Thursday, August 10, 2006

Career Comparison

By John Ross Harvey

Michael Schumacher:

1991 Given ride in Jordan at Spa, qualified well and retired while his teammate DeCesaris practically won that race before he retired. Was stolen by Benetton after that event.
1992 Had a reasonable showing but no match for Mansell and Williams
1993 Prost and Williams were much better, managed to win eventually
1994 Against Hill at Williams in Illegal Benetton car won races and hit Hill to take title
1995 Team acquired same engines as Williams, won more races, and championship. Teammates were subservient from this point on.
1996 Hill and Villeneuve were class of field at Williams, Michael now at Ferrari.
1997 In final race of season he attempted to take out Villeneuve for title but lost having all of his points removed for the season
1998 McLaren now class of field, won a few events
1999 Accident early in season promotes Irvine to #1 at Ferrari, Michael’s return helps Irvine in championship to a point, but his sudden inability to win final race over Hakkinen makes Hakkinen champion again, unwilling to give Irvine 1st Ferrari WDC in 20 years.
2000 Indestructible Ferrari dominates giving Michael 3rd championship
2001 Yet another Ferrari domination and title #4
2002 Ferrari so dominant that Michael steals setups and racecar from Rubens on several occasions and only helps Rubens achieve 2nd rather than race him outright as the car suited Rubens better than himself and had Rubens move many times but none worse than Austria fiasco.
2003 Team orders ruled illegal but Ferrari adjust pit stops to allow Michael domination within team. New point system allows Raikonnen to almost take title with just 1 win.
2004 More dominant than 2002 and title #7
2005 Renault strong out of the box, Ferrari’s only win at Indianapolis fiasco. Funny that fiascos and Schumacher’s Ferrari go hand in hand. Alonso champion.
2006 After various rule changes to favour Ferrari, Renault and Alonso lead are slipping away as Schumacher closes with a few race wins in a row. Hungary shows he’s lost it. Blocking drivers and cutting chicanes without ever getting penalized, retires but inherits a point after a BMW is disqualified.

Jacques Villeneuve:

1993 Finishes 3rd in Formula Atlantic behind teammate and David Empringham
1994 Promoted to CART (Champcar) wins rookie title.
1995 Wins many races including Indy500 but drove 505 with a 2 lap penalty and wins CART championship
1996 Joins Williams in F1, grabs pole and almost wins in debut race, but for an oil leak. Keeps title battle between Hill and himself, Hill wins after Jacques loses a wheel.
1997 Dominant over new teammate Frentzen, wins title after Schumacher attempts to remove him in final race, gifts Hakkinen his first win with Coulthard’s help.
1998 Williams use customer Mechachrome engines, which are no match for McLaren. Very poor results.
1999 Joins BAR (Pollack team bought Tyrrell) in order to develop new team and has scoreless season.
2000 Yet another development year with poor results
2001 Manages a podium finish with improved BAR Honda
2002 Ferrari untouchable
2003 Poor reliability issues and personal vendetta by team boss David Richards forces Jacques to retire and be replaced by Sato at BAR
2004 Out most of season returns for final 3 events at Renault and out qualifies Alonso once, and beats Schumacher on track once, but scores no points against former team BAR
2005 Joins Sauber, and partnered with Massa, had measure of Massa near end of season but reliability had him finish with less points.
2006 Sauber bought by BMW, strong qualifying and a few better finishes against highly touted German teammate Heidfeld are not enough for team manager Theissen, who forces Jacques out of team after a race accident, to be replaced by Polish rookie Kubica, who was disqualified in his first race.

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