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.

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine