Top 5 races between Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher
Rivalries, they say, ignite Formula 1 like nothing ever can. We have seen what the Senna versus Prost, Schumacher versus Hakkinen, Rosberg versus Hamilton contest brought to the sport. We are clearly seeing the Hamilton versus Vettel saga in terms of what it is bringing to the sport.
It has, quite simply, raised the bar of competition and often swung Formula 1 to the knife's edge in deciding the fate of a two-way battle. One race it's Lewis and the other, Vettel, out of nowhere.
But that is in the present. What about the past?
Back in the day, over a decade back in time, there was one red-hot rivalry that engulfed Formula 1 and pitted directly the flamboyance of a young driver directly against the mental strength of a multiple world champion. The two are regarded as stalwarts of the sport today.
The Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher rivalry was an epic chapter in the annals of the sport. It gave an era where the likes of Button and Barrichello were already established and the likes of Raikkonen and Alonso were only beginning to engage with the constant thrill of racing, something new for the fans.
It could be said, it brought hitherto less-seen levitation to this great competition of our times.
Let's look at 5 close battles between the Spaniard and the German legend:
#5 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix
In 2006, Fernando Alonso had all but one goal. That was to defend his world title, something he had valiantly fought for in 2005, driving that sassy Renault. That same year, the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher was perhaps the other best machine on the tarmac after the Renault of Fernando Alonso.
This 2006 race perhaps underlined the fact that the Alonso versus Schumacher saga, as evident from the onset of 2003 was real and their battles in the past were no flash in the pan moments.
At the season-opener in Bahrain, the two would fight nearly every single lap all the way to the checkered flag. In the end, it was the Renault that took the top step of the podium, followed by Saturday's pole-sitter, Michael Schumacher.
Thwarting Schumi's plans for securing a win, Alonso jumped ahead of the German driver after his second pit stop to engage in a wheel-to-wheel battle all the way to the finish line.
But it wasn't that easy or straightforward for the former double world champion. After avoiding a spinning Felipe Massa but only narrowly so, Alonso, who had passed him at the chicane earlier, would continue to shadow Schumacher till the middle stages of the race.
He would then emerge ahead of Michael after stopping for a regulation change and would defend brilliantly from the marauding charge of the experienced driver all the way to the end.