Schumacher is frequently quoted in the same sentence as the likes of Ayrton Senna, Juan Manuel Fangio and Lewis Hamilton as one of the all time greats, while a lot of people overlook Alain Prost, who won more titles than Senna.
But how do Prost and Schumacher stack up against each other? Let’s look at the stats...
Grands Prix started: Schumacher 306 - Prost 199
Michael Schumacher completes a seat fitting in the Jordan 191 Ford for his debut.
Prost ended his own with his fourth title (1993).
The German started many more grands prix in his F1 career than Prost (306 vs 199), which is logical as Schumacher competed for 19 years in F1 while Prost was active for 12 years.
Both drove for four different teams in those years: Schumacher for Jordan, Benetton, Ferrari and Mercedes; Prost drove for Renault, McLaren, Ferrari and Williams.
Wins: Schumacher 91 - Prost 51
Alain Prost in his Renault RE30 on his way to his first GP win at Dijon-Prenois, France.
Both enjoyed spells in their careers where they raced for the team that had the best car. Schumacher with Ferrari, while Prost with McLaren and Williams.
Schumacher won 91 grands prix vs Prost’s 51, but the rate (win/GP) difference isn’t so big. Schumi won almost 30% of his races while Prost won 26%, a much smaller difference than initial stats suggest.
Podiums: Schumacher 155 - Prost 106
Schumacher and Prost together on the podium for the first time after the 1993 San Marino GP.
Schumacher who finished 50.7% of his races on the podium. During the 1993 season they stood eight times together on the podium!
Pole Positions: Schumacher 68 - Prost 33
Michael Schumacher in his Benetton B194 Ford on his way to his first pole position for the 1994 Monaco GP.
A similar stats comparison is the number of pole positions from both drivers, with Schumacher having more than double the number that Prost took.
The rate of poles/GP doesn’t make any difference here, with 22% for Schumacher and Prost having just 17%.
In terms of front row starts though, it’s Prost who wins. He started 43% of his grands prix on pole or second place on the grid.
Fastest laps: Schumacher 77 - Prost 41
Alain Prost during the 1993 Japanese GP in his Williams FW15C Renault when he scored the fastest lap of the race.
The next significant stats battle between these two champions is fastest laps. This is clearly in favour of Schumacher, who posted a fastest lap in a quarter of his F1 races (25.2% to be exact). Prost’s fastest lap rate is 20.6%. Yet again the difference is not as big as you might have thought.
Grands Prix led: Schumacher 142 - Prost 84
Schumacher first time in the lead of a GP and on his way to win the Belgian GP in 1992.
The last stats battle is the number of grands prix in the lead: Schumacher wins this with 142 races in the lead, a record that was beaten last year by Lewis Hamilton.
But once again, the difference of the rates (races in the lead/GPs started) isn’t that big between the two. Schumacher led 46% of the races he started with Prost on 42%.
Schumacher vs Prost
Schumacher vs Prost - 1991 and 1993
|Race laps ahead||141||16.1%||734||83.9%|
Sources: Forix.com / Motorsport Stats