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Senna vs. Schumacher

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Nearly 10 years on and Senna lives on as the best. He may not have broken all the records in his short life and others may have passed him in the stats department but no one yet has shown the skill and the passion that Senna showed. 
I completely agree with what some of you have already said: There is no point of comparing. How can people consider the record breaking 6 times World Champion as 'the best' when he demands his team-mates to help him (down to the contract) and his team gives him the better car ? Real Champions race everyone including their team-mates  - Graham R - Australia

Milton from Brazil got it right, I quote : "Senna is dead! Schummy is the best! - Milton - Brazil"!!!!!. 
He said it all : since Ayrton is not here anymore, MS can be the best... but, hadn't he been dead, MS wouldn't have been the best, that's for sure. ( I wonder how old is Milton and whether he ever had the chance and privilege to see Ayrton race...) 
There is no point in asking the question, the mere fact of asking it is the answer : if almost 10 years after Ayrton's death and after the 6 titles of MS the need of comparing the two is felt, to me this can have only one explanation : WHATEVER MS MIGHT DO, HE WILL NEVER BE AS GOOD AS AYRTON SENNA. 
Having said that much, you can all understand that I rate Ayrton Senna, higher, so much higher than MS. I fully agree with the persons who said this is not a matter of statistics and figures. But, in terms of speed, Ayrton Senna was so much faster, his record of poles is here to prove it. 
Racing on the wet, undoubtedly MS is good, but he can't overrate Ayrton Senna. And Senna didn't have his best races with the best cars, just remember Monaco 1984 ( his first year in F1, his first race in Monaco, which is such a demanding race! especially on the wet, and he scared the hell out of Lauda, and even Prost acknowledged that hadn't the race been stopped, he would have let Ayrton pass as he didn't feel able to resist, yet Prost was far from being a greenhorn at the time... ), Portugal 1985, Donnington 1993, or Brazil 1991 where his gear box was broken for almost 20 laps... Who did MS scare ? Villeneuve? what a good joke! 
Also Ayrton Senna's ambition, the passion for the race, he would always feel bound to win, and for a long time he thought in termes of 'all or nothing' , ie pole - fastest lap- win, I can't say I saw the same dedication in MS. But I must correct something Adam of England (I think) said : Ayrton wasn't willing to risk his life ! He was far from being self-destructive, he didn't have suicidal thoughts! He just pushed the car and himself to the limit, and then further... which means that he pushed the limit a little bit further, and made things possible. And to him, it was as simple as that : you have a limit, you touch this limit, well, then you realise you can go a little bit further! There was his great talent... but he did it so naturally that he isn't given credit for that, from him this was normal... well, it was, but I wonder whether the same thing applies to MS ... I think not. But don't say he would have risked his life, here you have the proof : he explained that he didn't have a record of fastest lap in race since he never wanted to do more than necessary to win, he didn't want to put himself and the others in danger uselessly. 
And how could you forget Alain Prost in (almost) all your comments? Hadn't it been for Ayrton especially after 1988, and had his luck been a little bit better before, Alain Prost could have won more than 6 titles. And hadn't Alain Prost been there, Ayrton Senna would have won more titles ! So the story of the two pilots is closely linked, each one preventing the other from going much farther! 
Now tell me, when has MS had such a valuable team mate and challenger???? NEVER. 
And don't say that MS won 6 titles and Ayrton only 3, this means nothing. I think that even MS fans will agree on the fact that you can't compare MS and Fangio, for instance, as bare figures do not mean much. 
As Ayrton Senna himself put it : every year some guy wins the championship, but this doesn't make of him a world champion ... Well, to me MS is this guy who wins the championships, but it ends here. 

No doubt dudes, even a blind would see the difference. Forever Ayrton Senna better than Michael Schumacher. 
In qualifying - Do you know when was the first pole of MS? Monaco 94, so he never could beat Ayrton in that item. 
On the wet - Do you remember any other race with a heavy rain alike Monaco 1984?? What would have MS done. 
Racing - Do you remember the overtakes Ayrton used to do?? Now MS need his team-mates to be his slaves so he can win a damn race. Don't waste your time comparing a great champion like Ayrton with an average one like MS - Maria LC - Argentina (This post was edited)

Who's kidding who here? Of course Michael is the best. And he's proven. You cannot say Senna is better. Be realistic here people - Jazz - South Africa


Ayrton Senna, the all-time greatest driver of Formula One History. Nobody does better... Henrique R - Brazil

Senna was a great driver and its just not possible to compare him to Michael. Forget the 6 world titles which Michael has won. Had the tragedy not been happened he would have written the history of F1 racing. Titles do not matter - Bronson D - India

(In reply to Al - Syria) to a certain extent I agree with you. But in 1999 Schumacher couldn't win the championship because he broke his leg at Silverstone and was out for 5 races. So Irvine took over the team leader job from Schumi. I have to admit if this hadn't happened he would have won because although then I wanted Hakkinen to win, now I can say he was very lucky. Loads of times his car let him down and who can forget when he crashed out in the lead at Monza?? Schumacher has had it easy with his team mates though and that is something that will always be held against him and in my opinion what doesn't make him the best. 
I don't think Alex Yoong would be able to win a championship in a Ferrari, because he is far too inexperienced and fair play to Schumi he is a good driver (Just not the best) 
In all the races I've seen and read about. I would say 1st Senna 2nd Prost 3rd Schumacher - Adam - England

Cheers! So much excellent debate!.
I respectfully state that, for me, it becomes clearer and clearer that Ayrton was more talented, which is what matters in the first term. Maybe Michael is better at getting results at any cost (team orders, special clauses in team-mate contracts, dirty maneuvers,...), but even then it wouldn't be enough to match Ayrton's statistics, hadn't he died...Alberto R - Paraguay

Well, you can't ever say the MS is better than AS simply because Schumacher had the best car always and his team-mates were not there although they are as good as himself. Let us begin with Eddie, for four years he was slower than Schummi by 0.1 second and many times faster, and in 1999 that was a big prove that even MS team-mates have the right to fight for the championship. MS lost for Mika with a 16 points gap while Eddie lost only for 2 points. And the Greatest of all Rubens. I think he's much better than Schummi, we saw him this year fighting and he was faster than Schummi 6 times. and if his luck was better in Germany and Hungary. and if Ferrari didn't ask him to do that comic play during the States GP, he would have got it. I tell you ! He was the best qualifier this year in a rate of 3.6 followed by Montoya with 4.2 then Schummi 4.3 then Kimi and Ralf with 6.8 then Jarno with 7.3, Fernando with 7.9 and finally David with 8.5. Three poles , three fastest laps and two wins. Rubens got 77 pts last year and 65 pts this year. while MS got 144 last year and 93 this one. Who went backward then ??? 
Schummi would have lost 2000 for Hakkinen and 2003 for Montoya if both Coulthard and Ralf were team-ordered. Drop 1994 and 2002 because they are in doubt and then you'll see that MS is no great driver. he's so far behind Senna who fought every one else including team mates especially Alain Prost. He won 3 great championships and don't forget that race in Suzuka when his car stalled. 
If he lived to race in 94 , he would have dunit then and the next year and the next... 
Finally , statistics are nothing for me. Get Alex Yoong to drive the best car for 20 years!!! he would break all MS records although he is Alex Yoong - Al - Syria

Hello there, I do respect most of your opinions, however I definitely don't think Senna was a truck driver and I also don't believe that today's cars with electronic aids (not ABS though) make MS less of a great driver (as long as that goes for everybody not just the ones who can cheat without getting caught). However the lack of a great opponent (like Prost), except of course for Hakkinen, do. 
Anyway the reason I'm writing this is because of what Samir from USA wrote. It's quite clear that this guy has been actually watching races for at least the last 16 years, more than that he has been actually looking into them as my dear friend Mathew accused me of not doing so. 
Bottom line, guys please get the facts right before writing here and also you must have been watching F1 since, at least, the early 90's before saying anything about Senna (actually 84 should be the right number). Of course that doesn't mean that I agree entirely with Samir and I also can't possibly believe that even the Brasilians are beginning to accept MS as the best. Unless they're under 17. 
Now for the last time can any MS fan sincerely answer to this question because I don't recall Mathew or another ever did.
DID MS, AT ANY POINT OF HIS CAREER, HAVE A TEAM-MATE AS HALF AS GOOD AS PROST WAS? And something else, Can anyone remember those special terms in Irvine's contract with Ferrari? Did any Senna team-mate have a contract like that? 
Hakkinen won in 98 and lost in 00 while fighting not only MS but also DC. In fact MH lost 2 races in 00 to DC, while during the last years, MS's team-mates have been having mysterious brake problems (hahahaahhahaahhaaa) or strange team orders. 
Well I suppose that if you are a really great driver, if you always have team-mates that can't or won't be allowed to beat you, if you have the FIA working for you and not against you (like Senna did), if you can find two great engineers who can maximise your potential (and cheat without getting caught) in a team with probably an unlimited budget, be very lucky over the years, and finally if you have the best car or even just a good and reliable car and Hill as the next best thing, then not only will you be the most successful, some will say you are the best ever.
(PESTA RE TOLI) - George - Greece

Adam of England - Hello. Firstly, I am glad that you accepted my comments in a sporty manner & I respect you for that. 
I do agree that the incident in Austria was probably the ugliest incident in F1. It was not nice to see Michael ram into Hill or Villeneuve either. I don't know if Michael is a cheat but he certainly is not very sporty! 
I did mention this the first time I put my two-cents'-worth in this little debate. For sportsmanship Schumacher gets zilch from me. However, why I say Michael is the best is because of his overall performance, whether he had a good car or not. Not because he beat Senna in 2 races or because he's won 6 championships. He's been around for 12 - 14 years in F1 and consistently performed better than anyone else. One cannot say that he did not have enough competition, he always had the best car or that he won by cheating - over such a long period. 
By the way, I am not a Schumacher fan. Neither am I a fan of any other driver but sure am an F1 fan. I do appreciate the entertainment provided by most of the good drivers including Senna. I just happen to think that Michael has done the Best. Cheers - Ryan - Sri Lanka

On basis of achievements Schumacher is the most successful, however there is more to judging drivers. I would first like to clear some misconceptions that I have noticed doing the rounds... 
1. Myth - Senna always had better cars - This is strictly true only in '88 and '89. But in those seasons his team-mate was Prost (who surprisingly is never considered in this discussion). 
In '90 the Honda engine saved the aerodynamically deficient McLaren chassis on a few occasions but the truth is that Senna's ability to win races even when the McLaren was slower in the races made the difference, esp at places like Belgium, Italy and Portugal (just like Schumi won it in 2000, when the competition was close). 
In 1991 the Williams was a long way ahead but their slow start (like 2003) and Senna's ability to maximize his finishing position saw him run out a comfortable winner in the end. 
The '94 Williams was initially a difficult car to drive and when you compare the difference between Hill and Schumacher at the beginning of the year and the end, it becomes easier to understand this. 
2. Myth - Schumacher is better because he had beaten Senna in the first two races of 1994 - You can't compare based on two races. Remember that the Williams was difficult to drive, and there was a lot of trickery going on at Benetton (traction control, launch control, superfast refuelling ;) ... remember the rocket starts at Aida and Magny-Cours, the best of Schumi's career, looks like he lost that ability later ;) Plus when it went down to the wire, Schumi cracked under Hill's pressure. He cracked in '97 again. In those Benetton years Schumi's only competition was Hill, and then Villeneuve. Until Hakkinen, a driver who could match and often beat him on pace came along, Schumi had few real rivals. 
My own opinion is that Senna and Schumacher are very similar in several aspects - skill, racecraft, commitment, technical ability etc. They both possess a single minded ambition to be champion. Senna I believe had a little extra in pace and skill when it came to racing on the track (he also made a few more mistakes than Schumacher and Prost). His numerous spectacular qualifying laps, his drives against faster cars driven by some of the great drivers of the 80's in the Toleman and Lotus, his historic first lap at Donnington immediately come to my mind as examples. Any opponent was undoubtedly pressured to drive at the ragged edge to keep up with Senna. 
Schumacher has built a formidable team around him which is why he is so successful. His team works tirelessly for his championship and that includes Barrichello, all of Ferrari and often the FIA. It always seems that when it comes to off-track foul play, his teams are at the centre of attention. These are his 'strengths' too, which Senna didn't have in the same measure. 
However, in a sport when every little thing matters , these factors contribute enormously to Michael's success. For example if Williams had insisted at all times that Ralf defer to Montoya (Canada, France, Nurburgring) this year, and worked around Juan, the championship would have been a lot lot closer. Same with Hakkinen and Coulthard in 2000. However, that spoils the sport and Michael is responsible for insisting that his team mates race for him, even when Ferrari have the resources to support two championship contenders, and at times no competition like in 2002. 
Senna, was a flawed genius but his passion for motor racing and magnetic personality make him my personal favourite, and the reason I began to follow Grand Prix. His '90 accident with Prost is the only real major blot on his career. He was at his best when he died and if you have followed his career it's good money that he would have gotten even better... Samir - USA

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(In reply to Ryan from Sri Lanka) Ok fair play mate, I respect opinions from any Ff1 fan. Obviously you are a Schumi fan and of course I am a Senna fan. I would be interested to know what you think of the fair play at Ferrari? Rubens letting!!! Michael win at Austria? Licking Michaels boots as Alain Prost said?? For sure you would have to admit these 2 drivers were very talented and leagues ahead of many, but I can't deny the fact that Michael is not under pressure in the same way that Ayrton was in the races in his heyday. I would not describe Coulthard nor Montoya as threats to Schumacher. Montoya is still too inexperienced and Coulthard will never be champ. 
In Sennas day you had to drive the car, nowadays you just sit back and switch on the ABS and traction control, there's no work that goes into it. 
Plus Schumi is a bit of cheat when it comes to ramming!! people off the circuit (Hill 94 and Villeneuve in 97!!) I'm well aware of the fact that Senna rammed Prost off but that was in retaliation for the year before when Prost did a Schumacher and took him out. 
I guess none of us are saints and without a doubt I completely respect you're opinion. I will be interested to see your reply -  Adam - England

The argument is over Schuey is the best simple as that. As EMELIO from Brazil says even Brazilians are beginning to accept it. Adam from England also forgets that the electronic aids were not available in the junior formulas and sports cars series that MS drove in and won in the late eighties so his comment that Schuey would not be as good without driver aids is irrelevant -  Mathew T - Australia

Adam of England, Please don't get me wrong I'm not taking a hit at you but your reasons for rating Senna higher than Schumacher is way out of whack! 
Firstly, don't insult the good drivers in F1 by including Ricardo Patrese as good competition. He won only one race in his 200 odd races, that too because he was in the fastest car at the time (by miles) & Nigel Mansell retired during the race. Mansell, I must say, was quality opposition. 
Are you saying that Hakkinen, Coulthard & Montoya are not good drivers? (I agree that Hill & Villeneuve are not.) 
Secondly, between 91 & 94 Schumacher never had a faster car than Senna. Also remember that Schumacher had just entered the F1 scene & Senna was already a Champion. 
You say that Senna was leading in the Imola race in '94 but do you remember that Schumacher overtook Senna in both races prior to that and won in style - when Senna was in the best car at the time. 
A driver who risks his his life is not a good driver. He won't live long enough to win many races -for himself, for his Team, for his Fans or his Sponsors. Please do not expect that from a driver. Some people say that you should not compare two (or more) drivers of different eras. I can agree to that to a certain extent. However, if, for what it's worth one needs to do so, then the best way is to see what a driver has done with the Car & Team he's given against the opposition at the time. There's no point talking about Senna driving different cars & Schumacher driving semi-automatics with electronics. His opposition had the same benefits. Cheers -  Ryan - Sri Lanka

This is a comment to T.B. from Canada and all the others that talk about the fact that Schumi has made some dirty mistakes in his career. Ironically I find that the people that loved Senna usually hate Schumi. The reason I find it ironic is that Senna was a racer who would do anything to win a Grand Prix. T.B. from Canada says Schumi is dirty for what he did to Jacques and Damon and yet he loves Senna, a driver that would take out his own teammate just to win a race, let alone a championship. He would do whatever it takes. 
Whether you like one over the other, the fact remains we'll never know for sure who would have been better in today's cars. They are both incredible drivers of their own eras, and should not have to be compared at all, but individually appreciated for what they have done in Formula One. - M M - Canada

There is no doubt in my mind that Ayrton Senna was a much faster, more gifted and deserved world champion. Although Schumacher has won more titles and had more race wins, this doesn't necessarily make him the greatest. 
Senna had many more poles than him. Meaning in a one shot qualifying he was faster than anyone else (often in an underpowered car). He had a lot of fast rivals. Alain Prost, Riccardo Patrease, Nigel Mansell, Nelson Piquet etc. He had many mechanical failures that he could not help (many of them happened while he was leading and He did not have a teammate to let him win grands prix. 
You only had to watch him drive a lap and then compare it to Schumacher to see just what makes them so different. Senna really drove the car to the limit at all times, to the extent that he was putting his life at risk. Schumacher would not risk his life to win, he only has the desire. During the seasons they raced together (91 - 94) Senna often beat Schumacher hands down, despite the fact Schumacher's Benetton was faster, and during the race that Senna was killed (Imola 94) Senna was winning in a badly handling Williams. 
There is no way you could say Schumacher is better, he has had it easy with all the electronics and no.2 drivers. It would never have been allowed ten years ago and when Senna was driving in 94 they had only just introduced the semi automatic gearbox. Thank you for reading - Adam - England

Senna is better than Schumacher...Senna is the best driver at all time no one is greater than him - Jondale - Philippines

Senna is the best. The numbers cannot say that Shummy is the best. Because Senna did not have time enough to show us who is the greater in F1. Senna was talent, emotion, speed... Thanks - Rafael - Brazil

Senna was a more complete driver. He raced during both eras. Turbo, Aspirate, manual shifter and Semi-automatic. 
During the turbo era, 1300 Hp (Now it is 900hp with Driver electronic Aid), He was champion racing against Prost with the same car with no electronics and Manual Shifter. 
He was champion in 1990 with an aspirated car and 1991 with the semi-automatic car racing against Mansell and Mighty Williams. 
Schumi just raced with aspirated engines and semi automatic cars. 
I wish the FIA could eliminate the semi-automatic shifter. The difference between Schumi and the other drivers will be for sure reduced - Chrytian - Germany

The respective periods that these drivers competed means that measuring the technology vs skill ratio is difficult. Add in other factors like rule changes and team orders, and it makes it even harder. They can't be accurately compared, but it can be said that they were/still are the best drivers of their times - Peter - Australia

They are both in a class of there own. Two totally opposite people, both great in their own right Senna started when he was young, Michael older. Two different types of driving, and two totally different types of personalties - Janis - USA

I had to read all the comments because now that M.S. has his 6th title, the comparisons move from the race track where things are decided to the minds of fans --where they achieve a legendary status. 
Lovers of Ayrton (and I am one), remember brilliant moments on the road and a kind of vulnerability about his own talent when he talked about it. One book I read about Ayrton remembered him saying that he scared himself one day on the track and so brought the car in and parked it (he was testing, not racing then, needless to say.) He realized he was driving beyond, not merely the car's limit, but his own! 
Now I rather doubt Michael has ever had such a moment or, if he has, that he would ever share it with us. But that doesn't make him an inferior driver --or an inferior human being; it simply means he is naturally reticent and supernaturally talented at bringing his entire rational being into and incredibly challenging environment and CONTROLLING both himself and the situation. So. If I were an owner and wanted to win races and championships, and could put anyone I wanted (alive or dead) in the machine --it would be Michael. 
Racing is a business. It is about winning; being the "best" is about demonstrating some sort of spiritual superiority. And I, for one, can't imagine any excitement in some kind of eternal and spiritual Grand Prix. The reason we race is to see who can win. Here. In the here and now. 
By the way, for fun I calculated the qualifiers for last season, thinking Rubens might have been better at it than Michael (who isn't, as most know, considered a great qualifier). Guess what? If you give each pole 10, each 2 place 8 and each 3rd place in qualifying 6 points. And if you then SUBTRACT one point for each G.P. that the person failed to qualify first, second, or third... Michael has more points (69) than Rubens (65); the rest are: JPM (56); Ralph (45) & Kimi (31) [compared to D.C.'s MINUS 7!!] Fernando and Jarno each get 2 points and everyone else is in negative numbers. 
So, in his most recent season (a difficult one in many ways) M.S. not only won the championship; he out-qualified the field! 
The man is the model Racing Driver. Period - Jim W - USA

If it wouldn't have been for Senna, Prost now should have at least 7 titles and who knows how many GP and podiums and vice versa; Not to count the fact that they achieved what they did against other monsters like Lauda, Piquet and Mansell. 
Schumacher's first pole was the next race after Senna died and up to that point he had almost nothing for the stats. 98% of what he has achieved has been against mediocres like Coulthard (not even a 2 place ) and Barrichello ( 3 GP or so in a lifetime ). 
Senna's first GP was stolen in his 1st. year in F1 in Monaco racing a Toleman (Minardi type) and he ended up with a 2 place and a 3 place. Then he won several GP including Monaco again in 1987 driving a Lotus that was like driving a Sauber or BAR.
What did Michael win between 1992 and 1993 driving a better car like Benetton only eclipsed by the shadow of the super Williams? - Tibor - Ecuador

Michael has to be better. He took Ferrari, which used to be comparable to Minardi and made them what they are today. Yes he surrounded himself with the best and brightest and rebuilt a TEAM. Some people say his driving style is not sporting, if the FIA doesn't stop him, then it is within the rules end of discussion. 
Senna may have been a more entertaining driver, but Michael is a better TEAM member and leader. It is a shame that we were robbed of the chance to see these two race in good cars, but I don't think the results of the past few seasons would be that different - Jeff S - USA

Michael is by far the best! 
Senna might have had his days and it would have been quite interesting to see them up against each other today with the latest tech and all, but I don't think Senna would have been able to match up to Michael. 
Michael has definitely proven his greatness to the world and cannot be compared to anyone - Jay W - South Africa

Both champions - both had great teams with tremendous ability. You never know who would be better. 
My bet however - Juan Montoya. I would like to see him with equal equipment - he drives the life out of a car. Longevity however is important - can't argue with what Michael has accomplished - Brakeman - USA

They are both in a class of there own. Two totally opposite people, both great in their own right Senna started when he was young, Michael older. Two different types of driving, and two totally different types of personalties - Janis - USA

Who knows how many championships Senna would have won? He won three and then he died. I doubt he would have won six, but Senna was a terrific driver. I'm sure if the question was Senna vs Schumacher in 2003, then it would have been a different story. 
They cannot be compared, full stop - Daniel P - Australia

Senna is dead! Schummy is the best! - Milton - Brazil

I do not rate Senna high at all, there were lots of better drivers in F1. Even during Senna's era - Yves B - USA

Senna was a tractor driver compared to Schumi. And Schumi proved it before Senna died - Formula1fan - EU

No questions. Shimmy's the best, even Brazilians are beginning to accept it - Emilio N - Brazil

As much as many would like to, the two cannot be compared. Senna's death before his time leaves too many questions unanswered. 
It is just as pointless an exercise as comparing either with Fangio (who started racing in Grands Prix in his forties for goodness sake), Clark (how many more titles would he have won?) or Nuvolari - Gavin - Australia

Whilst I agree with the views of many others, that, it is sometimes very difficult to compare who in fact is/was a better driver in my opinion looking at both Senna and Schumacher in their respective eras and what they have accomplished I for one rate Schumacher in front of Senna. Not taking anything away from Senna for my mind Schumacher has succeeded far more than Senna did. Having said that it is unfortunate that we would never know what Senna may have achieved. 
Looking at Schumacher's achievements, he has won driver's championships at times where he was not in the best F1 car, ie at Benetton and his early days at Ferrari. Leaving aside his championship in 2002, Ferrari could not be considered to be leaps and bounds above any other F1 team. 
Putting everything into perspective Schumacher could be credited a large amount for putting Ferrari where it is today. Driver's in the past have not done this for Ferrari nor any other teams for that matter. 
One distinction I will draw between Senna and Schumacher, Schuey in my opinion was the better driver in the wet by far. He comes second to none and apart from Senna the rest of the driver's past and present don't even rank a mention alongside both these driver's. 
Putting aside Schuey's six championships, he has come come second on at least four occasions that I can think of, twice missing out on a championship by a few points to Damon Hill and Jacque Villeneuve. Furthermore Schuey may have had another championship under his belt had he not collided some years ago where Mika Hakkinen won his second championship and if I'm not mistaken Mika won it by some ten points or so, bearing in mind Schuey missed a number of races that season. 
In conclusion both Senna and Schumacher will both go down in history as two of the greatest F1 drivers and along with many others it is a great shame that we didn't see both these drivers battling against each other when both were at the peaks - K K - Australia

I think a great driver would still be great regardless of the cars technical regs etc. The talent and drive will still be present. Both these drivers had that greatness, but I think Michael has the edge over Senna in that he is able to keep that drive, determination but more importantly focus than what Senna was able to do, remember Michael's and Ralf's drive in Monza after their mother just died? 
Senna though had more visible passion, which I think Michael has but keeps it hidden from the public - Steven P - Australia

Let it be known, I have been involved and followed Auto Racing for the last 39 years and Michael Schumacher is the Greatest Racing Driver to ever sit in any race car any time ever !!!!!!!!!!. - Dave W - USA

To Ryan from S-L. I guess it's a matter of how you perceive life after all and how different people can succeed, doing the same thing. 
You are either a perfect machine like MS and move yourself and your team to miracles or you have a gift to go beyond miracles. And that's what I think Senna was... 
Don't tell me MS could pull out the Senna Barcelona stand pleaseee.. - Gem D - USA

The two cannot be compared ... period... - kaustubh - India/USA

While I agree that Senna was one of the best & perhaps the most aggressive, Michael Schumacher is the Complete Driver : Aggressive, Intelligent (not very sporty though). 
I rate Michael slightly ahead of Senna. We were all denied some real entertainment with the tragic demise of Senna. I would have loved to see both of these guys going at each other on a wet track! 
A few things that I don't see people considering : 
1. Michael won the Championship in 1994 beating the Williams Renault, which was many Country miles ahead of his Benetton Ford. Remember, Senna was in it in the first 2 races & Michael got ahead of him. 
2. When Michael joined Ferrari, they couldn't even finish a race, let alone winning! He won 3 races (I think) in the first season. (If I remember right Senna was asked to join Ferrari but didn't want to, because the car wasn't good. He joined Williams instead. Don't hold me to this - I vaguely remember reading something along these lines.) 
3. Michael drove about a third of a race stuck in 5th gear, still finishing second. Most would have parked their car. 
4. Gem D of USA - I agree that those were brilliant manoeuvres by Senna & we saw many of those from him. So did we from Schumacher! One that I regard as the best is when in 1995, he overtook Damon Hill on a tight Chicane (?) in pouring rain; he was on Slicks & Damon on Wets. Made it look so easy. Damon was sliding even on some of the straights. Can't remember the venue - could be Donington park, again. 
5. In 1992, when Nigel Mansell was thrashing the hell out of everyone, Michael beat him by 30 odd seconds in the rain in Belgium. Senna was racing too. 
6. And when given a good car (Ferrari 2002), he ends up on the podium in every race. Match that!
That's my two-cents' worth. Cheers! - Ryan T - Sri Lanka

Ayrton raced clean and fair. MS is a dirty driver who will wreck himself to stop his competition from beating him. He won two championships that way. He did it to Hill and also to Jacques. Put him in a BAR or one of the other less developed teams and if he can win a world championship with them then I would change my opinion of him. 
Bottom line is that you can't compare. One is dead other wise he might be a six time champion - T B - Canada

It was a pleasure watching senna drive. Can't say the same for Michael. That's more important for me than how many championships they won. Here are 2 clips with senna doing things MS couldn't imagine doing in his wildest dreams.. 
Donington Park 1993
- Barcelona 1991 
It's so sad we lost him so early ... Gem D - USA

You can' t compare Fangio with Senna or Schumacher or Schumacher with Senna .. Different regulations, times, track designs,  team orders. But they are alike and different in the same time. They brought happiness, sadness and surprises for millions of fans. 
Senna firstly was brave and some time dangereus (Mantoya has this black side of the Power). Was technical and never took anything granted. He valued his adversary and he put them on the edge. 
Schummy is maybe one of the most technical drivers in F1. A very calculated one and hardly fogiving. He is one of the guys with such mechanical and technical experience like nobody else.
Lets face it in 1991, Schumacher was a "greenhorn" teaming Jordan's more experienced Andrea De Cesaris and who knows how the race will resume without his dnf on the first lap. 1992 Schummy score Senna 0. 1993 Senna score big time-21 points Schummy 0. In 1994 new rules new regulations, before Tamburello tragedy Senna was struggling to adapt but in the mean time Schummy had 2 wins. So who's beter. We'll never know and the speculations will take place at any discussion. Who's more like Senna, who's more like Michael. We will never know. It is certain impression in my view that Kimmy is a truly falower of Mika Hakkinen, and no one in actual F1 circus has a better discipol than Mika. Thanks, Marian - Romanian living in the USA

These drivers are great in their own rights, in their own time. Comparing them is just like the joke of a comparison people made on Muhammad Ali and Rocky Marciano. 
Different conditions and different race car developments make comparison almost impossible between two drivers of different times. In his time, Senna was the champion for a number of reasons. Foremost is his ability and heart on track. Schumacher is also a champion in his present time for a number of reasons, perhaps, the same as Senna's. But grand prix rules then are relatively different from the rules now so one may not be able to compare how either driver would have adjusted with the different rules. Engine, tire, electronics, etc., development are also different in their respective times.
The real winner here are actually the F1 fans like myself as we are fortunate enough to have enjoyed watching both drivers, great as they are in their own rights, battle it out with the best of the rest. 
Record books? To hell with the record books. Just enjoy the races as they come. It is a great sporting event, producing great sportsmen - Manny P - Philippines

To me, the greatest tragedy of Senna's death, apart from the loss of one of F1's greatest characters and drivers, was the accompanying loss of the years of great rivalry that would have existed between him and Schumacher. The thing that both these drivers share is an attitude that winning is the only acceptable result at any race and any championship. They are not happy with simply being an F1 driver! 
They have not succeeded by making it into F1 - they have simply qualified for the big show! Hakkinen almost fits this mould, maybe Villeneuve too and to a lesser extent Hill, but none seem to match the utter determination and dedication of these two. It is their life - everything! 
I thought Montoya was there but settling for 2nd and then whining about backmarkers at Monza was a disappointment to me. Still though, I think if he raises his mental approach a notch or two then Montoya is there with them. 
Raikkonen is like Hakkinen #2 to me. Unfortunately, Ralf is not like Michael #2. 
Though Webber, Alonso, Button and Da Matta are good, I'm not sure there's a Senna incarnate amongst them. 
Anyway, I think that Senna wins 4 straight WDCs if not for his fatal accident. 3 at the very least. 
Not that I think he's better than Schuey. Just that the William's was a great car over this period. The Benetton-Renault of 1995 aside perhaps - Byron F - Australia

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