Michael Schumacher: Fernando Alonso hopes to pay tribute to his former rival by emulating Ferrari championship success

Alonso is heading into his fifth year with Ferrari, and hopes that success in 2014 will mirror Schumacher's first title for the Italian's in his fifth attempt back in 2000

Following the unveiling of the new Ferrari F14T, Fernando Alonso admitted he hopes to emulate the most successful driver of all time in Michael Schumacher to pay tribute to the seven-time world champion as he continues to battle for his life due to severe brain injuries.

Schumacher remains in an induced coma after suffering a serious head trauma when he hit his head on a rock in a skiing accident, while on holiday with his friends and family in the exclusive French resort of Meribel.

During his career, Schumacher shot to fame when he won back-to-back drivers’ championships in 1994 and 1995, before moving to Ferrari in an attempt to restore the Italian manufacturer to its former glory.

Despite encountering resistance from both Williams and McLaren (which provided breath-taking battles with both Damon Hill and Mika Hakkinen) Schumacher eventually ended Maranello’s 21 year baron spell by winning the 2000 Drivers’ World Championship – his first of five consecutive titles.

Michael Schumacher Prosecutors Confirm Investigation Findings

For Alonso, his career can certainly be seen to reflect his former rival’s, having secured back-to-back titles in 2005 and 2006 with Renault, the team formed from Benetton’s ashes. Now in his fifth year with Ferrari, the Spaniard hopes that 2014 is his year to shine as he looks to pay tribute to the 45-year-old German.

“Schumacher won the title in his fifth year with Ferrari and I am in my fifth year now. Hopefully I can repeat some if the success he had,” Alonso said having unveiled Ferrari’s 2014 challenged, the F14T.

“In 2010 and 2012 we were very close. Hopefully this will be the good one.”

 

The 32-year-old joins Felipe Massa in sending a tribute to Schumacher, with the Brazilian sporting his name across his visor at a recent charity karting event as well as admitting he is “praying every day” for his recovery.

Should Schumacher recover, a leading brain injury specialist has stressed that an injury of this magnitude will mean that he will not be the same person that he was before.

Dr Richard Greenwood of the University College London Hospital said: “If Schumacher survives, he will not be Schumacher.

“He will be [Joe] Bloggs. His rehabilitation will only be effective if he comes to terms with being Bloggs.

“That is a very, very hard process to take people through. They need to come to terms with their limitations — the fact they have changed.”

Alonso will have a new team-mate sitting opposite him in the garage this year for the first time since he made the switch from Renault, with Kimi Raikkonen returning to the team he won the 2007 world championship with after leaving Lotus.

Schumacher's Wife Corinna Pleads Media To Leave Hospital

The Finn missed the end of last season to undergo back surgery, and despite a row over his pay at the time leading to fears he could refuse to race, Raikkonen insists he had no choice than to go under the knife to correct the problem.

“I didn’t have a choice,” Raikkonen admitted. “I wanted to be 100 per cent and pain free.”

Pre-season testing will get underway at Jerez in Spain on Tuesday, with the rest of the paddock barring Lotus set to join Ferrari, McLaren and Sauber in unveiling their latest model.

Lotus have not confirmed when they will unveil their contender having cancelled their appearance at the first testing session of the new season, amid doubts over their financial stability this season as well as whether they will be ready to go when the first race comes around in Australia in March.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering