Fernando Alonso says he has learned a lot from Michael Schumacher in the years they fought for the championship titles and in Alonso’s earlier years in Formula 1. He says he should be respected differently than any other person, another driver.
Alonso made his Formula One debut in 2001 with Minardi, who had the slowest car, but the Spaniard nevertheless managed to show off his lavish talent and attract the attention of everyone in Formula One. After being Renault’s test driver a year later in a year he became their regular driver and that year achieved his first pole position in Malaysia and his first victory in Hungary while Schumacher won the then-record sixth title.
Schumacher won his seventh and final title in 2004, and the next two years the champion was Alonso - in 2005 his main rival was Raikkonen, and in 2006 Schumacher. Alonso recalled for Sky Sports his end of the 2006 F1 season when, after Schumacher's withdrawal at Suzuki, Alonso had a 10-point lead ahead of the final in Brazil where Schumacher needed a win and Alonso's withdrawal for the eighth title.
"Michael had to win and to hope I was eliminated," Alonso recalled. “So I had a good chance for the title. At the time, it was Michael's last race because he had already announced his retirement. "
Alonso finished second behind the winner Massa while Schumacher from 10th place, due to a malfunction in the qualifiers, finished fourth after falling to the back of the standings due to a flat tire.
Schumacher and Alonso had a big fight in 2004 to win the French Grand Prix. which was the only such clash of theirs in the dominant season for Ferrari, and in 2005 Renault was stronger while Ferrari was strong only in Imola where we watched another great fight of these two drivers which was repeated on the same track in 2006.
“Michael is a legend of the sport,” Alonso said. "I learned so much from him in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004. And then in 2005 and 2006, we fought wheel by wheel with him." "You have to respect Michael in a different way than any other driver."
"Those moments, shaking hands with him and things like that, it was a relief. We fought hard on the track, but there is still a person behind that red helmet. ” Alonso will surely be the one to teach other drivers some things and it is really fantastic that Formula 1 has such good people in its environment