Schumacher to lose title? Hamilton GOAT?

The world of Formula One is no stranger to debates about its greatest drivers, with names like Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton often at the forefront of such discussions. Currently, these two icons share the distinction of being the only drivers in F1 history to have won seven world championships.

However, a recent call by motorsport journalist Roger Benoit to strip Schumacher of his 1994 World Championship has reignited the debate and potentially reshaped the narrative of F1’s greatest of all time (GOAT). 



Schumacher’s triumph and controversy

Michael Schumacher’s F1 career is a story of unparalleled success. He won his first two world championships with Benetton in 1994 and 1995, establishing his dominance of the sport. In 1994, Schumacher established an impressive record by consistently finishing first or second in the races he contested. However, it was this season that sparked controversy, with Benoit suggesting that Schumacher should be stripped of his 1994 title.

“As a six-time world champion, he definitely belongs in the top 5.” said Benoit to Blick newspaper.

“Of course, I know that he was world champion seven times. But the 1994 title should actually be taken away from him because he only won it because of his foul on Damon Hill.”


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The controversy centres on the season-ending race at the Adelaide Street Circuit in Australia. Schumacher went into the race with a one-point lead in the championship over the British Williams driver Damon Hill, who was poised to take the title from the German. However, it was Schumacher’s actions in this crucial race that would change the course of F1 history.




The infamous collision

On lap 36 of the 1994 Australian Grand Prix, Schumacher, who was leading the race, collided with the wall, damaging the right side of his car. Knowing that he could not maintain his lead with the damage, Schumacher turned his car into Hill’s path as the Briton attempted to overtake. The collision led to the immediate retirement of both drivers and denied Hill the chance to win the championship.

Schumacher’s actions in that race have long been the subject of debate and controversy. Many argue that the incident tainted his championship win and it remains one of the most controversial moments in F1 history.



The call to strip Schumacher of his title

Roger Benoit’s recent call to strip Schumacher of his 1994 World Championship centres on this controversial incident. While acknowledging Schumacher’s undeniable greatness as a six-time world champion, Benoit claims that the 1994 title should be stripped because of the collision with Hill.

This call raises questions about Schumacher’s place in the pantheon of F1 legends. If his 1994 title were retrospectively invalidated, it would affect the records and statistics attributed to Schumacher. His place among the all-time greats would also be reassessed.



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Hamilton’s quest for history

The implications of such a decision would be profound, especially for Lewis Hamilton. The British driver already has more pole positions, podiums and race wins than any other driver in F1 history. However, his quest for an eighth world title remains a defining ambition.

Currently tied with Schumacher with seven World Championships, Hamilton is determined to secure the eighth title that would cement his claim as the undisputed greatest of all time in Formula One. That elusive eighth championship is the only record standing in the way of his attainment of this unprecedented status.


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Massa case might create a precedent 

The debate over F1’s greatest driver has never lacked for intensity, and Roger Benoit’s call for Schumacher’s 1994 World Championship to be re-examined adds a new layer of intrigue. The Adelaide collision remains a controversial moment, and its impact on Schumacher’s legacy is an ongoing topic of discussion.

Indeed, the Brazilian former F1 driver Felipe Massa is pursuing the 2008 F1 title due to the Renault ‘Crashgate’ incident during the Singapore Grand Prix that season. Should be he successful in his case, a precedent will be set and Schumacher might indeed have his 1994 title taken away. Curiously Damon Hill would obviously become a two time F1 champion should that happen.

According to the Brazilian driver’s lawyers, Felipe Massa was the victim of a plot in 2008 when he was leading the Singapore Grand Prix and his compatriot Nelson Piquet – who was driving for Renault – deliberately sent his car into a wall on lap 14. This incident prompted a safety car to enter the track and directly benefited Piquet’s team-mate, Spaniard Fernando Alonso, who went on to win the race.


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Crashgate repercussions could continue in 2023

Massa, for his part, failed to score after a botched pit stop, while at the end of the season, McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton beat Felipe Massa by one point to the 2008 world championship.

A year later, Nelson Piquet revealed to the media that he had been asked internally to crash his car into a wall at the 2008 Singapore GP to favour his team-mate Fernando Alonso, triggering the infamous ‘crashgate’ scandal that led to former Renault boss Flavio Briatore being banned from the sport.

To make matters worse, former Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone said in a recent interview with a German media outlet that he and former FIA president Max Mosley knew at the time that Nelson Piquet had deliberately crashed in Singapore, but did nothing about it, prompting Massa to take legal action.

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16 responses to “Schumacher to lose title? Hamilton GOAT?

  1. Justis 4 Hill ’94!

    But on a more serious note, it’s been nearly 30 years since this happened. We’ve all moved on. And being someone who didn’t like Schumacher after this incident I can’t deny he was an incredible driver. Maybe Bennetton were cheating but nothing was proven so we have to take it as it is. Hill probably has a better case than Massa. Driving out of the pits with a fuel hose still attached isn’t going to look good when trying to fight this.

    Massa doesn’t need to do this. He’s rich and had a decent career. Let it go.

  2. Likewise Max Verstappen should be stripped of his first world title because it was blatent cheating

    • And every WDC since 2007 should be awarded to Hamilton because he would have won them all if he didn’t have reliability issues, get beaten by better drivers or be distracted by his popstar girlfriend.

      How many is he owed?

        • Oh not at all. But you have to respect what he’s doing this year and I hope he and the team do a clean sweep.

          But I think that’s not important to you. It’ll just be a Wikipedia record and no one reads that, eh?

  3. All this idea of stripping of title was all started by the Hamilton Fan Boy Gestapo over 2021,leave everything as is I say. No benefit or point in changing anything. These things happen in sport people need to grow up and move on I day.

  4. These matters are closed since the championships had been awarded already. As per regulations, once the trophy has been given away it’s moot and academic.

  5. James seems to comment in nasty way, sounds very Maxs minions in its wording…..just a thought????

    • How did that petition go? The one which gifts #44 a title he didn’t deserve?

      The problem with the hamfosi and DtS fans is their expectations and understanding of Formula 1 as a sport and technical competition. We’ve had periods similar to this even before 2007 but true fans understand and will, in most cases, reluctantly accept it. But because Toto and Louis believe they were wronged the disciples repeat said teachings to everyone who cares to listen.

      No one was robbed. Penalties have been applied and the trophies already awarded. End of. You all just need to accept it and move on.

    • But James is right and yes i am a Max fan and Massa fan too, but I would say let it go It is what it is and FYI being a fan there is nothing wrong with. You are a bit a cry baby Lulu fan

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