When ranking Michael Schumacher amongst the all time greats one shouldn´t take a look at his teammates. What we should look on are the performances and capabilities he had for over 15 years. I´m talking about single race performsnes as well as whole seson performances. It´s no coincidence that he finished third in a slow and very very unreliable Ferrari in his first season their, constantly fighting for pole and even wins. Alesi and Berger two very good drivers were often nowhere the year before, in a more reliable and more powerful car than the F310 was.
I coulf now mention all his great rce performances, but there is no need for that. I rhink we have an own thread abou it anyway
No, it wasn´t the case that Schumacher didn´t want to drive against great teammates it was simply the fact that Briatore and Todt always wanted one strong driver and one supporting driver. (It was the same when Alonso drove under Flavio, he kicked Trulli out and signed Fisico as supporting act). Another fact is that Schumacher didn´t really have the opportunity to get a great teammate, Senna already passed away, Mansell went into retirement, the same goes for Prost and Piquet (whom Michael defeated in the second half of 91 at Benetton). Häkkinen was probably the only one driving at that time who can be considered a true great, but he was McLaren bound and McLaren was no option for Michael, because of Ron Dennis and money issues.
To be honest with you, team orders or no team orders - it wouldn´t have made any difference, or do you really think Barrichello had the ability to challenge Schumacher for the championship in an open fight? He couldn´t even defeat Button...
In terms of driving ability, leadership, technical knowledge, work attitude, passion, fitness, proffessionalism and mental strength I would say the only driver on Michael´s level in the history of F1 is Senna. Surely Ayrton is the greater man at least from a TV - viewers perspective, but in terms of ability MIchael is second to none.
And yeah he´s struggling badly this year, but hey he´s nearly 42, no testing allowed, the car doesn´t suit his driving style at all, the tyres are strange and Nico Rosberg is very underrated by most people (I think he´s better than Vettel. Not quicker, but better).
All those facts make him look bad and yes he is pretty bad this season, but you know what - how good was Pele at 42? How good will Messi be at 42? Or Kobe Bryant? Even Michael Jordan had 7 bad games out of 10 for the Wizards.
Age is a very very bad factor for world class athletes.
PLease consider that when you judge him and doen´t make the mistake to judge his whole career based on a bad season at Mercedes or because the media still can´t forget Austria 2002 - that has nothing to do with the fact that he was the very best of his generation and one, if not the greatest of all time.