“He was playing magic sometimes” – Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher had wonderful battles as Renault and Ferrari drove hard for supremacy during the 2000s.
Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher were in the early 2000s what Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton are today. The pair was miles ahead of the rest, winning a whopping nine titles between them.
i’m schumacher looking at fernando alonso 😍 pic.twitter.com/0obdgF6lzs
— Midgardian Nerd ♠️💉💉 (@_captain_jay) November 28, 2021
Schumacher was on an impressive title-winning streak with Ferrari at the start of the century, only to be broken by Alonso, winning in back-to-back seasons with Renault.
Despite all of this, the Spaniard considers Schumacher to be his teacher and his biggest rival. High praise from Alonso considering he and Renault broke Ferrari’s dominance for good. The Italian team has won only one title since then, Kimi Raikkonen grabbing his solo championship.
“I think Michael was, for me, the biggest rival that I consider [in] my career. [He was] like a teacher, for me, in many ways, because I was young, I was coming into Formula 1.
“I found myself fighting for a World Championship that maybe I was not ready at that point to fight for such a big thing, and I had alongside [me] Michael with all his knowledge and his approach, never giving up.
“[He was] always performing something special.
“Because I remember [at] some races the Renault was a better car, or we thought that we had an advantage on the tyres or on the package itself that weekend.
“Then we went into qualifying and you’re happy, they tell you on the radio that you are on pole position, you more or less suspected that. And then you go to the scales in parc ferme, you look at the screen and [see that] Michael was second.
“How that was possible? You came into qualifying thinking that that was a good weekend to stretch a little bit the advantage in the championship but, even on a bad weekend, Michael was second.
“So it was unbelievable, the performance that he still put out in a non-competitive weekend. He was playing magic sometimes.”