Alonso Recalls Schumacher’s ‘Tough’ Persona During Their F1 Rivalry

In his early twenties, Alonso ended Schumacher’s remarkable streak of drivers’ championships in 2005 and 2006, a feat he revealed was years in the making.

When discussing his experiences with Schumacher in the DAZN documentary “Fernando-Revelado,” Alonso, now aged 42, reflected on his rivalry and admiration for the German legend. “Apart from being the toughest rival I’ve ever faced, it’s important to recognize that every young aspirant needs a model. Michael was already competing in F1 while I was still karting, and as I neared my entry into F1, Michael was at the height of his powers.

“I was competing in Formula Nissan, Formula 300, sharing circuits with F1, and Michael was the one dominating the scene. Observing him – his actions, reactions, attire, driving style – became a source of inspiration. Suddenly, you’re racing against him, battling it out every Sunday,” Alonso shared. “That transition was extraordinary.

“The groundwork for 2005 was laid over years, not overnight. Since 2003 and 2004, I’ve been working quietly on refining aspects of my performance, always planning six months to a year in advance.”

Upon directly competing against Schumacher in 2005, Alonso, driving for Renault, gained firsthand insight into Schumacher’s relentless determination to win.

“Michael was incredibly tough, not just on the track but off it as well. He was distant and always seemed to be playing mind games, trying to intimidate,” Alonso remembered. “Engaging him in conversation was challenging. At driver briefings, he’d give you this peculiar look.

There was an evident rivalry, and he took it very seriously. I shared that competitive drive, and our clashes were frequent, yet they were always grounded in mutual respect. It was a fierce rivalry indeed.”