due to bad luck in Hungary and Singapore, but you also gained a few due to some pretty dodgy stewarding decisions that year.

    You did a superb job in that final race at Interlagos – utterly flawless drive. But, overall, I think that Lewis did deserve it more than you.

    1. overall, I think that Lewis did deserve it more than you.

      Neither man deserved it. They brawled for it! They had a knock-down, drag-out fight, a season-long slug-fest, and one final spin of Fortuna’s wheel gave Lewis the title. Felipe would’ve been just as “deserving” a WDC. He conducted himself with great dignity on the podium, btw. That he laments not winning now is hardly something he can be faulted for, especially in light of the disastrous 2009 season and how the accident hindered his Ferrari career.

      1. I share this sentiment… but IMO Massa deserved the WDC more than Hamilton; sure he made a couple of erros but Hamilton himself is no less error-prone (Montreal 2008 immediately spring to mind) and couple that with losing a probable podium in Singapore and guaranteed win in Hungary, I believe Massa would have been more deserving of the title with all due respect to Hamilton :/

        1. No one is deserved anything in any sport.

      2. I completely agree!!

        Except that I think that @woshidavid95 is right about Massa :P

    2. @magnificent-geoffrey They both deserved it well. Massa really deserved it, so did Hamilton. Neither were absolutely perfect, but that’s the way that year went… ups and downs for everyone, including the title contenders.

      I wanted Massa to win it. I think we all were a bit surprised to see him so well placed for the championship, and I expected Hamilton to be contender in the years to follow. To think he was just meters of winning it !

      1. I was indifferent but pulled for FM as that last race took place because I felt it was LH’s WDC to lose and he did everything to lose it, while when the pressure was at it’s greatest FM did everything right, everything in his power to win it…and nearly did. ie. I think of it as FM ‘stamped his authority’ that day particularly by winning the race…nothing more he could do on his side, and LH almost threw it away.

    3. @magnificent-geoffrey

      Sure, you lost some points due to bad luck in Hungary and Singapore, but you also gained a few due to some pretty dodgy stewarding decisions that year.

      The former far outweigh the latter.
      Massa would have been champion comfortably in 2008 if it wasn’t for points gained and lost due misfortunes.

      1. I have just had a look at that @kingshark and while its interesting, it doesn’t adress why Bourdais got a penalty for being cutoff by Massa (who should have gotten penalized) and other dodgy things. Not to mention that different point standings would have meant a completely different season as Kimi was better places, so maybe he would have been challenging Hamilton more.
        Neither had a clear or clean season like Vettel had so far this year. Both made mistakes, their teams messed up and they had a good share of bad luck and some dodgy stewarding thrown in. In the end Hamilton won by a point, so he deserved the championship.

    4. Sure, you lost some points due to bad luck in Hungary and Singapore

      OMG, I laughed out so loud it wasn’t even funny. So, what happened in Singapore that year was “bad luck”.

      1. You laughed out loud, but it wasn’t funny?

  2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    6th November 2013, 17:38

    Massa keeps jumping on and off the PR car. And about 2008, I would say the championship was 50 /50 for any of them. How ironic to think that if it weren’t for Flavio Briatore’s scam in Singapore, he may be the 2008 champion now.
    But with or without the champion crown, I think the flying spring in Turkey robbed us the best Massa we’ve ever seen.

    1. W (@yesyesyesandyesagain)
      6th November 2013, 17:46

      I don’t think his compliments praising Alonso are strictly PR speak, he has no reason to toe the line as far as Ferrari is concerned and doing so is not going to get him his job back. It sounds like he truly respects Alonso’s talent. It is odd that whenever one driver says anything positive about another driver it is always perceived as being nothing but PR, see: anytime Hamilton says anything positive about another driver. Why do people think that talented individuals are not capable of genuinely complimenting one another?

      1. You forget that he doesn’t have a drive next year. That, right there, is his reason to toe the line and talk up his teammate.

        If Alonso is “better than Schumacher”, and yet he’s struggled and only won two races all year — well, that must really be a dog of a car. Seen in that light, Felipe’s eighth place with only one podium all year doesn’t really look so bad, does it?

        And look, he’s outqualified a driver who’s “better than Michael Schumacher” eight times in 17 races. Why, that Felipe chap must really be rather good, it’s such a shame the car’s letting him down and he keeps getting team-ordered aside.

        But if — as I personally believe — Fernando is actually overrated (and the regularity with which Felipe betters him in qualifying — including five of the last six races — suggests I’m right), well then… Felipe doesn’t look so special either.

        Realistically, they have one of the best three cars on the grid at their disposal (arguably, one of the best two over the whole season), and yet their results have been underwhelming. Fernando holds second in the championship largely due to reliability / consistency rather than outright pace, and Felipe has been even more disappointing. (Which isn’t surprising — he has been ever since Ferrari broke his spirit by treating him like Fernando’s doormat on his return from the near-championship and injury.)

        By talking Fernando up, Felipe’s talking himself up at a time where he desperately needs a job. It’s pretty simple.

        1. Not the first time Massa says something like this, in the past, when he had a drive, he was saying the same thing.

          They have one of the best two cars over the whole season an their results have been underwhelming? I don´t know what season are you talking about because this season Alonso is second in the WDC and Ferrari is probably the fourth best car right now.

        2. underwhelming? Right. The ferrari between Britain and hungary was behind lotus and mercedes. While before the tyre change, it was arguably second best (more consistent than lotus) after it, it’s definitely behind lotus and merc.
          Yes Massa has had brilliant qualifying sessions, but he managed those against Kimi and Michael. What was lacking was consistency then, and he still doesn’t have it now.
          Very fast but error prone.

      2. I’d like to think that as you, but put it this way, giving too much credit to Alonso doesn’t make him look that bad, and he is looking for a seat for next season.
        Personally I think it is quite difficult to draw a comparison between drivers of different eras. It is already difficult to compare drivers from the same era because of the different cars, let alone compare drivers which drove under other rules, other cars and uff other tires.

    2. The spring was in Hungary y but I do tend to agree

    3. @omarr-pepper

      I think the flying spring in Turkey robbed us the best Massa we’ve ever seen.

      I’m Hungary for some Turkey.

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        6th November 2013, 20:28

        They tried to make me go to rehab, I said, “No, no, no”
        seriously @david-a stop doing whatever you’re doing :P

        1. @omarr-pepper – I was giving you a clue as to where the incident actually happened :P

  3. Lewis did NOT deserve the title in 2008. I do believe he is a better driver than Massa, but his goof up by slamming into the back of Raikonnen after going through a red light, amongst other silly errors that year, to me is not the makings of a World Champion.

    That incident alone is enough to make any driver unworthy of a World drivers title. Especially considering the fact he only won by a point.

    1. And what about Massa’s performance in Silverstone?

      1. Excellent reply :)

        Lewis’ brilliant drive in Silverstone alone was worthy of the title.
        And they took his victory in Belgium, which was pretty unfair imo (and many ppl’s).
        If we look at the years after that title Lewis has shown he is more worthy of the title as Massa is a good driver but not on the Vet-Ham-Alonso level.

        1. I still believe de stewards were right to penalize Hamilton that day as he did gain an advantage by cutting the chicane. If he hadn’t cut the chicane, he would have never been in a position to challenge Raikkonen in the first corner and Raikkonen might have been a bit more careful during the lap that followed.

          I understand that the penalty gave the victory to Massa, who wasn’t fighting for the victory that race, but it is not his fault Raikkonen spun out of the race, nor was it his fault that Hamilton gained an advantage by cutting the chicane. If it would have been a DT, Massa would’ve still won the race.

        2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
          6th November 2013, 21:00

          @solidg Lewis was not “robbed” from victory. It’s the same situation as the one when Vettel passed Button outside the track. Hamilton didn’t give position back completely (by completely, I mean, he just left the throttle for a milisecond and overtook Kimi again) . Rules are rules for everybody, even when you can think it’s unfair with the heat of the moment. (And to be honest, I didn’t know Massa was given the 1st place until some days later, so I had in mind that Hamilton’s victory had been unfair).

    2. The one who gets the title is the one that gets the most points, period! If the driver has the most points, who cares if he slammes his car against his pit wall!?!?!

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        6th November 2013, 21:02

        So Schum trying to hit Hill and Villeneuve is fair? This is not a Machiavello book, it’s still some sort of sport, But what I agree with you is that yes, if you cleanly get the most points, you are the worthy champion

  4. Oh c’mon. Schumacher is certainly better than Alonso. Unlike Alonso, Schumacher managed to put around his team and together make it the strongest team on the grid by a big margin. Meanwhile Alonso joined Ferrari almost 4 years ago and haven’t managed to make it a championship winning team. Besides, Schumacher was better qualifier than Alonso.

    1. @osalvdas31

      The same Fernando Alonso that came within a few points of the World Championship in 2010 and 2012,? or are you thinking of a different Alonso? :-)

      1. A few points off winning the title” isn’t “championship winning@full-throttle-f1 ;)

        1. @vettel1

          I’d say he has done pretty well considering has had a worse car than Vettel and you, Max, said that Alonso was better in 2012 than Vettel ;-)

        2. That wasn’t the point being made though – I’m not denying his ability to drive the car and I still maintain I think he was the best driver of 2012 but he still hasn’t turned Ferrari into a championship-winning team, that is a fact @full-throttle-f1 ;)

          1. Why are we… ;-)? xD

            No, but if you look at the Shumacher days, there were much better people in his period than Alonso’s, plus the FIA were basically in favour of Ferrari anyway. Its not Alonso’s job to hire staff is it? @vettel1

          2. @full-throttle-f1 It’s not Alonso’s job, but it wasn’t Schumacher’s either. And yet Schumacher did it anyway, because he knew it would help him and Ferrari win.

          3. @vettel1

            but he still hasn’t turned Ferrari into a championship-winning team, that is a fact

            Some people always try to find something about Alonso, that wasn’t his job anyway or are you thinking differently ??,

          4. I don’t believe MS hired staff. I think a deal was orchestrated between Brawn and Todt, Bernie and Max, which left Briatore high and dry and moved a strong portion of MS’s side of the Benetton garage over to Ferrari because post-Senna Max and Bernie felt they needed to create a new chapter in F1, that being to promote MS since Senna was no longer alive to be F1’s icon, and end the Ferrari 16 year (at the time) WDC drought. Otherwise it’s still a question to me why MS would voluntarily leave a team where he had just won 2 WDC’s to go to a team that hadn’t won one in 16. Answer…because he was handed the mega sports deal of the century that included a contracted non-competing teammate, which gave them the green flag to build the car strictly with MS in mind. An extra 100 mill annually to Ferrari didn’t hurt either.

            For me, any driver who won their WDC(s) vs. MS/Ferrari deserves huge accolades. They went up against an orchestrated elephant in the room.

          5. @tifoso1989
            It certainly isn’t in his job description.
            But neither was it in Schumacher’s, when he signed for Ferrari. He just did it anyway. I think that is exactly the point.

          6. @mads
            Back in the 90’s Jean Todt carried the project of bringing back Ferrari to the top of F1 with a grate support from Luca Di Montezemolo and of course Gianni Agnelli, there was also a similar plan regarding the road cars division
            So that lead to the rebuild of the factory in Italy (a new structure with a new wind tunnel designed by Renzo Piano ) and closing the one in england
            Michael Shumacher himself was part of that plan and with his move to Ferrari Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne moved also to Ferrari and he was respected for the fact that he accepeted the challenge and was a decisive part in the success of Ferrari but not the only factor like some people are pretending

          7. @tifoso1989
            Oh absolutely. We can’t give Schumacher credit for solely reviving Ferrari. It is, as always team work.

          8. @tifoso1989

            Meanwhile Alonso joined Ferrari almost 4 years ago and haven’t managed to make it a championship winning team

            Quoted from @osvaldas31, not me.

    2. @osvaldas31

      Schumacher managed to put around his team and together make it the strongest team on the grid by a big margin

      Funny this story of building the team !!!!!!! So Shumacher recruited Jean Todt, Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne and all the others, if a driver in Ferrari has this kind of power then i think think Fernando would have recruited Adrian Newey, Paddy Lowe and all the best engineers in the paddock

      Meanwhile Alonso joined Ferrari almost 4 years ago and haven’t managed to make it a championship winning team

      Another good comparison !!!!!!! Shumasher spend 4 years in Ferrai without winning any title

      Besides, Schumacher was better qualifier than Alonso.

      He was not as good as Roseberg how about Alonso !!!!!!!!!

      1. Monaco’s PP last year shows everything my friend. Because it is Monaco…

      2. @tifoso1989
        Ah. yes. As if Schumacher was the same driver in his first career as when he came back in 2010…

        1. @mads
          I know that but i was trying to be provocative, but i do believe that speed isn’t relative with age, Ross Brawn himself said that according to the telemetry Michael didn’t lost any of his speed, the fact that he was fast in qualifying shows that , maybe his consistency in races has been affected by the age, Mark Webber now has proved to be near the best Sebastian Vettel we have saw in term of speed in qualifiyng i know that he only beat Seb twice but in the other occasions he was not very far he was something like a couple of thenths and that is bloody fast compared to other drivers

    3. @osvaldas31 lets remember schumacher joined ferrari in 1996, and didnt win a title until 2000, if alonso was to be champion next season then him and schumacher would be identical in finally winning a title for ferrari in their 5th season for the team

      1. exactly and the season before both of them joined ferrari only won 1 race.

        And both times they were in transition

    4. I am sure you know alonso much better than massa and your opinion as expert is even more relevant.

  5. Well I do agree that the 2010-2013 Alonso is better than 2006 Schumacher. Overall I think Schumacher is better though.

    1. I also think that is the point. Alonso in the last couple of years has been a tougher opponent than Schumacher was when he was teamed with Massa.

  6. Schumacher&co. put Ferrari together, he is the prototype of today’s F1-drivers, like it or hate it. Alonso is lacking that kind of managing and developing skills.

  7. Alonso is a brilliant driver, particularly with regards to his racecraft. But better than Schumacher? No, I wouldn’t say so. Put both in a midfield car and I think the argument could hold water: Alonso I think is better in traffic. But give both a car that can run out front and Schumacher would win, I’m almost certain. His ability to relentlessly bang in fast lap after fast lap in any conditions is why he won the small sum of 91 Grand Prix in his career and I would say he was a better qualifier than Alonso also.

    Purely out of interest, I’m going to present my list of the top 10 best drivers in F1 history, subject to discrepancies of course:

    1 – Ayrton Senna
    2 – Michael Schumacher
    3 – Alain Prost
    4 – Juan Manuel Fangio
    5 – Sebastian Vettel
    6 – Jim Clark
    7 – Jackie Stewart
    8 – Niki Lauda
    9 – Fernando Alonso
    10 – Nelson Piquet

    1. Its nice to know there are people that can beat Vettel in your mind @vettel1

      Piquet only in tenth?, Clark in 6th?, right my list!

      1 – Alain Prost
      2 – Aryton Senna
      3 – Michael Shumacher
      4 – Jim Clark
      5. Juan Manuel Fangio
      6. Jackie Stewart
      7. Nelson Piquet
      8. Fernando Alonso
      9. Mika Hakkinnen
      10. Sebastian Vettel

      1. Vettel behind Hakkinnen? Ok then.

        1. OK, swap em round.

      2. I would rate Hakkinen and Alonso higher and Piquet lower. But its your choice.

    2. Clark at 6? Controversial there :)

      1) Clark
      2) Senna
      3) Prost
      4) Schumacher
      5) Fangio
      6) Stewart
      7) Alonso
      8) Lauda
      9) Villeneuve
      10) Vettel

      1. Of course when I say Villeneuve I do of course mean Gilles Villeneuve.

        1. @debaser91

          Jacques Villneuve!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *mini heart attack*

          *reads next section*

          Oh, you meant Gilles. Thank goodness for that.

      2. That’s my controversial one, yes ;) I do think he was an incredible driver absolutely and the speed he had was mesmerising, his adaptability wonderful too. But he wasn’t the best driver under pressure, nor did he really have much opportunity to prove himself in a slower car (a similar problem to what Vettel is having). Also, I’m not sure he was the most technically apt driver – he had a finesse for mechanical sympathy but I don’t think he would have been quite as good in today’s F1 which is very set-up dependant (he was famous for just jumping in the car and driving round it’s faults).

        1. The first two points are fair (I don’t agree but they are reasonable points) but I don’t think the set up thing is valid. You could simply flip the argument around and say how would Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton etc. do in the cars Clark drove in the 60’s. It’s conjecture at its best.

      3. OK my list

        7-Villeneuve (with a G)

        (there have been 792 F1 drivers so far I believe)

    3. @vettel1 – I could pretty much agree with your list as long as the statement “in no particular order” was added to it. That suits my purposes anyway, to avoid having to decide which is really better than the others on any given day, in any given era, in any given car, on any given track, under any given conditions… too many variables.

      To me it is akin to having to pick my favorite music. I might be able to give you a top 10 list, but on different days for different reasons i may favor one over the rest. To pick only one for all time is much too limiting. Savoring them all for their respective finer qualities is more inclusive and enjoyable. Just my take on life as a semi-old fart I guess…

      1. @bullmello – Join me as an old fart! Come on, its not as bad as it sounds! You can find yourself entertained for hours by the semantic inadequacies of an AUTOSPORT article, or angrily writing to the BBC regarding Andrew Benson’s latest journalistic discrepancy and we can worship the oracle; Martin Brundle. And that’s not all, being an old fart means you don’t get such worried looks when you explain that that big thing nailed to your wall is an original rear wing end-plate from a FW33…oh, and tea starts to taste better when it’s drunk out of a flask whilst track-side at Silverstone.

        1. @william-brierty – I join you and salute you as a fellow member of OFI (Old Farts International)! They say we can be cranky crafty crusty curmudgeons when it comes to the history and long term perspectives of everything Formula 1 and they are right.

    4. @vettel1 – I’m sure you’ll be interested to know my list, Max…

      1 – Ayrton Senna
      2 – Jim Clark
      3 – Juan Manuel Fangio
      4 – Alain Prost
      5 – Fernando Alonso
      6 – Michael Schumacher
      7 – Jackie Stewart
      8 – Niki Lauda
      9 – Nelson Piquet
      10 – Mikka Hakkinen

      I congratulate on the presence of Lauda on your list, and to all those that didn’t include Niki, shame on you. Regarding Alonso vs Schumacher, we quite clearly don’t agree, but we won’t get into that, there’s only 4 million years before the sun dies…

      1. @william-brierty we actually have a few billion: plenty time to agree I’m sure on which driver has the best eyebrows ;)

        Indeed, I feel Lauda and Piquet are the “forgotten ones” so to speak, mainly due to the eras in which the drove – both against Alain Prost, who was a bloody good driver. Piquet however is well down on my driver preference list: quite frankly I think he’s a **** (pardon my French)!

        1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          7th November 2013, 8:29

          @vettel1 – Now you know why I did Politics at Uni rather than Physics!

          I have nothing but respect for Niki Lauda. He truly is one of the most vivid talents in our sport’s history, and, if fate had been kinder, would’ve been a four time champion. Regarding Piquet, I agree, he is a ****, and that’s why he also gravitates towards the bottom of my driver preference list, where he joins Jacques Villeneauve, Mansell and…er…Sebastian Vettel. I also never knew what to make of Piquet the driver. I always had a niggling sense that a marriage of mechanical superiority and circumstance won Piquet those titles, however I recently mellowed and accept the quite sublime spread of skills he had at his disposal at his prime.

          1. @william-brierty I’m very much a physicist (on Scotland’s Higher course for physics I consistently get 90%+ in tests) so perhaps we could form an allegiance: your job is brokering deals and mine the physics elements in aerodynamic design ;)

            On how I like drivers, my list would differ quite significantly I feel from it’s current iteration on how I feel purely on their merits as drivers (Piquet would be off the list entirely, Alonso would be further down and Vettel at the top) but I have to concede also that Piquet was a great driver in his heyday. Towards the late 1980’s however he did fall off his performance peak quite considerably, so on the basis of his shorter (relative to certain competitors) period of peak performances I could understand him not being in a top 10 in some cases.

        2. @vettel1

          Piquet however is well down on my driver preference list: quite frankly I think he’s a ****

          Piquet had a great sense of humor, it just didn’t translate very well in English. ;-)

      2. Stewart
        You could perhaps bring Surtees down the list a bit, but he is the only dual category world champ and he dominated more than most

    5. Hey this is fun, I made my own list too :-)

      1. Juan-Manuel Fangio
      2. Alain Prost
      3. Michael Schumacher
      4. Jim Clark
      5. Jackie Stewart
      6. Ayrton Senna
      7. Sebastian Vettel
      8. Fernando Alonso
      9. Niki Lauda
      10. Alberto Ascari

    6. 1) Schumacher
      2) Clark
      3) Prost
      4) Senna
      5) Fangio
      6) Lauda
      7) Vettel
      8) Stewart
      9) Ascari
      10) Alonso

      1. I would say that;

        1. Schumacher
        2. Prost
        3. Clark
        4. Fangio
        5. Vettel
        6. Senna
        7. Alonso
        8. Lauda
        9. Stewart
        10. Brabham

        1. I get the impression you admire the race drivers more than the qualifying drivers @kingshark? I’m the opposite I would say generally!

          1. @vettel1
            I think that’s fairly accurate, yes.

          2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            7th November 2013, 8:32

            @kingshark @vettel1

            you admire the race drivers more than the qualifying drivers

            In that case why is Vettel ahead of Alonso? Oh yeah…Max, I remember you saying that it was only a billion years before the sun dies…so we won’t get into that.

          3. If that is the case why as he got Senna at 6?

          4. @william-brierty of course it’s not a hard-and-fast ruling, just a general trend! I for example have Clark a little lower than most in my list despite him being a very good qualifier.

        2. My; :-)
          1: Fangio
          2: Clark
          3: Prost
          4: Senna
          5: M.Schumacher
          6: Alonso or Stewart, probably Alo
          7: Stewart or ALonso, prob. Stew
          8: Ascari
          9: Lauda
          10: Hakkinen

          12: Vettel

          1. G. Villebneuve on a shared 8th, 9th or 10th place, I forgot to add him, my dear Gilles. Hamilton and Raikkoenen respectively in top 16.

    7. His ability to relentlessly bang in fast lap after fast lap in any conditions is why he won the small sum of 91 Grand Prix in his career and I would say he was a better qualifier than Alonso also.

      Funny !!!!!!!then how Ayrton which is on top of your list too and who has better ability than Shumacher (personal opinion) in both race & qualifying didn’t won half the races that Shumacher did
      Are we missing something !!!!! the championship winning cars !!!!

      1. @tifoso1989 it’s the margin of wins he has over everyone else: a whole 40 more than Alain Prost. Absolutely, he had a fantastic car in the Ferrari but one must also remember he was still racking up a lot of wins in his Benetton days, where the car certainly wasn’t as dominant as the F2002 or the F2004.

        1. His Benetton’s were highly illegal let’s not forget.

    8. 1. Schumacher
      2. Fangio
      3. Prost
      4. Lauda
      5. Senna
      6. Clark
      7. Vettel
      8. Stewart
      9. Brabham
      10. Mansell

      I put Mansell in instead of Piquet, because he beat him far and square in 1986, and should have beaten him in 1987. Had he not been struck with mechanical bad luck, he would have been champion those two years. Add to that his dominance in 1992, and the fact that Piquet was lucky to win in 1983 and 1987, then Mansell should definitely rate ahead of Piquet.

      1. Ham should be on the list imo if he keeps going the way he is going the guy is on course to be behind Vet and Shucmi in wins also behind Seb in poles. You cant have a rider like him with his ratio of podiums etc not even in the question. I mean if you have Mansell(great driver) Alonso(another great driver) etc you have to have Hamilton. I am a fan of Ham guys but come on the guy maybe has a ew more low pts but when he is on, he is really on their is no one like him. As far as dynamic drivers go he is right up their, 2007-2008 is arguably some of the best driving we have seen from a rookie, who will dispute that. People say he drew withAlo, no he did not he finished ahead its like saying Gdiff does not count in football. Ham had more poles than Alo out raced him often even had more fuel and was quicker. Thats not to say Alo has not been impressive since becuasehe as dragged that team were it should not be.

    9. It seems people do not share my opinion on Ascari.

      1 JM Fangio
      2 A Ascari
      3 M Schumacher
      4 A Prost
      5 S Vettel
      6 A Senna
      7 J Stewart
      8 J Cllark
      9 N Lauda
      10 J Brabham

      1. I had forgotten about Ascari! His ability to dominate was very admirable, I agree.

        1. Has anyone here actually watched one of the older drivers in your list, race?. Ascari for example?. I find it incomprehensible how someone can put somebody up there without even actually having watched them race. If yes, my full respects in your judgement.

    10. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      7th November 2013, 5:31

      Woah, everyone posting top 10’s.
      Okay here’s mine:

      1. Luca Badoer
      2. Taki Inoue
      3. Scott Speed
      4. Lucas Di Grassi
      5. Narain Karthikeyan
      6. Ralf Schumacher
      7. Yuji Ide
      8. Takuma Sato
      9. Christian Klien
      10. Sakon Yamamoto

    11. But if you look at the Schumacher in the years Massa was his teammate, then I would argue that I can see what Massa means.

      IMO in 2006 Schumacher was already over his best, while Alonso has been at the top of his abilities last years.

    12. Here is my list:

      1. Senna
      2. Clark
      3. Fangio
      4. Prost
      5. Alonso
      6. Stewart
      7. Lauda
      8. Schumacher
      9. Vettel
      10. Hamilton

      You can change 8,9, 10 in any way you want.

  8. Comparing the greatest and trying to narrow it down to only one is an opinion influenced futile exercise, even for an almost world champion who teamed with both. There is no accurate way to measure exactly who was greatest qualitatively or quantitatively. It will still always come down to opinion and I certainly respect Massa’s opinion in this regard. There are many other drivers who have driven against both, even if not as team mates, but may have opinions different than Massa and that’s OK. Statistically Schumacher is pretty much still the best, but that is only one aspect. Too many variables between equipment, eras, regulations, competitors, length of career, the list goes on… So Massa’s opinion is a highly regarded one, your mileage may vary. Here is where I add my opinion (maybe not as highly regarded) – Clark was best.

    1. Comment of the day right here!!

      It also depends on individual interpretation of ‘greatest’.

      1. It also depends on individual interpretation of ‘greatest’.

        That is so true. It is difficult to decide on who when the what is so open for debate. And then, each race adds to the history…

  9. I think what Massa says is quite interesting. If anything I’d have said that Schumacher had the smarts and Alonso the superior speed. Shows what I know.

  10. Schumacher was at his best in the 90s. I think few would dispute that fact.
    What makes Schumacher one of the all time greats is his consistency throughout his first career, 1991-2006. No one before him had dominated the sport for 10 years, and he did it for even longer than that (I would say 1994-2004 at least, so 11 years), being the best driver every single year.
    That’s what would even make me consider him the all time best. Clark and Senna were incredibly fast, but Schumacher just managed to sustain it for longer.
    And about Alonso, no one would say that he has been the best driver for every year since 2005. Which also speaks volumes about the great field of drivers he competes against, which on the other hand really should see Vettel up these Top Ten lists.

    1. @magon4

      Clark and Senna were incredibly fast, but Schumacher just managed to sustain it for longer.

      That statement alone shows why these comparisons are so difficult. Not to be morbid, but there are obvious reasons that Clark and Senna were not able to “sustain it for longer”.

      Bottom line is that there is no unanimous set of objective rules for comparison to accurately evaluate who is the greatest. Maybe being so subjective it is human nature that fuels these discussions simply because similar to pi, there will never be a final definitive answer.

      1. I agree Bull especiallySenna he could have stayed at Williams and won Hills titlee and won the year Schumi got Hill out the track so we could look at a 5 time WC but thig is Senna was 33 i think when he died which is getting on a abit in f1 terms, so who knows…

  11. DEJA VU… didn´t he made that comment back in september? or is Ferrari using old quotes?

  12. LOL, nice to see everybody’s list with the greatest. Well, it’s really hard to do a list, but I don’t think MSchumacher should be out of top 3, no matter who does the list. Also, just my opinion, but although Alonso is just a 2-times WDC, I just don’t “feel” like placing him behind Prost and Lauda.

  13. This is almost impossible to judge as right or wrong, Schumacher on paper was stronger than Alonso is but we are in a much more competitive era of F1, 5 world champions, 4 of which are in competitive teams. When Schumacher dominated in the early 2000’s, there was no one that was good enough or in the right car to beat him, Raikkonen and Alonso were inexperienced back then and everyone else were nowhere Schumacher or Ferrari. This is why I think Alonso is actually stronger because F1 is much more competitive today, sure Red Bull are dominating but Mercedes, Ferrari and Lotus are all closely matched, perhaps not Ferrari though as they have declined through the season. I can’t say that Alonso is definitely stronger though because we have to remember when Schumacher started out he was racing the likes of Prost, Senna and Mansell, despite racing legends when inexperienced he still beat them occasionally which shows how strong Schumacher is mentally and as a driver.

    1. Hey Massa, try 29 years old version of Schumi instead of 37 years old one..and don’t bother to think about the 41 yo version of him.
      And don’t worry about Alonso declining lately, that is the law of NATURE.

  14. When i first saw the picture i thought he ment in arm wrestling.

    1. Haha, brilliant! :-)

    2. Outstanding, I laught loudly with your comment…

  15. I think one of the big differences between MS/Ferrari and FA/Ferrari is that MS had the luxury of way more testing as well as designer tires. I also think that when all the ducks weren’t perfectly lined up MS looked mistake prone, whereas FA seems to deal with less than perfect situations better. Also FA, that I am aware of, is not known to drive into and/or shove off the track, his opponents. At least not on a habitual basis like MS.

    1. Alonso can be just as naughty if it doesn’t go his way. Holding up his teammate, braketesting Coulthard and Doornbos, being involved in the biggest scandals of the last 10 years in F1. He’s no mr. nice guy, wich is OK, because you have to be a bad-ass from time to time.

      Schumacher was not error-prone, at least not from 1994 – 2002. After that, he was a bit more. Schumacher did exactly the same in inferior cars if not better then what Alonso is doing right now and Alonso isn’t error-proof either, proven this year, last year and earlier in his career. Alonso does have the benefit of ‘easier’ tracks. When Schumacher was on his prime, around 1994 – 2002, almost every track had a graveltrap next to each corner to get stuck in or damage your car. Alonso has a countrymile of asfalt. I always love how people say Alonso lost the title in 2010 because of a bad strategy, when he himself was just racing dull that day. He went of track 3 times during the race. If he would have done that in 1998 for example, he would probably have gone of into the graveltrap and out of the race or at least losing even more positiions.

      1. Yeah FA could be naughty too, but not nearly as often or as consistently over a career.

    2. Oh, come on, let’s not dillute MS’s impact at Ferrari ! Took them quite a lot time (4, respectively 5 years), being a big elephant as you say, to win any of the champs ! Rules were rules, they changed for 98 too, everybody started from a clean sheet. 98 and 99 are quite some proof too that Ferrari failed to gather best people and make best decisions. Newey was the hot stuff back then, and Bridgestone was a better tyre than Goodyear. So, after 2 years, things were pretty bad for MS and Ferrari… for such a big elephant, as you say ! So, I think you’re really exagerating and all you do is to disolve MS importance. Unfortunately for the competition, what he managed to do (not by himself, of course), was never done by anybody else before. Senna & COMPANY, fo ex, just jumped from a declining car/team into the next best stuff. He never commited to a mediocre team, get rid of the playboy life… and contribute significantly at its rise.

      1. Oh MS’s impact at Ferrari was palpable, no question. He was set up with more advantages hand over fist than any driver in the history of F1 so that he could end Ferrari’s WDC drought. No rules were changed that would alter that goal until the Ferrari WDC drought had ended and the races had become so processional and predictable that fans were bored and turned away. MS compiled massive numbers but IMHO in a way that was not honorable and in a way such that most drivers given the same advantages over the rest of the field would have done the same. For me, it was the way that F1 assisted Ferrari and MS to compile all the numbers that is what diluted it.

  16. I would say that in 2006, Alonso was probably a better driver than Schumacher.

    Ferrari and Renault had very evenly matched cars in 2006. Out of the 18 races, Renault had a faster car in 8 races (Malaysia, Australia, San Marino, Spain, Great Britain, Canada, Hungary, and China), they were equal in Bahrain and Monaco, and Ferrari had the faster car in the other 8 races (Europe, USA, France, Germany, Turkey, Monza, Japan, and Brazil).

    Both Alonso and Schumacher lost a fair share of points in 2006 due bad luck out of their control. If anything, Alonso lost more points than Schumi due bad luck.

    Schumacher lost 10 points in Suzuka (engine), 5 points in Brazil (puncture), and 2 points in Malaysia (gearbox penalty). In total, Michael lost 17 points due misfortunes.

    Alonso lost 10 points in Hungary (wheel nut), 2 points in China (slow pit stop), 2 points in Malaysia (qualifying problem), and 6 points in Monza (engine).

    So why did Alonso still win the WDC by 13 points? Because of Schumacher’s mistakes.

    Crashing in the wall in Australia, refusing to pit and cutting the chicane in Hungary, parking his car deliberately in Monaco, and making a crucial driving error during his 2nd stint in Turkey cost Michael a total of 17 points.

    Both Schumacher and Alonso were very fast in 2006, but Alonso’s relentless consistency won him the WDC that year.

    And to think that Alonso today is perhaps an even better driver than he was in ’06, scary thought.

    1. He lost the race in Turkey because he had to slot in behind Massa in the pitlane, he came out behind Alonso because of that.

    2. I’ve always said that, besides 2012, 2006 was Alonso’s best ever season. Brilliant on fast tracks, brilliant on slow track, consistently quick in qualifying (both 2005 and 2006!), eager to overtake, etc etc etc.

      Really, already in early 2005, yeah I mean 2005 not 06, we already saw that he was _the_ most complete driver in F1 next to an aging Msc, — and Raikkonen was then regarded as “the fastest” (remember Monaco pole 2005). Still, Massa beat Raik. already in eary 07, and from then on Raik never was “the fastest” anymore…, Hamilton took that reputation until RBR domination. But Alonso was and still is *the* or *one of the most* complete in the post-Senna era.

      1. *edit; Massa already early 07 beat Raik. *occasionally*

    3. I would say that in 2006, Alonso was probably a better driver than Schumacher.

      I would agree with you there @kingshark, however I do not think he was emphatically better. Schumacher’s judgement was beginning to wane a touch but he did still have the outright pace to rival Alonso. However, as you correctly said with his decreasing mental aptitude went his consistency – the gauntlet Alonso picked up.

  17. MS runs with the same luck as SV. They both dominated with the best machines. If you read my previous posts, I state that almost 90% of the champs drive the best car. In the last 30 years you can say Prost 86, and thats it. Why doesn’a Alonso drive a Red Bull? He is way to expensive. He is way too complicated to handle. He is a cheater. Despite all those imperfections, I still think he is the best the grid has to offer. But his peak was in 2012. He is not driving as good as he was last year. Time for new blood…VET, HUL, ROS…ALO and RAI….are declining.

  18. I keep hearing about Schumacher putting the team together line.
    I’m sorry to disperse your romantic view of a sport, but it was Briatore who put the team together. The team that made the best car 2 years in a row. After that the whole technical top moved to Ferrari. Only difference was that Todt was the principal instead of Briatore.

    And as pointed above, there was a lot more politics and lobbying than people would like to believe.

    One other line that keeps coming back is that “whoever scores more points, deserves it”, as if the driver is the one and only factor and it’s all up to how well he does. It feels as if people are repeating it infinitely, just so that they wouldn’t hear the evidence that keeps telling them differently. F1 is not a sport where the best driver comes out on top.
    It’s a whole set of factors, many of which have nothing to do with sport, but much more with money-power, politics, lobbying and interests, and driver probably makes as little as 2% difference in the whole scheme. Only thanks to the fact that margins are so small, does that 2% matter. But, simplistically speaking, who’s to say that one driver who finished 3rd or 4th in the standings didn’t do a better job than a champion, only because all other factors made the starting difference too big to make just 2% matter.

    It’s not a driver’s sport and it certainly isn’t a pure one when it comes to being just a sport and not a show and politics game.

    1. But who was the constant between 1995 Benetton and 1996 Ferrari? A certain M. Schumacher…

  19. Jack (@jackisthestig)
    6th November 2013, 22:54

    Can’t say Massa or Hamilton deserved the title any more than Kubica or Vettel, the two other standout performers of 2008.

    1. There is that thing about finishing in front of them regularly. Deserving a title is more than having a good season or performing above where you’re expected. Otherwise, I’d nominate Jean Alesi for 3 time deserving-champion.

  20. ….And that is why you will never win anything else FM in F1. Deserve(do something or have or show qualities worthy of (a reaction which rewards or punishes as appropriate). This is a sport not some academic exercise…

  21. People seem to forget that Schumacher did not automatically bring the title to Ferrari

    It took him 5 years aswell!!!

    Anyway Heres my top 10:

    1. Senna
    3. Schumacher
    4. Prost
    6. Vettel
    7. Lauda
    8. Mansell
    9. Stewart
    10. Hakkinen

    Yes i know Fangio is not in there

    1. That’s an interesting nomination: no Fangio but Häkkinen and Mansell? Care to explain your choice – I would like to hear your logic on this, I’m sure it would be fascinating!

    2. Mansell and Hakkinen based on raw speed and ability!,
      Had Mansell been in Sennas Williams all year the championship would have been sealed up with 2 races to go!
      I rate Fangio and i understand he won 5 titles but its very hard to compare those cars to todays or even ones of the last 20 years,
      For instance: put Alonso in a time machine and send him back to 1950.. he would do well i think.

      On the same token put Fangio in a time machine and send him to today , i dont he would do that well

  22. News recycling… this was said by Massa months ago

    1. @pmccarthy_is_a_legend These particularly quotes emerged yesterday to the best of my knowledge, though of course Massa may have said something similar previously.

  23. Is amazing how Massa keeps blaming the crashgate when he and his team did a lot of mistakes that year, specially Massa had some rookie ones. Crashgate was disgusting but is not the only reason why Massa is not a champion.

  24. Massa just doesn’s know him welll enough (as a racer) as he only knows him since 2006 and that was just after MS’s pick of his career. And that is why his words are useless.

    If Massa were smarter then he would see what MS did – brough Ferrari back to WCC – 6 times, WDC-5 times in line and now we have Alonso and what they both brought after 4 years !???

    1. Took MS 4 years to get to that stage mate

  25. Mark in Florida
    7th November 2013, 17:38

    Massa is a joke! I used to feel sorry for him after his accident but no more. His endless pandering towards Alonso is tiresome. His form has been up and down over the years. If Alonso is so much better and the more complete driver why doesn’t the driving record support such ludicrous claims.? Alonso is a very good driver has great insight and instincts but Schumacher had all that. He was able to take whatever car he was in and put it further up the field than anyone else. Yes Schumacher was at times ruthless and dirty but Alonso has been guilty too. Winner’s find a way losers cry a way Phillips!

  26. Alonso stronger then Schumacher!! you gotta be joking Massa!!!

Comments are closed.