Michael Schumacher vs Alain Prost: How their stats compare

Today marks a double Spanish Grand Prix anniversary – with Alain Prost having triumphed on this day in the 1993 event while Michael Schumacher came out on top in 2004.

Michael Schumacher vs Alain Prost: How their stats compare

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.

Michael Schumacher completes a seat fitting in the Jordan 191 Ford for his debut.

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Schumacher had just begun his career in F1 (1991) when Alain 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.

Alain Prost in his Renault RE30 on his way to his first GP win at Dijon-Prenois, France.

Photo by: Motorsport Images

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 and Prost together on the podium for the first time after the 1993 San Marino GP.

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Schumacher finished 155 times on the podium in an F1 race, 49 more than Prost did. But the rate of podiums/GP is better for the Frenchman who finished 53% of his grands prix on the podium. This compares to 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.

Michael Schumacher in his Benetton B194 Ford on his way to his first pole position for the 1994 Monaco GP.

Photo by: Ercole Colombo

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.

Alain Prost during the 1993 Japanese GP in his Williams FW15C Renault when he scored the fastest lap of the race.

Photo by: Motorsport Images

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.

Schumacher first time in the lead of a GP and on his way to win the Belgian GP in 1992.

Photo by: Motorsport Images

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

Statistic Michael Schumacher Alain Prost
GPs started 306   199  
Wins 91 29.7% 51 25.6%
Podiums 155 50.7% 106 53.3%
Poles 68 22.2% 33 16.6%
Front rows 116 37.9% 86 43.2%
Fastest laps 77 25.2% 41 20.6%
Points 1566 5.12 798.5 4.01
Laps raced 16825 55.0 10540 53.0
km raced 81188 265.3 48978 246.1
Races led 142 46.4% 84 42.2%
Laps led 5111 16.7 2684 13.5
km led 24144 78.9 12481 62.7

Schumacher vs Prost - 1991 and 1993

Statistic Schumacher Prost
Wins 1 12.5% 7 87.5%
Poles 0 0.0% 13 100.0%
Fastest laps 5 45.5% 6 54.5%
Podiums 9 39.1% 14 60.9%
Front rows 1 5.6% 17 94.4%
Races led 2 11.8% 15 88.2%
Laps led 63 12.8% 431 87.2%
Classified ahead 2 20.0% 8 80.0%
Qualified ahead 1 4.8% 20 95.2%
Race laps ahead 141 16.1% 734 83.9%


Sources: Forix.com / Motorsport Stats

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