Michael Schumacher could not get over the death of Ayrton Senna at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix for quite some time.
Michael Schumacher debuted in Formula 1 in the 1991 season by which time Ayrton Senna was already a sensation on the track. Senna tragically lost his life during the 1994 Imola GP sending shockwaves around the globe.
Schumacher did not put a fight against Senna up until the 1994 championship season. Schumacher driving a Benetton and Senna in Williams, the drivers engaged themselves in battle. The German driver won the first two races of the season while Senna faced DNF in both of them.
Then came the deadly San Marino GP. Roland Ratzenberger lost his life during a crash in the qualifying of the San Marino GP and Senna met his end during the race.
Schumacher went ahead to take his third win of the season but could not cope with his fellow driver’s death.
In a Netflix documentary about Schumacher, the German driver revealed the thoughts he used to get after Senna’s death.
— Motorsports in the 2000s (@CrystalRacing) December 18, 2020
He said, “In Silverstone, I went there, and you suddenly saw many things with different eyes. I went in a road car in Silverstone through the circuit and I just thought, ‘This is a point you could be dead, this is a point you could be dead.’
“I thought it was crazy. You always test it, you always raced here. But there are so many points you could crash and you can be immediately dead. That’s the only thing I was thinking of.”
Michael Schumacher won the first of his seven world titles in 1994
Schumacher won the 1994 championship title and it became the first of his seven titles to come. He outperformed Damon Hill’s Williams by a single point to win his first ever world championship in 1994.
It took him eight race wins and two second-place finishes to score 92 points.
The following season, Schumacher won his second world title with Benetton, before moving to Ferrari in 1996. Although he battled Hill and Mika Hakkinen in the next four years, he dominated in the early 2000s, winning five world titles on the trot from 2000 to 2004.