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When Fernando Alonso Forced Michael Schumacher to Back off From a Deadly Battle – “I Know He Has Two Kids”

Mahim Suhalka

When Fernando Alonso Forced Michael Schumacher to Back off From a Deadly Battle - “I Know He Has Two Kids”

Until recently, the softer, gentler, and more caring side of Michael Schumacher was hidden from the world. The F1 legend was a fearless and ruthless competitor and that’s exactly what his opponents saw until the end of his career in the premier class. The German was unforgiving and he was one of the most intimidating figures around the paddock. Many also believe it was his fierce competitive spirit that enabled him to become a 7x champion. However, every era comes to an end and Fernando Alonso marked the end of Michael Schumacher’s era. Perhaps the most evident example of this scenario came during the 2005 Japanese GP.

A young Alonso was racing for Renault in Suzuka in the penultimate round of the ’05 season. The young Spaniard was a menace to Schumacher throughout the campaign, but it was the race in Suzuka, specifically the overtake on the 130R that made the F1 world witness the shift in power dynamic.

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Going wheel-to-wheel next to the bullying Michael Schumacher, Alonso went flat out on the outside of the 130R, one of the most demanding and challenging corners on the calendar. The Spaniard did not take his foot off the gas and it was Schumacher who conceded the position to the Spaniard.

To put things in perspective, Alonso passed Schumacher at 130mph. Even the slightest of movements from either in the wrong direction would’ve resulted in an extremely dangerous and potentially fatal crash. So why did Alonso go through with it and not back off? Well, when asked to comment on his daring move a few weeks after the race, Alonso said, “At times like that, I always remember that Michael has two kids.”

Albeit jokingly, it did reveal the change in mindset of the 7x world champion according to Andrew Benson. In a BBC report, the F1 expert expressed his opinion on how Schumacher’s mindset had changed after Suzuka.

Fernando Alonso dethroning Michael Schumacher to end his reign

After winning his first title with Renault back in 2005, Alonso not only became the youngest driver to do so at the time but he also ended Schumacher’s reign. He dethroned the German who had been winning the title every year since the turn of the century. This is exactly why his move on the 130R was extra special and highlighted the change in dynamics.

In fact, it was after Alonso’s second successive championship win when Schumacher announced he would be hanging up his helmet as a driver. 2006 marked Schumacher’s first retirement from the sport but he returned after a brief hiatus in 2010 to join Mercedes. The German legend representing a standalone German team was an exciting prospect for the nation.

However, things did not go according to plan. The following three years Schumacher raced for Mercedes were largely underwhelming as he recorded no wins. But he did the job he was brought to do. Schumacher worked hard, and helped the Silver Arrows find its feet in F1. In the years following Schumacher’s next retirement in 2012, Mercedes went on to dominate F1.

Post Edited By:Somin Bhattacharjee

About the author

Mahim Suhalka

Mahim Suhalka

Mahim Suhalka is an F1 journalist at the SportsRush. With an ever-growing love for the sport since 2019, he became a part of the industry two years ago and since then has written over 2200 pieces. A Lewis Hamilton fan through and through and with Hamilton's loyalties shifting to Ferrari, so will his. Apart from F1, he is a Football fanatic having played the sport and represented his state in various tournaments as he still stays in touch with the sport. Always a sports enthusiast Mahim is now translating his passion into words.

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