Ayton Senna and Michael Schumacher are arguably the best drivers that ever graced the game of Formula 1. Michael Schumacher a 7 time world Champion and Ayrton Senna a 3 time World Champion. The optics are not entirely on the side of the Brazilian are they?
Of course Schumacher was a god when he got on the grid and hard such dominance in the sport in that at the time he was at the top, the sport literally became predictable and inevitably boring.
That is just how magnificent the German driver was, putting Ferrari’s impeccable car to great use and helping the Italian team seal it’s dominance at the top.
What makes Senna and Schumaker Different and Who was better ?
So what really makes Ayrton Senna to be considered one of the greats of all time despite winning fewer championships as compared to Michael Schumacher and well even current world champion Lewis Hamilton who has won the title 6 times and is looking to break the record set by the German.
Michael Schumacher always considered Senna to be a far superior driver than he was and said that he looked up to him and tried to find ways of how to make his driving like that of the Brazilian.
How true that was, we will never know because Senna was probably the most aggressive driver on the grid and all he cared about was getting to the top and winning while Michael was the most disciplined driver just cut-throat lethal.
One of the main reasons as to why Senna stands out for many was his brilliance on the wet tracks. He seemed to know just how much grip was needed on the tires when making corners and when and how to over take. He was the god that all feared on wet tracks. All this was done at a time when top drivers were in the mix talk about the likes of Lauda, Alain Prost among others.
During the times of Senna, it was mostly about the driver, his technique and style of driving that either helped him or completely threw him off the talking topics.
During the days of Michael Schumacher, technology was being introduced into the sport and cars were better designed to allow the drivers to have an advantage. Ferrari had a brilliant car and they met a brilliant, careful and yet ruthless driver in Michael who fine tuned this car to win championships.
On the other hand, you had Ayrton Senna who would dedicate his days working with the engineering team, giving them feedback, sharing his thoughts so that a car molded in his desires was built to allow him be the kind of phenomenon that we talk about today.
Ayrton Senna played a very active role in the R&D of his cars. He gave first hand inputs and feedback to the team engineers for every race and attended every testing session. That speaks volumes of his dedication to the craft. It’s a widely known secret that Ferrari did its R&D with it’s (appointed) own test drivers.
One thing though is that both were extremely aggressive. However, Schumacher was way more effective. He was never beaten by a teammate, while Ayrton was thoroughly beaten by Prost in 1989, and earlier in his career lobbied to keep Derek Warwick out of Lotus, and then forced Lotus to decide between him and De Angelis.
A top indicator for a great driver is the ability to win a World Drivers Champonship without the best car. Schumacher did it twice, 1994 vs. the superior Williams Renault of Hill, and 2003 vs. two superior rivals: the McLaren Mercedes of Kimi and the Williams BMW of Montoya. Ayrton only won when his McLaren was dominating: and even in 1994 when he got the best car in the grid, he was struggling in the season against Schumacher until he was killed.
Prost said it very well: Senna’s problem is that he thought God was watching over him, and thus he was immortal. Schumi knew very well he wasn’t. In 2005, Alonso overtook Schumacher over the outside of the superfast 130R turn at Suzuka by going pedal to the metal: asked later on how he knew the daring move would succeed, he answered “Michael has two kids”
So with this information availed to you, who was the more superior driver between the two drivers of Senna and Schumacher?
Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is an avid Sports and Tech enthusiast. He loves to keep up to date with all the latest information and research on some of the most compelling stories.