RIVALRIES TIMELINE 1:
complexity (and just wait until you see
When you’re at the top of your game
as long as Michael Schumacher was in
his first Formula 1 career – 15 years
and seven World Championships – you
tend to outlast your early rivalries and
go on to develop new ones. Indulge us
a little here, but we’ve attempted to
plot the shifting, changing rivalries
that marked Schumacher’s time at the
top. If your forte isn’t analyzing DNA
strands, we can only apologize for the
Mario Andretti’s on page 58). At the
very start, the 1991 Belgian GP, the
premise was simple: beat Andrea
de Cesaris in the other Jordan and
they might give you another outing.
After that, his rivalries became more
intense, often more personal. And now,
following his return to F1 in 2010, he is
experiencing a type of rivalry largely
unfamiliar to him: trying to master a
younger, perhaps hungrier teammate.
Sounds like 1991 in reverse...
First F1 start 1991
Belgian GP (Jordan)
First F1 win 1992
Belgian GP (Benetton)
Teams driven for
Wins 91 Poles 68
Fastest laps 77
7 (1994-’ 95, 2000-’04)
La T archive
The big “what if?” schumacher
showed he wasn’t in awe of senna in
1992, developed into a genuine rival
for the great Brazilian in ‘ 93, and
had the upper hand in the early part
of ’ 94. Tragically, we didn’t get to see
the next chapter (see page 68).
Charles Coates/La T
La T archive
In a way, this was a rivalry
ignited by circumstance,
with damon hill stepping up
to the plate for Williams-Renault after the death of
ayrton senna. hill proved a
worthy foe, even forcing
Michael to reach for the bag
of dirty tricks at the 1994
title-deciding australian GP.
Probably the purest, most
evenly matched rivalry.
Mika hakkinen was a
racer who could play the
steely Finn when necessary.
as Michael transitioned to
Ferrari, Mika made the
most of his opportunity.
Lorenzo Bellanca/La T
Perhaps schumacher didn’t see this one coming? The
feisty Colombian who paid little attention to reputation or
prior success. Wheel-to-wheel episodes at the Nurburgring
and Monza in 2003 (aBOVE) defined a short, sharp rivalry.
steve Etherington/La T
as a driver who’d had the influence to
make sure his teammates were
suitably compliant, schumacher’s into
a whole new dynamic on his F1 return
with Mercedes. Nico Rosberg isn’t
there to serve any master, and schuey
is no longer at his peak. Interesting.