“It was not necessary behaviour for a three-time world champion”- The day when Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna had their cold war.
Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna, the two all-time greatest of Formula 1’s history, had their own set of little war tale. It started when Schumacher was into his second season as an F1 driver, and Senna, a three-time World champion, was a living legend.
Senna’s home race in Brazilin 1992, where their bitter rivalry kicked off; Schumacher, a young sensation hired by Benetton, was hardly considered a contest for McLaren’s Senna, who was eyeing to beat Alain Prost.
But a misunderstanding between them started when Senna’s car had a wiring problem in the engine, causing an unwarranted intermission during the early stages of the race.
It caused a huge pile of cars behind him, headed by Schumacher, and the German presumed that Senna was deliberately lifting off and brake-testing him at strategic places to stop him passing.
“It was not necessary behaviour for a three-time world champion,” Schumacher complained publicly afterwards, unaware of Senna’s engine cut-outs.
Ayrton Senna tried to clarify in the French Grand Prix
Oblivion to Senna’s story, the Brazilian specifically mentioned Schumacher’s Brazil outburst, but it was followed by their first lap collision during the French GP.
The race was subsequently stopped, and Senna was soon in his civilian clothes, appeared to make several finger-wavering actions at Schumacher, and later said to friends, “Great, I got him just before he got in the car”.
The second major instance happened between them in Kyalami- the first race of the 1993 season, an identical incident to France, but this time Schumacher was at the level of Senna, and the Brazilian preferred to have an accident than yield, forcing Schumacher out of the race while he continued.
However, a truce was found between them, when in the next race of the season, held in Canada, Senna apologized to Schumacher for “inadvertently” forcing him out of the race.