Senna

Senna V Schumacher

35 posts in this topic

Sunday, 25 April, 2004, 14:37 GMT 15:37 UK

Senna v Schumacher

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BBC Sport Online's motorsport editor, Andrew Benson, assesses Michael Schumacher's ability compared with that of the man considered by many to be the best Grand Prix driver in history - Ayrton Senna.

Ultimate speed

There is no doubt that Schumacher is the fastest driver of the current age in F1, but Senna has a better claim to be the quicker of the two.

His record of 65 pole positions in 162 races is evidence enough - Schumacher has "only" 39 from 153 [now its 64 poles from 232 races]. For all Schumacher's ability, he is not as good at putting together the best possible lap on a Saturday afternoon as was Senna.

When the two men raced together, from 1992-94, Senna undoubtedly had the upper hand, even if Schumacher was emerging as his biggest rival.

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Senna scored 65 poles - and this one at Monaco in 1988 was extra-special [senna qualified 1.427 sec ahead of Prost!]

And on top of that, the opposition against which the Brazilian achieved his success was of a higher level.

Senna had Alain Prost, Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell to compete against, all of whom have a claim to be all-time greats. The depth of competition at the top is not as strong any more.

Senna 10- 9 Schumacher

Race-craft

Senna and Schumacher - both masters of crushing their opponents into submission in a race with a relentless series of laps close to the limit. And both adept in any conditions.

However, Schumacher gets the nod because of the flexibility his brilliance has allowed his Ferrari team in race tactics.

These have netted them many unlikely victories, most memorably at Hungary in 1998, when he had to make up 25 seconds in 19 laps in the middle of the race.

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Schumacher and technician Brawn have established a formidable tactical partnership

This may be unfair on Senna, as the tactical side of F1 racing has changed enormously with the introduction of fuel stops in 1994, just three races before Senna's death.

That means there is less of a context in which to judge the Brazilian.

Nevertheless, while Senna was the racing master of his era, Schumacher's improvisational skills put him narrowly ahead.

Senna 9-10 Schumacher

Genius

Both Senna and Schumacher can claim to have produced a number of races that will go down among the list of the greatest individual drives of all time.

But it is qualifying that again separates the two. Senna was regularly brilliant, but sometimes he surpassed even himself.

Most famously, there was Monaco in 1988, when he put his car on pole position, 1.5 seconds quicker than Prost in the same car.

He later said he felt as if he was driving on instinct, watching himself from above.

Senna 10-9 Schumacher

Technical

Senna again has the slight advantage.

Schumacher works hard and is better technically than most, but Senna and Prost have a reputation as the best there have ever been on this front.

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Senna drove Prost off the track to win the 1990 world title

They both had an other-worldly ability to pick up the tiniest of details about the car's performance.

For example, at one race in 1993, Senna told his engineers that he felt there was some kind of problem with the engine and he asked them to change it.

The engine men could find nothing wrong, but team boss Ron Dennis asked them to put a new engine in anyway, just for Senna's peace of mind.

When they took it apart, they found a tiny crack in the crankshaft that had not even been picked up by computer telemetry. Had Senna used it, the engine would have failed.

Senna 9-8 Schumacher

Consistency

A strong point of both. Their advantage came not only for being able to drive faster than anyone else, but to do so for longer.

Senna raised fitness and preparation to new levels when he was making his name, but Schumacher took the bar even higher.

Both men made more mistakes than Prost - who set the standards for an error-free career - but the difference is that Schumacher makes them when it really matters and Senna did not.

The German has made crucial errors in three title showdowns. He got away with it in 1994 by driving Damon Hill off the track at the next corner. He was not so lucky in 1997 and 98.

Senna would never have lost a championship in such circumstances.

Senna 9-8 Schumacher

Will to win

There is no doubting the unbelievable levels of commitment and desire shown by both - each causing controversy by being prepared to put their opponents in positions where they risked an accident if they did not back off.

But Senna was willing to take even more risks than Schumacher, to the point that he put his own life in danger as well.

This was demonstrated when Senna barged Prost off the track at 150mph on the first lap of the 1990 Japanese GP.

Senna was driven by a raging internal anger, which made a frightening combination when combined with his desire. Schumacher only has the desire.

Senna 10-9 Schumacher

Wet-weather ability

They are probably the best wet-weather drivers of all time, for their consistent level of excellence in such conditions, and their total superiority over their peers. Impossible to separate them.

Senna 10-10 Schumacher

Work ethic

Senna and Schumacher both showed a total commitment to success, unmatched by anyone else bar Prost. All three worked long into the night to ensure they were as prepared as they could be.

Senna 10-10 Schumacher

Summary

It is well-nigh impossible to compare drivers of different eras, but Senna and Schumacher make the job slightly easier because they raced against each other - albeit for a very brief time.

Senna combined all the qualities a racing driver could need - amazing skill, total commitment and a brilliant intellect.

And that was quite apart from a gleaming charisma that has established him as one of the all-time great sporting icons.

Schumacher is sensationally gifted, too, and it is clear that Senna's death robbed Formula One of what would have been one of the greatest on-track rivalries of all time.

At 34, Senna was at his peak, but probably did not have much longer there; Schumacher still had to reach his.

Schumacher has done more than enough to establish himself as one of the greatest racing drivers of all time. But the assessment, subjective though it might be, suggests that Senna was even better.

_1429869_schumacher_tt.gif_1429869_senna_tt.gif

Total: Senna 77-73 Schumacher

Edited by Senna

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:rolleyes: This is one of the most biased comparisons of this nature I've ever seen. In fact even Peter Windsor's in 2002 February F1 Racing was better, where he found Jim Clark to be the best of all time. Of course, Schumacher got 3 more titles after that so that might have changed. ;)

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Very few people on this forum actually saw Senna race!

:rolleyes: 30 years ago :rolleyes:

:lol:

:lol:You weren

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Very few people on this forum actually saw Senna race!

:lol:You weren’t even watching in 2001!

:lol: so i am not allowed to poke fun at the "newbies" in the forum

that right is reserved to you :rolleyes:

:sf1:

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:lol: so i am not allowed to poke fun at the "newbies" in the forum

that right is reserved to you :rolleyes:

:sf1:

:lol:You are a

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:lol:You are a ‘newbie’. You might not even have been watching in 2002, 2003 or 2004 but you certainly weren’t watching in 2001.
oh yes :bow:

:sf1:

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I’m glad you realise.
oh yes i certainly dont and wont claim to be watching F1 for 30 years

but certainly more than ,much more than 3 years

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the way you can clearly see the bias is that he uses '88 twice for senna,

i find it hard to beleive that someone so great as senna had only one memborable example of both ultame speed and geniues. also what Andrew Benson had to say about both mens will to win is odd. senna runs Prost off the road and nobody cares but Schumi colides with Hill and more then ten years later people still cant shutup about it. also in Geniues no mention of spain 96 (or was it 98 i always get the year wrong but i know its even)

the one way to really know is to solve the beneton tracion control question. if schumi truely didnt have traction control he is the better. Senna said that he beleived Schumi had it but if he didnt then Schumi clearly is the better, he would have traction control built into his head.

also about qualifing, not counting 05 he had only qualified something like 5 times below then 12th i think was the statistic windsor quoted on speed.

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i started following f1 in 1992 and sometme in that year i read that micheal had 22 pole postions without a single win,i knew then itself that the next champ was micheal but he may have to wait until senna senna has waned. but senna died tragically and almost instantly micheal started winning. he even won one or two when senna was there , but i don't think that he was senna's equal in the mind with senna being quite a brute with young drivers sometimes. but i also dont like the way micheal has handled himself as the no 1 driver.he always has the upper hand on teammates, as if its a foregone conclusion that they will be his no2 and jean todt and ross brawn toeing his every word.i think we should reduce at least twenty victories from micheal for illegal playing field (read the victores that should have gone to eddie and barrichello)

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so jerry, Senna NEVER played the team orders i guess is what your says. (its so hard to bring sacracs out in writing)

senna did just the same.

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Senna was a good god fearing saintlike human being. You could see the glowing halo aorund his face s he walked away after crashing into satan in suzuka. Michael Schumacher is a robot who is only good because he is a robot.

His record of 65 pole positions in 162 races is evidence enough
No. His inferior fastest lap record is far more relevent. If he was so good at putting together good laps, he would have far more fastest laps.

Ferrari have rarely had the one lap pace needed, many race wins have been about brilliant race strategy and fast stints. Senna also did not have to cope with a retarded qualifying format for 3 years.

but the difference is that Schumacher makes them when it really matters and Senna did not.

:lol:

nothing, just :lol:

But Senna was willing to take even more risks than Schumacher, to the point that he put his own life in danger as well.

This was demonstrated when Senna barged Prost off the track at 150mph on the first lap of the 1990 Japanese GP.

:rolleyes2:

so 94, 97 and 98 loses you points, while suzuka '90 get you points, nice scoring system.

Senna worshippers

:rolleyes2:

:rolleyes2:

:rolleyes2:

:rolleyes2:

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Well. Honestly I think that Senna is the most important race driver in Formula One history. Of course, Schumacher have a place in the room of the greatest champions, but I think there is no reason to compare them.

When people say: Schumacher won 7 titles and Senna only 3, I always reply like Senna once said: "I want to be more than a champion" He already knows -as we- that every year there is a champion.

As Ortega y Gasset said: "I am me and my circumstances" Which we Senna`s circumstances? How was the opposition level of the drivers of his era? How good was his car? FIA helped him or not? When we look Senna`s career we will find that his relationship with Balestre was terrible. Also, Balestre support Prost careers. So he not only fight on the track, also with politicians that always makes injuries to sport.

He fought in track with Lauda, Piquet, Mansell, Prost (eleven titles together) even Alesi was a very tough driver in Ferrari. We have to remember that Mansell and Prost deny the opportunity to Senna to be partners at Williams. Remember that in 1993 Senna signed contract with Mclaren race by race.

Schumacher`s rival were: Hill, Villenueve, Hakkinen, Coulthard, Montoya, Raikkonen and Alonso (five titles together). The last two will write another chapter in F1 history. But the german hasnt have real oppostion. Is not german`s fault of course but that is the reason he is not the best, is really good one, but not the best.

Of course I`m sure that not everybody will agree with me, but that is what I think.

B)

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Thanks my friend.

I think you make some very good points. Senna had tougher opposition both within and outside his team. Senna had to battle J.M.B and was seldom in a car that was capable of winning the title...

Edited by Senna

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Senna had tougher opposition, Schumacher has a far superior record. Kind of evens out.........

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i looked at a few tapes of senna and of Schumi, when the two are in the lead senna just wants to push the car, make it go faster, better, throw an "er" at the end and thats how he wanted it.

schumi on the otherhand playes once hes at the front. he just glides over the track with grace, just look at his hands when he drives. he drives like hes on a strol through the park.

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Good points Alejandro.

Senna worshippers

Just replace Senna with Schumacher, followed by the same emoticons and then you'll see the feeling is mutual.

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Just replace Senna with Schumacher, followed by the same emoticons and then you'll see the feeling is mutual.

:huh: When did I ever start a Schumi worshipping thread, when did I use dubious articles to showhow Senna is the greatest of all time, or change my username and hide behind a dead driver and deny my support for an existing driver in order to be 'flameproof'. I have never even claimed that you can prove that some driver is the greatest of all time, I don't believe that can be done. Comparing drivers from different eras is pretty much pointless. Just another example from the same article below. Did I ever try to pass of Jerez '97 as a positive factor in judging him?

When the two men raced together, from 1992-94, Senna undoubtedly had the upper hand, even if Schumacher was emerging as his biggest rival.

nice sweeping statement, that is atleast debatable if not falsifiable. I'll avoid the obvious emoticon.

The article is also pretty ancient in the ever changing world of F1.

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Senna and Schumacher are my favourite drivers of all time. They both had huge passion for racing as well as superb talent. I'd have to edge it for Schumacher however simple becase of his championships, race wins, and his records. The man is outstanding.

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:huh: When did I ever start a Schumi worshipping thread, when did I use dubious articles to showhow Senna is the greatest of all time, or change my username and hide behind a dead driver and deny my support for an existing driver in order to be 'flameproof'.

You know something we don't? Do tell.

BTW, I agree with most of Alejandro's post above, except that Senna was not the most important driver in F1 history.That is very subjective and something that no one will ever agree on. What are the criteria, for a start?

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